Santa Cruz is about an hr and half drive away from San Francisco. A beautiful city that hums along with a mix of surfers, students, and free-spirits. The laid back town is a perfect weekend getaway for those longing a sweet escape back into nature. Local legend Jack O’Neils 1950s invention of the wetsuit to battle the Pacific’s notoriously chilly waters, newbies and experienced surfers alike can spend more time out there waiting for the perfect wave.
Natural Bridges State Beach
The arches formed over a million years ago when a combination of silt, clay and diatom were solidified into a mixture of stone that formed the three original arches of the beach. What's unique about this arch is that it's the last standing one out of three original arches.The outermost arch fell during the early 20th century and the inner arch collapsed during a storm in 1980.
If you want to give the sport a try, friendliest breaks are found at Cowell’s, next to the Santa Cruz Wharf; breakers fronting Capitola are usually novice-friendly too. Club Ed Surf School offers lessons for all abilities; equipment includes wide, easier-to-balance long boards and wetsuits.
Stop by Bantam, a local pizzeria where a Chez Panisse alum fires up delicious Neapolitan pizza with a bubbled crust and a nice char. Their favorite, porcini and shungiku pie is a must with a side of Santa Cruz IPA. Get your appetite started with their little gem salad or the Black trumpet toast with cream and upland cress.