After living in California for over three years, Casey and I realized we had only been to Santa Cruz once! We had never really been to the beaches here.
We took the beautiful drive along Highway One. One day we started from Santa Cruz. Another day we started from up North, near Palo Alto, then drove down. It’s a picturesque drive.
Our favorite beach is Ano Nuevo. It is a state park, so you have to pay to get in. The walk down to the shore is a unique environment, part tall grasses, part swamp. Really interesting birds and flowers were there. That alone makes this trip worth it.
Down at the beach are elephant seals. Casey and I immediately fell in love. They are so lovable! Giant noses, cute barks, sleepy food coma behavior… how can you not love these guys? They are everywhere. We saw three on our short visit to Ano Nuevo.
Afterwards, we saw Shark Fin Bay and Twin Lakes State Beach after some recommendations from some friends. I am glad I don’t live at the beach, but it’s so close by. Another thing – we actually found Greek food in Santa Cruz. In San Jose, there’s only one Greek chain and it’s not very good. In Santa Cruz, there were a few places to choose from. Gyros always has my heart.