Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Things To Do In Santa Cruz

Our personal favorites...

Soif Wine Bar
Small plates at Soif. You feel like you get a $100 meal for $15. That's just the appetizer though... afterwards we would go get

El Palomar Taco Bar
Chicken quesadillas and a $2.50 delish margarita at El Palomar Taco Bar (walk through Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company to get there or go through El Palomar next to the bar).

Marini's Downtown Santa Cruz
An apple pie apple at Marini's.

Cafe Limelight Santa Cruz
A Root Beer Float at Cafe Limelight.

Breakfast on the sea at Aldo's for a beautiful setting and good food. Usually we'd bike down there on our bikes to enjoy a Sunday or Saturday morning breakfast.

Walnut Avenue Cafe Santa Cruz
Incredible breakfast food at Walnut Avenue Cafe. There are so many places to shop and browse if you happen to catch them on a Sunday morning and get a 45 minute wait.

Petroglyph Santa Cruz
Petroglyph was our all time favorite family past time this year. You can paint pottery for hours. Once you start you really can't stop, it's a strangely relaxing hobby.

Greyhound Rock
Further up Hwy 1, approximately eight miles past Davenport turn left into Greyhound Rock State Park area. A gorgeous beach and some fun rocks to climb. If you go at low tide you can get on the actual Greyhound Rock where seals sunbathe.

The Farm Aptos, California
The Farm on Soquel across from Cabrillo College in Aptos for lunch with a friend or a picnic at the beach. The Mediterranean Chicken sandwhich is out of this world with fresh mozzarella and herb bread. My hubby loves the tri-tip as well. They're also a great stop for breakfast on any random morning. The best thickest French Toast and excellent bacon and egg croissant sandwhiches. They also have great Cafe Au Laits.

Pacific Edge Rock Climbing Santa Cruz
Pacific Edge Rock Climbing to take the kids. $7 on the boulder for however many hours you want, no repelling training necessary. We were always surprised how long we were there.

Crows Nest Santa Cruz
Crows Nest UPSTAIRS to spend an in expensive evening watching the sunset. Or sitting inside next to the fire pit on a cool evening or outside they have heaters next to the building that work wonders. Downstairs is fancier, not as good of food and pricier to boot.

Stockton Bridge Grille
Stockton Bridge for a special evening out. Their Peach drink that I wish I could remember the name of is so very yummy.

Peachwoods Scotts Valley, California
Peachwoods is my all time favorite for a special occasion. Their artichoke cakes and peach fritters are out of this world. My favorite part is their 4 course dinner, starting with the soup or salad complete with chilled gold forks, the peach sorbet to cleanse your palette, and the peach iced tea. Each of their many clocks does something completely different and fun at the top of the hour.

Santa Cruz Wharf
Riva's on the wharf for Cardinal Margarita's, fried zucchini, and Chocolate Hazelnut gelatto. Their other food is decent too if you want to spend an evening on the water.

Pizza My Heart Santa Cruz
Pizza My Heart for pizza and salad, they have a $7 pizza, salad, and soda deal that will feed two.

Mr Toots Coffee Bar
Mr. Toots for coffee in the cool summer mornings spent at the beach in Capitola.

Aptos Farmers Market
Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market in the Cabrillo College parking lot. They have the most amazing stuff there. My favorites were the Kawasaki (sp?) farm for cucumbers, and there was one on the corner of the very top row next to the exit that I wish I could remember the name of, but they always had the best stuff for the most inexpensive prices. Blood oranges, strawberries, you name it. Felton Farmer's Market was always a blast as well - they have Hawaiian shaved ice on Tuesday afternoons and roasted corn. Yum!

Capitola Wharf
Ice cream at Polar Bear in Capitola. Perfect after a long bike ride, or after a hot afternoon at the beach. My favorite was Where Have You Bean All My Life? It's actually coffee with ground up coffee beans.

Kianti's Restaurant Santa Cruz
Pizza and salad at Kianti's. Their Friday and Saturday night show of Riverdance like dancing from their waiters and music turned up extremely high, then the owner's nephew flipping pizza dough in the air, behind his back, and alcohol being thrown on the fire. It's quite a production. And the best part was the kids being entertained with their own roll of pizza dough to play with. Their outdoor seating is perfect for an afternoon of people watching.

The Buttery Santa Cruz
Cakes at the Buttery. Their sandwhiches are yummy, too, and their pastries. Further down if you feel like walking is a lingerie shop that I wish I could remember the name of. The owner is extremely friendly and used to own the flower kiosk downtown for years before she sold it and decided to open this in her Seabright neighborhood.

Santa Cruz County Fair
The Santa Cruz County Fair for small town fun. If you're ever visiting in fall, this is so much fun. My kids still talk about the Sea Lion show they had.

Twin Lakes Church Aptos, California
Twin Lakes Church for our souls. Pastor Renee Schlaepfer is so wonderful he's actually been to the church we go to and love out here and we tell people how much we miss him and then tell them who and they say "Ooooh, now I get it."

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Boardwalk for good ol' entertainment and a really fun date. Several times B and I had the chance to escape here for a ride or two, just us, when they wouldn't close til' late at night in the middle of the summer. It was like being a kid again. The Giant Dipper always gives me a headache but is a must ride. They have a new twirly ride that I rode and screamed the whole time. The guy across from me was laughing his head off at me and said he didn't know if I was laughing or dying on there.

I've had this post sitting in my drafts forever and figured it was about time to draft it and get it out here for anybody vacationing in Santa Cruz anytime soon. And it's making me miss there so. very. much.


JD said...

Looks tasty!

Laura said...

You've definitely made me want to visit someday. Now you need to make a similar post about Austin :)

Courtney said...

Well I know what I'll be doing next weekend...

Wish you still lived local, I think we'd get along famously!

beth said...

okay, so you should write travel brouchures!! i want to visit there now! and by now, I mean, right now!!

pinksundrops said...

You guys are cute. I love that you loved this post as much as I love everything about that town! You have to make sure and tell me all about your visit Courtney. And when I plan a visit out there I would LOVE to meet up with you! If you like shopping check out Bunny's downtown, LOVE that store. The Farm also has a super cute but tends to be pricey gift store called Magnolia Road inside it, it's fabulous - especially for gifts.

Cecilia said...

Oh my goodness. Lovely photos! And I loved the text that accompanied them, too...all those glorious words of (comfort) food...desserts, tasty delights and in the world do you manage to stay teeny having been surrounded with those temptations?!

I'd love to go visit that town....someday when I can. Thanks for promoting your great experiences there!

girl from florida said...

This post made me SO hungry!! Your details are amazing... I want to visit someday too! Maybe you and Cecilia and I can all go at the same time :)

Cecilia said...

...and when that happens, I just know that the food will even taste more glorious!!! I really really wish that would happen...what fun that would be...and maybe Allison can be there, too! Wow!!!!

Allison said...

I'm definitely in! I would LOVE to visit someday and you know, I thought about you the other day when I was in Whole Foods and there was The Santa Cruz Company food. I think what I saw was lime juice. hehe


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