On our travels to the Bay Area, we felt for a more authentic California experience, we had to do at least a mini day trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. So one of the days, we set out, rented a car, and went for it. If time allows for it on your visit, this is a must do on your list! The state route literally hugs the ocean as you wind around bends and mountains, and provides you with really unique perspectives.
After we rented the car, we made the coastline trip from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. The highway is over 600 miles long, so we did not do the whole ride since we only had the rental for that day. We are from the Philadelphia area, so when we typically go to the beach, we go down the shore (Jersey Shore) and I personally had never seen surfing before. We honestly do not get too many on the east coast, so it was awesome to witness that in person! Especially as we got closer to the Santa Cruz region, we did see a lot in action catching the waves and that was very cool.
When we arrived at Santa Cruz, besides the beautiful beach, we wanted to see the Walton Lighthouse. After we parked our car, there was a little bit of a hike to get there, and I heard a noise coming off the docks with the boats. It turns out that there were a couple seals hanging out by the docks, one swimming around, and the other was taking a sun bath. I am very happy that we investigated this noise, and they are fairly typical in this region!
As we made our way up to the lighthouse, one thing I made note of is that there is a very wide path leading up to it. The structure itself is very tall, regal, and elegant. Location wise, it is right at the northern end of the Monterey Bay, and close to the Natural Bridges Park. There is a relaxed beachy surfer vibe going on in Santa Cruz, and I highly recommend it for a fun day trip!
Let me know in the comments if you have ever traveled to Santa Cruz, and what you thought about it as well. Remember to click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!