10 years ago I was fortunate enough to move to Santa Cruz, California to live and study for a year. Still to this day it was one of the best years of my life. What isn’t to love about living by the beach, with views across the ocean, enjoying the chilled atmosphere of a true hippy Californian town?!
It may be a while ago, but I have visited several times since and here are my top five things you must do if you visit!
Visit the Beach Broadwalk
If you are nervous after the recent Alton Towers roller coaster crash then you definitely don’t want to go on the big Dipper at the Broadwalk… but I still think you should. A true traditional old, rickety wooden roller coaster. The old feel of the ride is enough to have you quivering in your flipflops, but regardless this ride is well worth the dollars. A true vintage roller coaster.
Do your shopping at Trader Joes
Ok so this one isn’t specific to Santa Cruz, but this American supermarket is filled to the rafters with tasty ethical treats. Whether it is grabbing lunch to eat on the beach or doing your weekly shop, I remember the fruit and veg was delicious and even the frozen fish seemed top quality and always yummy!
Eat a funnel cake!
Another broadwalk must, funnel cake is kind of like a churro or pancake but smothered in icing sugar or cream and fruit it is delicious. You won’t want to share.
Try your hand at surfing
A true surfers paradise, they even have a statue. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned surfer Santa Cruz has the waves for you.
Eat delicious sushi at MoMos
Now you might have noticed a bit of a food theme with my top five things to do, what can I say, Santa Cruz does good food! This sushi restaurant was the place I first tried and loved sushi. Not a huge fish lover, the thought of raw fish filled with dread, but when a friend asked me to try their California Rolls I gave it a go and was instantly hooked! The fish is the freshest around and even if you daren’t do the raw fish thing, their chicken teriyaki bento boxes are scrummy too.
One final thing just for fun… look out for the pink man. I’m not sure if he is still around, but when I was there a man dressed head to toe in pink, complete with feather bower and hat used to walk slowly up and down the main street in the town, he said to try and make people slow down in this fast paced world. I like the theory, but if nothing else he often poses for photos so look out for him.
When visiting America, don’t forget to sort your ESTA visa. It is compulsory now to sort an ESTA USA visa when visiting the country. It doesn’t take long to fill in and last two years, but without it you won’t get in the country, so remember to get it done before you arrive.