Best Places to Take in the Natural Beauty of Santa Cruz

Best Places to Take in the Natural Beauty of Santa CruzSanta Cruz is full of some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the country and this is part of the reason why it continues to be such a desirable place to live. If you are trying to learn more about Santa Cruz while you are considering a move here, you need to check out some of the best places in the city to enjoy the outdoors and natural beauty of Santa Cruz. 

Santa Cruz's Best Outdoor Viewpoints

West Cliff Drive

When people think of a scenic California coastal drive the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) often comes to mind. But this is probably because they have not taken a drive down West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. It is the best place to experience sea cliffs high above the bay. The road winds from Natural Bridges State Park to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum two more great spots to help you experience and fall in love with Santa Cruz. 

You can experience West Cliff Drive by car or on foot. There are many pathways that line the cliffs and walking is the popular activity here. It is a great way to take your time here and drink in all the beauty of the shoreline. It's especially amazing at sunset. 

Lookout Trail in Pogonip Park

When people think of a scenic viewpoint they often picture a spot at a high elevation that allows them to see as far as the eye can see. One of the highest viewpoints in Santa Cruz is at Lookout Trail in Pogonip. The trail offers amazing views of Santa Cruz including both the redwood forest and the ocean. 

You can find the trail by taking Coolidge Drive and finding the dirt parking lot on the side of the road. You can see the amazing view right from the parking lot. You can also take a hike through Pogonip and arrive at the viewpoint as a reward for your exercise efforts. To take the hike and end at the viewpoint, start on Golf Club Drive and start hiking west. 

Crow's Nest Restaurant

There are many great restaurants in Santa Cruz and many have amazing views. One of the most popular Santa Cruz restaurants for the view is Crow's Nest. One of the best spots to take in the sights of iconic Santa Cruz is at the marina. Crow's Nest is right on the water and almost every single seat puts you front row to enjoy the water, marina, and boats moving in and out. 

Crow's Nest is iconic and has been in Santa Cruz for around 50 years. They serve an all-day menu and feature live entertainment including comedy nights and music. 

Visit the Wineries in Summit Road

Not many people realize that Santa Cruz has some of the most amazing wineries located in one of the most picturesque spots in California. A majority of the wineries can be found in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The most popular viewpoints are the wineries located on Summit Road. Get high-up views of both the forest and ocean along with the other mountain peaks. Soquel Vineyards is popular for its great view of the bay. Enjoy a glass of locally crafted wine while enjoying the beauty of Santa Cruz. 

Engelsman Loop Trail

One of the countless great hikes to take in Santa Cruz with a great viewing spot. Find the trailhead at Wilder Ranch State Park. Climb to the top of ocean bluffs (not extremely high) and to the hilltops in the forest. You get a great view of the ocean. This hike also takes you through almost all of the natural terrain types found in Santa Cruz including the forest, grasslands, and ocean bluffs. Enjoy a portion of the trail or make a day of the full 9.6-mile trail. 

Getting to know the outdoor beauty (and some of Santa Cruz's best comfort food spots) is a great way to fall even more in love with Santa Cruz and continue forward with your moving plans. If you are looking for a great home in Santa Cruz I am here to help. Contact me anytime for any of your Santa Cruz real estate needs.

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