Santa Cruz is the perfect destination for those looking for an adventure-filled vacation. From surfing to mountain biking to trail running, there is something for everyone in Santa Cruz.

Surfing Santa Cruz

The famed surf spot, Steamer Lane, offers prime waves for experienced surfers looking to push the limits of their ability.

Santa Cruz is one of the best places to surf in California. The coastline here is dotted with world-class waves, making it a mecca for surfers from all over the world. There are plenty of places to surf in Santa Cruz, but some of the most popular spots include Pleasure Point, Cowell’s Beach, and Steamer Lane.

  • Pleasure Point is a great place for intermediate surfers, as the waves here are usually relatively small and manageable. On bigger swells, Pleasure Point becomes an entirely different beast. Dangerous rip tides and monster waves transform the break into one of the more extreme spots.
  • Cowell’s Beach is where most tourists surf, and it’s also an excellent spot for beginners. There are plenty of surf shops close by for board rental and a big beach to soak up the sun after a surf.
  • Steamer Lane is where the big waves are, and it’s where you’ll find most of the experienced surfers. The critical take off point is behind a cliff which adds an entirely new danger element. Avoid this break unless you are an expert surfer.

If you’re looking to catch a few waves in Santa Cruz, these are some of the best places to do it.

Where to Mountain Bike in Santa Cruz

The nearby Mountain Bikes Trails provide a challenging and exciting ride through the redwood forests.

For those who love to mountain bike, Santa Cruz is the perfect place to be. There are miles of trails to explore, and the scenery is breathtaking. Whether you’re looking for a challenging workout or a leisurely ride, there’s something for everyone.

One of the best places to mountain bike in Santa Cruz is Wilder Ranch State Park. With over 35 miles of trails, it’s perfect for a day-long adventure. The park also has a variety of terrain, so you can mix things up and keep your ride enjoyable.

Other great spots for mountain biking include

So whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to check out these fantastic places to go mountain biking in Santa Cruz. You won’t be disappointed!

Running Routes Santa Cruz

And let’s not forget about the beautiful oceanfront running trails, offering stunning views while getting in a good workout.

Santa Cruz has some great running routes that offer stunning views of the ocean and wind through the redwood forests. One of the best routes is the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, which starts at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf and follows the river for 3 miles. The route is flat and scenic, making it perfect for a leisurely run or walk.

Santa Cruz River Walk Trial (3.78 mile loop)
Santa Cruz River Walk Trial (3.78 mile loop)

For something a little more challenging, try the Wilder Ridge Trail, which starts at Wilder Ranch State Park and winds up to the summit of Lighthouse Peak. The trail is about 6 miles long and includes some steep sections, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.

Wilder Ridge Loop Trail (6 miles)
Wilder Ridge Loop Trail (6 miles)

If you’re looking for a more secluded option, check out the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, where you can find plenty of trails that wind through towering redwoods. Take Aptos Creek Fire Road to the West Ridge Trailhead. Follow the trail up 5.5 miles to the Sand Point Overlook and retrace your steps to complete the 11-mile route.

W Ridge Trail - The Forest of Nisene Marks Sate Mark (11 miles)
W Ridge Trail – The Forest of Nisene Marks Sate Mark (11 miles)

No matter what your level of fitness is, there’s a running route in Santa Cruz that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking to get your blood pumping and soak up some sun, Santa Cruz should be at the top of your list. Just don’t forget your sunscreen. Happy exploring!