Seniors Head For “The Happiest CIty In California”
Santa Cruz is said to be the third happiest city in the nation. Well seniors, let’s head west and check out happy Santa Cruz. Hosting one of the last remaining seaside amusement parks on the West Coast or hiking seven miles inland to admire the redwood forest along with a top-notch farm-to-table cuisine, Santa Cruzans love their life and senior visitors do as well.
Situated on the northern part of Monterey Bay, the California city of Santa Cruz lies about 30 miles southwest of San Jose and 74 miles south of San Francisco.
Incorporated in 1866, the city is the seat for the County of Santa Cruz. The principal industries of Santa Cruz are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and education. The University of California at Santa Cruz is located in this city.
Seniors Are You Into Paddle Boarding
Santa Cruz was founded in 1769 by Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola, who named the area after the Spanish name for “Holy Cross.” In the late 1800s, agriculture, logging, lime processing and commercial fishing were the thriving industries.
Local lore has it that Santa Cruz is the birthplace of mainland surfing. There is a plethora of other things to see and do without getting on a surfboard, for instance a paddle-board. Have you ever done that?
Kayak Connection offers tours and hourly rentals. I saw photos of people paddling around with a dog riding on the board. In Santa Cruz, they say that early morning solo paddle is surprisingly serene. On some days you might even see whales floating by.
Santa Cruz is famous for its beaches and for the sport of surfing. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, housed in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, traces more than a century’s worth of surfing history associated with Santa Cruz. Museum visitors enjoy a spectacular view of the city and the Monterey Bay while overlooking the famed surfing site known as Steamer Lane.
Seniors Go From Beaches To Mountains
Santa Cruz seniors go from beach life to mountain life in only 20 minutes time. Roaring Camp Railroads is a narrow-gauge steam engine that invites tourists to chug through huge redwood trees that have been in place for hundreds of years.
The Farmer’s Market has been in place for 27 years and is loaded with certified-organic growers. My wife and daughter would be drawn here with all the organic products. TripAdvisor suggests that senior visitors not miss the West Cliff Drive and then the Natural Bridges State Beach.
And for those with a demanding palate, we start off with SOIF…which means thirst in French. Chef Patrice Boyle is the former owner of a winery in California. This is a wine bar and restaurant with a shop that features fine wines from around the world.
How about some scratch-made organic ice cream from Penny Ice Creamery? Gayle Ortiz invites visitors to taste her gluten-free chocolate cookies. It is a great stop for the makings of a great picnic. I was impressed with her offering of silly-good deviled eggs.
I just might run into you in Santa Cruz, a great place for fun, food and taking in the crisp air along the Pacific Ocean. -jeb