santa cruz sunset

Santa Cruz is Uber Hip Cali

Santa Cruz California seems to have it all…beautiful dramatic beaches, virgin redwood forests, outdoor markets and a mish mash hodge podge culture that oozes awesomeness.

golden sunset

It’s a place where it seems anyone and everyone can be cool.  You’re a bum; that’s cool.  You’re a surfer; that’s cool.  You’re a street artist; that’s cool.  You’re a doctor; that’s cool.  While it has a quintessential Cali vibe, it also seems a bit more laid back.  As if Santa Cruz isn’t trying to be uber hip, it just is.   And it didn’t hurt that the city is home to one of the best coffee roasters we have been to in a really long time.  A cup of Verve coffee on the beach with board in hand… yep, that’s about all I need in life but here are a few of our fave finds…


Best Coffee Shop:


verve coffee


Best Beaches:

  • Dog Beach
  • Lighthouse Point Park
  • Natural Bridges State Beach



Best Tourist Attraction:

Roaring Camp Railroad



Shopping and People Watching:

  • Outdoor Antique Market
  • Street Artists at Lincoln St & Pacific Ave



Best day time activity not at the beach:

Disc Golf at Delaveaga (below: view from the tee box at “top of the world”)

Top of the World DeLaveaga

Where we Parked It:

Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort, even though it’s nothing like a Ranch, but they do have the fastest wifi ever at a campground.


Things you could stand to Skip:

  • The boardwalk – the same as every other boardwalk
  • Beach at the boardwalk – unless you just really want to be surrounded by people

santa cruz boardwalk


Share your take on Santa Cruz in the comments below, were you wowed or bummed out by this city?

Disclaimer: While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Thousand Trails!)…all of our experiences and opinions are NOT purchased and are our own.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (16)

  • Mike shea III

    I grew up in SC and while there is much more, I thought you hit the basics pretty well! Glad you got to visit and nice work.

  • Brad

    Ha! The guy sitting next to the piano is my son!! I live in COLD Minnesota. We love RVing, traded our 12 year old 5th wheel for a 2015 Newmar Dutch Star last May and put 7k miles on it by the end of the season. Next year another swing through New England (daughter getting her MBA in May) and Canyon lands in the fall. Need to drive it to Santa Cruz!!

    • Brad

      Oops, typo. That’s a 2005 Newmar…can’t afford a new one 😉

  • “A mish mash hodge podge culture that oozes awesomeness”

    This is perfect. Just a funky slice of paradise.

    • Haha, we absolutely loved Santa Cruz! Can’t wait to return.

  • Nicki Baer

    Ah.. SC is such a magical place. We were fortunate enough to call it home for 5 years. The Verve has a special place in my heart! The raw wood beams on the ceiling and the sweet staff:) Very pleasant and one of a kind experience.

    • Surprised how much we enjoyed SC, we had visions of foggy, wet, days similar to SF…oh boy how we were wrong! Can’t wait to go back.

  • Melanie

    How much did it cost you at the Thousand Trails? Also, I noticed that a lot of people had light jackets on in your video. What time of the year was it taken?

    • Melanie,
      we were in Santa Cruz in mid-April, it’s can be a little nippy when the wind kicks up, but when all is calm you can rock the shorts and T-shirts no problem.
      For Thousand Trails you can pay per night which typically ranges from $30-$40 or so…OR…you can buy a membership for 500 bucks or so and stay for free at all the TT parks. It’s a cool program for sure, but you’ll want to check out their site for the details and up-to-date pricing.

  • Randy Spencer

    Damn, you were in my back yard and I didn’t notice, and when the post goes up you are long gone… Good job of getting the feel of the place, gives me great confidence to trust your other reviews as you circle the nation. Check out the San Juans’, now that you are up north, love to know how you find getting from island to island with that big a vehicle

    • Randy,
      We’re about to tackle the San Juans next month, don’t think we’ll have the RV on the islands, but we’re hoping to charter a boat here and there to visit a few.
      As for the timing, I hear you 100%! I too wish we could accomplish everything before we left town, but that would mean we’d be in each city for a minimum of 2 weeks. Crazy right?

  • Richard Hubert

    Did you get to Big Basin State Park just north of Santa Cruz? Beautiful big tree forests and mountains.

    • The Roaring Camp train dropped us off in the middle of some old growth, then we hiked the state park through the old growth across from the train. We take any chance we have to be surrounded by giants!

  • Wow guys loved this post and the beautiful pictures! don’t know how you get the pictures to change like that! it is uber hip! xox Karin

  • Jason

    So cool that you visited Delaveaga! As soon as i saw your post about SC, I thought to myself, “if only they knew about DeLa.”

    Are you disc golfers? If so, then that makes your site even more cool and interesting! If not, then no biggie and you are still living the dream. 🙂

    • Jason we are totally Disc Golfers, we used to post often about disc golf but it never got any love on FB, but this course was too cool to skip a mention. Loved it!
      Thanks for watchin’


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