Coasting in Santa Cruz

Summer heat is still on, so keep on coasting with a little help from Santa Cruz County. Here are some hikes, bike rides, and brewpubs to keep your cool.

Week: 08.02.2023
Regions: Northern CA

Into the Wilder

Coastal hike and bike ride at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz County

Cool summer breezes, stunning seaside cliffs, sweeping coastal views, and sandy beaches—this 8-mile hike or bike ride at Wilder Ranch is the perfect summertime treat, with a craft brewery bonus for extra refreshment.
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Medford's Made for Summer

Summer Vacation Road Trip to Medford, Oregon

Located in the heart of Southern Oregon’s sublime Rogue Valley, Medford is a road-trip basecamp made for summer getaways!
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Bike, Beach, Craft Brew

Bike from Watsonville to Sunset State Beach in Santa Cruz County

This 12-mile (round-trip) gravel trail leads cyclists from Watsonville to the sandy shores of Sunset State Beach, with a brewpub bonus for a post-ride thirst quencher.
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Stairways to Santa Cruz

Explore Santa Cruz by taking its mural and mosaic stairways

Golden beaches, beautiful Pacific views, and famous surf … don’t just take the famous boardwalk to see Santa Cruz: Take the stairs! This 2.6-mile urban hike features four cool stairways through Santa Cruz’s lively downtown and beautiful neighborhoods—rich with history.
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  1. Golden Gate's Blue Heron

    Golden Gate Park’s Blue Heron Lake is home to birds of many feathers, turtles lounging on rocks, visitors from afar, and locals who love this urban oasis in San Francisco. Try the "Boats and Breakfast" rowboat or pedal boat deal.

  2. Cañada Collage

    This 4.3-mile loop through Cañada Del Oro Open Space Preserve showcases all the highlights of the season, thrumming with wildlife and wildflowers.

  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

  4. Hike Kortum Trail on the Sonoma Coast

    GOAT Coastal Hike + Sunset

    GOAT (greatest of all time) Sonoma Coast experience? Hike the Kortum Trail, wine taste on a patio overlooking the Russian River, and catch a sensational sunset at, yep, Goat Rock Beach.


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  1. Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 13 sites and no motorized boats.

  2. Fancy Camp

    Wanna go rugged on the coast, minus the whole pitching your own tent and sleeping on the ground bit? Mendocino Grove is spot-on for upgrading your roughing-it experience, with beautifully appointed tent-cabins set across the bluffs overlooking Mendocino Bay.

  3. A Splash of Whiskeytown

    Located just 8 miles west of Redding and surrounded by mountain peaks, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is nearly 40,000 acres of all things outdoors: waterfalls, campgrounds, beaches, hiking trails, and a beautiful crystal-clear lake at the center of it all.

  4. Bucks Up!

    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.