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Top park recommendations from locals

Beach
“Nice beach, tide pools, nature center. Also is a monarch butterfly migration destination Oct-Feb each year.”
  • 136 locals recommend
Park
“The starting point for many of our amazing trails, Wilder Ranch leads you to the UCSC trails and offers endless options for epic riding.”
  • 103 locals recommend
Park
“This is the perfect little beach for small children. The water is very calm. There are nearby public bathrooms. You can also rent wetsuits and kayaks at the Adventures by the Sea shack located at Lover's Point.”
  • 49 locals recommend
Beach
“Easy access beach for bonfires, watching the sunset and going for a beach jog. ”
  • 38 locals recommend
State / Provincial Park
“Great family beach, check out the Cement Ship landmark for this beautiful beach. Dogs on a leash. ”
  • 23 locals recommend
Park
“Long sandy stretch (miles) of beach. Good surf and fishing. Free parking just outside of lot. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Park
$
“Amazing indoor-outdoor market area with a variety of food and beverage vendors. Check website for entertainment schedule. Right next door to the MAH.”
  • 11 locals recommend
Park
“Great views across the Monterey Bay. Lots of surfers and otters and whales and dolphins and even some Orcas at times”
  • 13 locals recommend
Surf Spot
“Steamer Lane is a famous surfing location in Santa Cruz, California. It is just off a point on the side of cliffs in the West Cliff residential area near downtown Santa Cruz, providing easy access and a good vantage point for viewing. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is housed in a lighthouse there.”
  • 16 locals recommend
Park
“gorgeous little hidden gem park with super cool built in slides and modern style play gym. ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Park
“Arriving in October, monarch butterflies cluster together on pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees in the Sanctuary. Because of this unique migration, Pacific Grove is nicknamed "Butterfly Town, U.S.A." The best time to see the Monarchs is in November and December, but some will stay as late as March. After arriving at their destination, the monarchs cluster in large masses for protection from the elements. Since their flight muscles do not function well unless the temperature is above 55 degrees, they rest quietly on the trees, resembling dead leaves, until sunlight warms them enough to fly. On warm days, the butterflies will leave the trees entirely, seeking out nectar sources with which to”
  • 13 locals recommend
Park
“The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park sits atop Mission Hill offering a patio, gardens, and excellent views of the city. Guided Adobe Tours and Living History Demonstrations are great opportunities for in-depth study and hands-on experiences. You can also enjoy a self-guided tour whenever the park is open. ”
  • 5 locals recommend
Park
“Great park in the neighborhood, overlooks harbor, has dog park, playground, picnic tables, skating area and grassy field”
  • 6 locals recommend
Park
“This is a very out of the way and usually a very quiet beach. It does take a bit of a hike to get down to the water but its a nice place for a beach run/hike. ”
  • 6 locals recommend
Park
“Relatively quieter beach. Fire pits at certain times of the year. Must be reserved way in advance by showing up early and staking a 'claim' over the pit by sitting around and shooing off everyone else who tries to grab the spot. :-)”
  • 7 locals recommend