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Apr 25th
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SC Skating, Climbing, Biking, Boating, Kayaking, SCUBA

standuppaddleSkating, Biking, Boating
Rock Climbing, Kayaking
Stand up Paddling
SCUBA, Rentals

 

Skating

skate_santacruzKen Wormhoudt Skate Park 225 San Lorenzo Blvd. at Riverside Avenue (in Mike Fox park), Santa Cruz  Open from 9am to sunset, you can find pro skaters here and amateurs. Wildly inventive in its design and perfectly situated near Downtown Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk.

Scotts Valley Skate Park 361 King’s Village Road, Scotts Valley Considered one of the best skateparks in the county, this portal for skaters offers the most dynamic angles for seasoned skateboarders. But newbies shouldn’t shy away.

Depot Park Bike Park
119 Center Street, Santa Cruz, 831-420-6164 BMX riders unite. The park boasts a bowed 8-foot-high wall ride and 2- and 4-foot jumps in addition to street obstacles and a total absence of inline skaters.

Stand up Paddling

Covewater Paddle Surf 726 Water Street, Santa Cruz,  831-600-7230, Covewater.com  Covewater is Northern California’s only fully dedicated stand up paddleboard (SUP) shop. Providing stand up paddleboards, equipment, rentals and friendly classes is their sole focus. Stand up and see the ocean from a whole new perspective!

 

Rock Climbing

Castle Rock State Park Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, perched along Skyline Boulevard is a premiere bouldering destination and sport climb heaven. Formed from ancient beaches, the sandstone crags have enticing wind-made caves and a variety of bolted routes for about every skill level. Castle Rock proper has a bomber top rope anchor with a variety of routes to challenge the uninitiated.

Pacific Edge Rock Climbing Gym 104 Bronson St. #12, Santa Cruz, 831-454-9254, pacificedgeclimbingym.com  What a wild time you can have here! And all for about the same price of a health club. Pacific Edge, a local favorite, offers an impressive variety of indoor climbing. Bouldering, face climbs from 5.2 to 5.13, a roof, weight room, even a crack climb, make this one of the premiere rock gyms in the country. It’s also a great place to learn the ropes, practice and keep in shape for the real outdoor adventures.

Pinnacles National Monument Ninety minutes south of Santa Cruz, 831-389-4485 It gets two or three inches closer to Santa Cruz a year thanks to the San Andreas Fault slip-sliding north. Twenty-three million years ago, this volcanic formation was in the Mojave Desert, hence the sometimes dicey holds. This is a sport climber’s paradise.

Yosemite Perhaps the reason why climbers really live here is because of the granite of Yosemite—a mere four-hour drive from here. Another two hours over Tioga Pass and the East Side of the High Sierra.

 

Boating

Capitola Boat and Bait 1400 Capitola Wharf Road, 831-462-2208  Be the captain of your boat when you rent a 16-foot skiff and 8 HP motor. Nothing quite beats a day motoring around the bay with a fishing rod at your whim and command.

chardonnayChardonnay Sailing Charters 704 Suite A, Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz 831-423-1213 or chardonnay.com This magnificent charter offers luxury at a great price. Wine tasting, private charters, whale watching (gray whales in spring, humpbacks in summer) and bay cruises.

Lighthall Yacht Charters Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, lighthallcharters.com, 831-429-1970  It’s easy to feel like an aristocrat even on a budget, with a luxurious sailing yacht. Up to six passengers can enjoy a voyage on one of the 34-to-47 foot yachts for an affordable price. Yachts may be booked for private charters, lessons, corporate events or spreading the remains of a loved one at sea.

O’Neill Yacht Center 2222 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz 831-476-5202  Offering sailing lessons, rentals and charters on their giant catamaran, O’Neill is tops when it comes to experiencing the Bay firsthand.

Pacific Yachting Sailing School & Charter Boating 790 Mariner Park Way, Santa Cruz  831-423-7245 or pacificsail.com Pacific Yachting incorporates team building and more. Eighteen sailboats are on hand and the company will charter sailing beauties from 22 to 43 feet.

Santa Cruz Sportfishing, Inc. 831-426-4690 or Santacruzsportfishing.com Fifty feet of pure fishing pleasure greets you onboard the Makaira. Offering some of the best in deep-sea fishing and whale watching.

Santa Cruz Boat Rentals 15 Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf 831-423-1739 or santacruzboatrentals.net Some of the best variety is found here. Featuring 24 wooden skiffs, 17 feet long with six HP motors.

MTM Sport Fishing 2210 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 831-476-2648, shamrockcharters.com  Fishing and whale watching outfit with years of experience plying the Monterey Bay.

Stagnaro’s Fishing Trips 32 Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf 831-427-2334 or stagnaros.com One of the original Italian fishing families in Santa Cruz, Stagnaro’s offers fishing trips, whale watching and cruises on the bay that will take your breath away.

 

kayak_waveKayaking

Adventure Sports Unlimited 303 Potrero St., Santa Cruz 831-458-3648, asudoit.com Adventure Sports is the aquatic fun center for kayaking and diving in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Certified dive masters and instructors teach SCUBA in a pool heated to tropical temperatures and lead dive trips in the bay. Adventure Sports also offers kayak rental and instruction.

Kayak Connection 413 Lake Ave., No. 4, Santa Cruz, 831-479-1121, kayakconnection.com  Expect kayaking tours of Elkhorn Slough and Monterey Bay, local open coast paddling tours and local overnight sea kayaking trips. Elkhorn Slough is one of 17 estuarine reserves in the United States, and home to saltwater, freshwater and marshland wildlife—you’ll see a lot of seals, otters, loons, egrets, pelicans and other birds there.

Venture Quest Kayaking 2 Santa Cruz  Municipal Wharf , 831-425-8445,  kayaksantacruz.com Bring your kayak or rent one here and explore the Monterey Bay. If you want to perfect your surf kayaking skills, take a lesson. Venture Quest also offers basic sea kayaking instruction, and sea kayaking tours of the bay are available from just off the Wharf.

 

scuba_jefSCUBA Diving

Aqua Safaris SCUBA Center 6896 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz  831-479-4386, aquasafaris.com Aqua Safaris offers complete lines of top-quality equipment, diving and safety instruction, tank gas fills, exotic dive travel adventures and Monterey Bay excursions. The center has a classroom on site as well as rental and retail centers.

Greater Bay Area, Santa Cruz Scuba Divers club meetup >

Other

CruzCarz 131 Center St., Santa Cruz, 831-423-9666, cruzcarz.com See Santa Cruz at your own pace in a two-seat miniature scooter coupe. You get about 75 miles per gallon and  a GPS, which tells the driver about local sights as the vehicle nears them. Choose a planned tour or choose your own.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management