Santa Cruz marks the top end of the most spectacular part of the California coastline, with Monterey,
Carmel, Big Sur and San Simeon following on to the south. It's a small city with a heritage of surfing,
Volkswagen Beetles, good living and mild climate. Central attraction down by the beach is the
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
We stopped off in Santa Cruz for a night on our California coast tour of 2010, staying at the Ocean
Gate Inn, a fairly standard motel. As it was a Monday night there wasn't a lot going on in the evening,
but that didn't stop us from having a few in the bar "Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer".
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a full scale seaside theme park, and it's all very Blackpool Pleasure
Beach, but without the casinos. It was opened in 1907 and proves enduringly popular.
Beach condos at Santa Cruz, by the Sea and Sand Inn.
Sand spit and sunbathers at Santa Cruz beach. The Pacific summer fog loiters in the background.
By the Municipal Wharf there was a collection of seals, variously basking and barking. All this one
needs is a beach ball on the end of its nose.
The Del Mar Theatre on Pacific Avenue, in the centre of Santa Cruz. Not dissimilar to another art deco
movie house we saw in
San Luis Obispo.
Further around the coast past Monterey is the scenic Seventeen Mile Drive, which takes you through a
beautiful coastal area lined with large fancy houses, such as these.
The Pacific coast looking south towards Carmel. The seaweed may not have smelled all that fresh, but
it makes for a nice picture.
The Lone Cypress towards the southern end of 17 Mile Drive. This tree is a symbol of Pebble Beach.
Pebble Beach golf course itself as seen from the road. I had to take this photo quickly, as there was
a sign promising the releasing of hounds for folk loitering around here. The course has one of the
most splendid settings of any golf course in the world.
Bedecked caddying types welcome you to The Lodge at Pebble Beach. This is a fancy establishment, opened
in 1919, and with the high green fees to match.
Inside The Lodge at Pebble Beach, there are the same great views across the Pacific, by roaring log
fires (even in summer!)
Near to Pebble Beach is the small town of Carmel, officially known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, another very
pretty Californian location. It's very popular with writers, poets and painters. These colourful
cars were on Ocean Avenue by the bell arch.