Are you looking the best way to spend the last summer days? Here, you will find a couple of ideas on the way you can organise your time in Santa Cruz.
Take a ride with a steam train
Everyone knows about the predecessors of modern trains which were using steam engines. Today, the technology is not used any more, however, you can still enjoy a trip by going to some destinations in Santa Cruz with a steam train. This summer, you will have two options for a trip.
Start your adventure at Roaring Camp
You will certainly have an unforgettable experience if you travel in the amazing picturesque region surrounded by redwood groves and beautiful Bear Mountain. The road will take you around the forest up to the summit of the mountain while you will be able to listen to the history of Roaring Camp narrated by conductors.
The locomotive offered for this trip is of the narrow-gauge steam type just like the one popular in the 1880s. Such locomotives were used at that time for hauling redwood logs of a giant size out of the area of mountains. Nowadays, the narrow-gauge steam engines which were used by Roaring Camp are regarded to be particularly well-preserved engines among the oldest ones. These steam engines are still used for scheduled service of passenger transportation in America.
If you are interested in taking part in such a trip, you should visit Roaring Camp Railroads which is located at 5401 Graham Hill Road in Felton.
The beach steam train of Santa Cruz
Another option you can use for your trip is the beach train. The trip is also organised by Roaring Camp Railroads, however, its route is different this time.
The route starts in the Santa Cruz Mountains and goes to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. You will be passing picturesque San Lorenzo River Gorge. This point of the trip is particularly exciting since you will be crossing a steel truss bridge constructed in 1909. Moreover, the train will take you to the tunnel built in 1875. Finally, the train will go straight to the Santa Cruz Beach Broadwalk.
Pay your attention to the possibility of purchasing reverse roundtrips. They will take your from the Santa Cruz beach back to Roaring Camp. The tickets for this trip can be purchased straight from the conductor.
The route used by the train during this trip was established in 1875. Its purpose was to carry tourists, picnickers as well as lumber to Santa Cruz and Big Trees. As you can imagine, the line is absolutely historic and, in fact, it is the oldest one in entire California.
Note that there is a train leaving Santa Cruz at 4:15 is one-way, so you will not be able to come back to the Santa Cruz beach by train if you decide to travel at that hour.
Año Nuevo State Park
If you are longing for more exciting experience, you should visit Año Nuevo State Park which was closed for fifteen months. Now, the place is finally open to visitors again and it is absolutely worth your attention.
Año Nuevo State Park is The Natural Preserve which is well-known for being a location loved by northern elephant seals which spend the spring and summer time ashore. The reason they prefer staying on the land is the time they need for shed their fur and the outer skin layer.
The place itself is incredibly beautiful offering the visitors amazing ocean views whereas the opportunity to see seals in their natural habitat is absolutely unforgettable. Walking around the park, do not forget to visit Marine Education Centre and Store, picnic areas as well as the field of wildflowers.
Note that the entrance with pets, strollers and umbrellas is not allowed. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes and use sun protection on the site. It is also advised to take water with you.