Santa Cruz – on our drive down the Californian Coast we stopped off in Santa Cruz for a night as we wanted to see the fairground boardwalk and wharf. We had arrived out of season and midweek and as such all the fairground rides were shut down (they only open at the weekend off season) which was a shame as it would have been nice to have seen it all lit up and full of people. As it was we were still able to walk around but as there was no-one else around it had a bit of an eerie feel to!
The boardwalk and amusement park was opened in 1907 and is the oldest surviving amusement park in California.
After leaving the boardwalk we wandered along the beach and watched some beach volleyball and there were also some surfers out too. However again it was fairly quite being mid week and off season.
We then decided to stroll along the Santa Cruz Wharf which was celebrating its Centennial year. Despite being off-season there were quite a few people walking along the pier and there were a number of gift shops to wander through and some restaurants and cafes for bites to eat or something to drink.
The downtown area (Pacific Street area) had a bit of a grungy feel to it and sadly a lot of homeless people milling around and we seemed to notice that the police patrol cars circled the area more frequently. Perhaps because it was off season that we noticed these things more as there were less tourists about.
We had a nice time in Santa Cruz but would recommend visiting it when it is busier and everything is open as it gives you more options.