April: Santa Cruz, CA
I remember the first time I visited Santa Cruz was during Spring Break with my new friend in middle school. We briefly stopped here on the way home from Monterey and could already tell I was going to love this popular Northern California beach spot. Since then, almost every time I visited my grandparents I made a trip to the beach. Now that my mother and I lived near it, we couldn't wait to make it back. Since moving here, we had been traveling down to LA so often, Santa Cruz hadn't even happened for us yet. Though since we had visited the famous Boardwalk and beach so often, we decided to try Capitola, CA instead this time. This beach is just the next town over and a bit more secluded, but can still qualify as visiting Santa Cruz for April. When visiting this town of Capitola, I have one huge tip for you... Be ready to find a parking space! I swear we drove around this town for close to an hour trying to find a spot and nothing... Eventually we came across this side street that required a permit in the Summer, but since we visited in the off-season, we came out okay. At this point, I was quite hungry on the verge of hangry and needed to find a bite to eat fast. A staple in Santa Cruz and Capitola is Pizza My Heart. You can buy by the slice or whole pies. My mother and I both decided on ordering two slices each because breakfast was missed as well. After picking up our pizza, we headed down to the beach and found a spot to plant our Tommy Bahama chairs. We have now bought 4 of these from Costco! They easily wear on your back and sit low to the ground, so you can never be in anyones way... Also they don't sink like a lot of foldable chairs do! Anyways, once these were set up, we stared out at the water and enjoyed our pizza. Many people on the beach were in the bathing suits and swim trunks but my mother and I both agreed that though it was nice, the wind was up and we would be cold sitting their in our suits. It was probably around 70 or 75 degrees, which may be hot from some people, but that is quite mild for us. The rest of our day consisted of watching paddle boarders, laughing at kids playing in the sand and water, and planning for the next time we were to visit this town. We highly enjoyed Capitola due to the family-oriented crowd it drew as well as the calm waters that were there. The beach almost looks as though it is in a cove so less of the harsh waves can enter... That is why it looked so much easier for the paddle boarders to be out on the water. On our way out, we stopped at the local Capitola Historial Museum and found out what the town was built on. It is a fun 5-10 minute stop that I think anyone should make on their way in or out of town. We also dropped into some local shops where we purchased my car, Pearl, a new sticker and license frame. In the shop there was a large assortment of skimmers to use on the edge of the water, next time I head out on a big beach trip, maybe Hawaii, I will definitely be getting one!
Either way, if one is heading to Northern California for a vacation and wants to make it to the beach, Santa Cruz or Capitola are sure-things!