The Best of Los Gatos
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FOOD & DRINK
A nice spot to read the paper over a hot brew. Watch the locals - and their dogs - congregate outside your window.
Great for breakfast & brunch - but get there early! This place gets crowded (and noisy) fast! Build your own omelet, try the crab cakes benedict or apricot French toast! Cash only.
We usually prefer the food at this quiet spot a tiny bit further down the road - good for lunch as well. The blood orange lemonade, tomato soup, turkey, basil & brie sandwich, smoked salmon & cucumber, pastries are all ... Yum!
Apparently, you can't not have tried Mr. Pickle's enormous subs and sandwiches...
Super fresh sushi - but the cramped interior creates lines out the door so prepare to wait.
Feeling snacky? Try a lunch or dinner of cheeses, meats, salads, crostini and panini. Continue on to mascarpone gelato with strawberries and balsamic glaze. And did I mention it's a wine bar?
Quick, easy and full of flavor. Try a variety of fillings in these Argentine turnovers - from beef or vegetable to tikka masala or pizza.
Try this trendy wine bar known for its tasty dishes and high noise level. Good for groups. Separate gluten-free menu.
For a dinner that you'll rave about for weeks, try Nick's on Main or "Next Door" (we hear this College Ave location is slightly better than the original). Food and ambience are both top-notch. Make your reservation in advance.
Opa!, 27 N Santa Cruz Ave $$
Stop in for a lunch or dinner of souvliaki, moussaka, zucchini chips and Greek pizza...
You may want to wander off the main drag for a casual lunch or some late night BBQ at this long-time hangout. 15 brews on tap and a long list of single malts.
Voted the "Best Massage Therapist in Santa Cruz County."
Manipedis and massage chairs in this clean and quiet salon.
The kids will love this park! - complete with a train, carousel, full-scale model fighter jet, fire truck and other play equipment (rides $2 ea). It's a 1 mile walk down University Ave - or $6 for parking.
9.7 mile paved trail for bikers, walkers, and runners.
National brands like Williams-Sonoma, Apple, and Restoration Hardware appear alongside dozens of independent boutiques and shops for clothing, jewelry, sportswear, vintage and collectibles.
If window shopping sounds better to you (what about through Aston Martin windows?), then check out these Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Lamborghinis... sorry, no test drives.
Every Sunday until 1pm in Town Plaza Park...
Looking for a little history with your beverage? This is the 4th oldest continuously operating winery in California (since 1888). Gorgeous grounds, an outdoor patio, and $10 tastings. Open daily from 11am-5pm.
This famous seaside amusement park offers thrill rides, mini-golf, arcades, laser tag, bowling and more. Restaurants, gift shops, kayak rentals, whale watching tours and fishing are all within walking distance at the Santa Cruz Wharf.
Natural Bridges State Beach
This beach, with its famous natural bridge, is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters playing offshore. Further along the beach, tidepools offer a glimpse of life beneath the sea. Low tides reveal sea stars, crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life. You can also take a guided tour through the monarch grove, where 100,000 migrating butterflies form a "city in the trees." Be sure to check the website for the Welcome Back Monarchs Day celebration as well - it is held annually in October.
Castle Rock State Park
Located on the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park offers hikers and climbers over 35 miles of trails and 50 different climbing areas. The park has 5,200 acres of wildlands, interesting rock formations, and sweeping views of the San Lorenzo Valley and Pacific Ocean. Castle Rock is the highest point in the park at 3,214 feet elevation. Consider not climbing when the rock is wet as the sandstone is more fragile.
Chardonnay Sailing Charters
Take a Sunset Sail on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary or book and Afternoon Pizza Sail aboard this 70 foot sailing yacht.
Santa Cruz's downtown area offers theaters, shops, bars and restaurants.
Wine Tasting in Santa Cruz County
Choose from over 40 family-owned and operated wineries that specialize in small yield, handcrafted wines.
The Mystery Spot
You have to see it to believe it! The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwoods outside of Santa Cruz. Defy the laws of physics on a 45-minute tour of the area ($6).
To keep the mystery going and get a jump start on a spooky Halloween, check out the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose designed by the Winchester Rifle heiress. Built in the late 1800s, this 160 room mansion is filled with strange phenomena like a window in the floor, doors that open to blank walls and staircases leading nowhere. Don't stray from the tour or you could be lost for hours! They also host fright nights in October and a daytime labyrinth for the kids.
Sonoma and Napa are 100 miles north, and awesome in October.