Santa Cruz is a place I have always wanted to go. Elisa and Dwayne go there all of the time, we have friends that went to college there, and Amanda has a salon there.
So, I was very disappointed in the city when we got there. I am not sure if I have lived in Orange County too long and am too use to beach cities here or how much I love Monterey & SF (not downtown SF) and the wharfs...but Santa Cruz is not a city i would probably go back to again. IT IS DIRTY! Derek kept asking if he could rate a city and not the hotel we stayed in because the owners were very nice. I do not think Derek will ever go back there again. It was just not for us. Hippie towns are a different breed.
The location of our hotel was ideal! One block away from the beach and board walk. However, the hotel itself was not the greatest. I was later told...never stay by the beach...what is up with that! What made up for the hotel was really the location to the boardwalk, wharf and downtown.
A positive for the kids was that they had there own 'little room.'
They also LOVED the boardwalk with the pirate themed indoor mini golf. They all did not like the HUGE Laughing Sali. Thank goodness she was enclosed in glass. I am afraid what the kids would have done if they had heard her laugh!
We walked to Downtown...another place we were later told not to go to. What the heck! Note to self...do not go by riverbeds in any city. So many bums and the smell was horrible. Derek felt horrible that he wanted to walk to get some sushi. It was not that bad to me, but being the "man-protector" that he is just made him mad at the entire thing. The restaurant being closed from 3-5 did not make it better. Then the next two restaurants were closed and we ended up at 'Woodstock Pizza' where we had glutton free pizza. I am lying, we did not have it, but we could have had one for $2 more:) haha
Later we went down to the wharf for dinner, but could not go walk beach side because of very shady activity going down. Oh Santa Cruz, why could you not be Monterey! I am just happy Derek wanted to get out and do stuff on his vacation.