Local guides call upon their passions for both history and culinary scenes to share their wisdom during their afternoon walking tours. The Santa Cruz food tour eschews the more touristy spots along the boardwalk and wharf, and Capitola food tours traverse the hilly seaside village, stopping at eateries such as Quail and Thistle Tea Room and Paradise Beach Grille along the way. Between tastings, the guides impart anecdotes about each neighborhood’s rich cultural history, thereby allowing groups time to digest meals and fold carry-out restaurant menus into sun-shielding parasols. Additionally, they happily arrange tours that accommodate vegetarian diets.
The accommodating staff at Bike Dojo, a cycling gym founded by Rob Mylls, keeps the community active with two-wheeled activities ranging from indoor spin classes and kid-based ride programs. Schwinn indoor recreational bikes perch inside the studio space, beckoning exercisers of all levels to pedal their way through energetic classes that boost cardiovascular health and finally put Tour de France commemorative bike shorts to use. Bike Dojo memberships grants full access to the facility and every new member joining Bike Dojo contributes to a child in the community through Dojo's program, Project B.I.K.E., which donates a bike to a child for every new membership.
Since 2004, Super Jet Limo's smartly dressed chauffeurs have transported clients in a fleet of stylish town cars. They drive travelers to and from San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. In addition, they facilitate sightseeing tours and provide transportation for special events, such as proms and weddings. In the case of the latter, they'll even outfit limos with customized Just Married signs.
From the shore, Seal Rock—with its rounded crags and compact shape—looks like an oversize mass floating on the Pacific Ocean. Upon closer examination, one can see its silhouette shifting as hundreds of sea lions atop the rock bob their heads or dive into the water. In addition to hosting this majestic hoard, the rock makes for a popular stop for Segway Santa Cruz tours, which peer at it from shore on their way to other sights. Aboard eco-friendly two-wheelers, guides lead groups along Westcliff Drive en route to an array of seaside attractions, including Santa Cruz Lighthouse and Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, as well as Santa Cruz Wharf's boardwalk, restaurants, and shops. The tours are open to guests of all ages with no experience driving a segway, as guides prep each person on safety of the segways before taking off on sightseeing around the town.
Navigate the California coastline from a new perspective—that of a robodolphin who must save the world using echolocation and a blowhole that doubles as a grenade launcher. The Santa Cruz Paddling Experience is a memory-making event that can be scheduled in the morning or evening. This tour includes a leisurely paddle through Monterey Bay to the waters near Lighthouse Point, a journey that drifts between seals and otters basking and cancan dancing in their natural habitat. The Moonlight Paddles tour meets one hour before sunset, giving paddlers enough time to get accustomed to the equipment before slithering across the dark waters into the moonlight to recharge the lunar-powered kayaks. The professional and personable guides at Venture Quest, like two-time world surf-kayak champion Dave Johnston, will thoroughly explain the equipment and procedures before taking off. In the off chance your kayak flips or you have a close encounter with icky seaweed, you'll know exactly what to do. Both two-hour sea sessions are a bit of a workout, but still easy enough for beginner paddlers. If a solo ocean adventure sounds too daunting, go for the double kayak and team up with another to conquer the tepid waters in tandem (each paddler needs his or her own Groupon).
In 1975, Ken Burnap established Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard with one goal in mind: to produce one of the best pinot noirs in California. Four years later he hired his protégé, Jeff Emery, who now runs the vineyard and ensures that it continues to produce award-winning pinots along with complex cabernet sauvignons petite sirahs. The staff makes the rounds of seven vineyards, where it cultivates traditional Californian grapes as well as varieties that originated in Spain and Portugal for its Quinta Cruz label.