Hotel at a Glance: Rio Sands Hotel
It takes a leisurely two minutes to walk from Rio Sands Hotel to the beach, where about 20 miles of sand greet your toes. Once you’re there, Rio Del Mar and Seacliff State Beaches fill the day with swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The family-friendly hotel’s proximity to the ocean is indeed its biggest asset, but guests also benefit from amenities such as in-room refrigerators and microwaves.
- Go swimming in ocean waters or right outside your room in the outdoor pool.
- Start the day right with an included continental breakfast; coffee service is available at all hours.
- Stay connected with free WiFi.
- Tee off at the 18-hole Seascape Golf Club, which is located about a six-minute drive from the hotel.
Aptos, California: Small Oceanfront Town with a State Park and Beach
Not many people can claim to have a 10,000-acre forest as a backyard—unless you’re one of the people who call the small town of Aptos, California, home. Located on the northwest side of town, The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park features both hiking and biking trails. Another popular destination, Seacliff State Beach, hugs the coast with miles of sand and a pier that leads to an abandoned concrete freighter.
For even more to do, take a short drive to nearby Santa Cruz. A progressive and eco-conscious town, it draws those looking for a relaxing spot to commune with nature. People come to its renowned beaches year-round to sail, dive, stand-up paddleboard, and, most importantly, surf. There are several surfing businesses in town—O’Neill Wetsuits, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Santa Cruz Skateboards—and for good reason: the town boasts 11 world-class surf breaks, including one of the world’s best surfing spots, Pleasure Point.