We stayed one night at Santa Cruz Hampton Inn on Ocean Road, less than two miles from the beach, and 70 miles from San Francisco.
The staff were great and gave us a lot of information about the area. The room was the usual Hampton Inn excellence. View was not much - just the carpark at the back.
The room had two queen beds, a lovely big TV and the most beautiful bathroom.
The rooms overlooked the breakfast room, with a skylight above to give a light airy feeling.
Just down the road is a convenience store, and a few cafes. There was also a fast food restaurant next door.
Peter outside the Hampton Inn.
We left after breakfast and proceeded on our iconic west coast drive headed for the Santa Cruz Beach, wharf and boardwalk. There were a few one way streets that led us on a detour around Santa Cruz, but that was fine as we got to see a little bit more. We drove down to the end of the pier which had a lot of shops and cafes. The pier is over 100 years old and stretches half a mile into the Monterey Bay.
We had a walk around, took some photos, Peter spoke with the fishermen, and then we headed south alone the coast.
We were going to spend a little time in the Beach Boardwalk, but parking was a problem, so we gave it a miss. The roller coaster is an old wooden structure over 90 years old. Wow, still looks scary.
We tended to stay away from the highway and tried to stick to the coast road when possible. The scenery was spectacular.
We drove past Rio Del Mar, some beautiful forests behind Sunset Beach, down through Monterey. Monterey was very crowded, as it was summer holidays in the U.S.
Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones.
Anne Sophie Swetchine