Argued to be the original surf city, Santa Cruz is a delightful place to linger for a day or two. It’s so much more than the picturesque boardwalk most people identify it with. Although it is an ideal setting for family fun, it also serves as a perfect romantic getaway. Sand, surf and butterflies, whatever your pleasure, Santa Cruz has an inviting beauty that has its visitors coming back for more.
West Cliff Drive
Rent a tandem bike at Pacific Avenue Cycles and take a leisurely bike ride down West Cliff Drive stopping at Steamer Lane to watch all the surfers catch waves. Take in the views and make Natural Bridges your destination.
Natural Bridges State Beach
Known for a natural bridge that has changed form over the years, this is an ideal place to watch sunset or picnic during the day. During low tide, there are tide pools that have a plethora of colorful ocean life.
Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve at Natural Bridges
From mid-October to mid-February you can witness the migration of the butterflies here. There is an observation deck in a grove of eucalyptus trees where you can lay on the deck, look up at the beauty and whisper to each other as butterflies flutter around you.
Well Within Spa
They do couples massages that you can mix with hot tub and sauna time. Even though it’s in the middle of town, most of the hot tub rooms are outdoors with greenery and a water feature that makes you feel like you are somewhere much more exotic. The place will leave you feeling very Zen.
Actually in Capitola, this charming restaurant is worth the short drive. Surrounded by trees, a waterfall and gardens with a cute little cable car, this restaurant is perfect for intimate conversations. Make a reservation and ask for a table near the fireplace. Be sure to steal a kiss in the cable car.
Chocolate Restaurant Santa Cruz
If you’re looking for a traditional aphrodisiac, chocolate and wine are a delicious combination. Get the adult chocolate misbehavior dessert plate to share outside at Chocolate.
Del Mar Theater
Del Mar is an old fashioned movie theater that offers midnight movie showings where you can canoodle into the late night. They also offer date night specials for dinner and a movie for 2 for 50 bucks.
The Dream Inn
If you decide to stay the night, this boutique hotel is right on Cowell’s Beach. All rooms either have an ocean or pool view and the location makes for easy access for late night or sunrise strolls.