santa cruz

Seb and I spent last weekend in Santa Cruz, a college town (home to UC Santa Cruz) on the coast about two hours south of San Francisco. Together with the seaside village of Capitola, immediately south of Santa Cruz, the area is an awesome place to hang out. There’s a big surf culture (the main reason we were there) and a nice downtown with outdoor cafés (such as Café Delmarette, where we had a lunch of roasted red pepper and fennel soup and sausage-and-cheese scones) and pretty old houses that have been turned into restaurants (such as Caffe Pergolessi, where we had beers, and Red Restaurant and Bar, where we had a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and a cheeseburger and fries – classic favorites done well). Much of the area is set up on the coastal cliffs, which made for beautiful runs along the ocean, even with the rain clouds. 

On the way down, we stopped at a fantastic BBQ place in a very modest location – on the side of Highway 1 in Pacifica in an old train car. It’s called
Gorilla BBQ, and it’s pretty good, even when you have to sit down on a curb in the parking lot to eat it while fending off the wind coming off the ocean. On the way back to San Francisco, we made a stop at Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport, where we had chocolate-covered strawberries and a rhubarb turnover. The cute, general store-like farm stand offered everything from homemade soup to coffee for $1 to all the berry products you can imagine. What makes it even more charming is the honor system way of paying for your goods and the picnic tables and Adirondack chairs set up in the front yard so you can enjoy your treats with an ocean view.

Driving down Highway 1 (top left); Gorilla BBQ on the side the highway in Pacifica (top right); walking along East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz (above); surfers in the water between Santa Cruz and Capitola (below left); view of the Capitola pier and Monterey Bay from the cliff-top road (below right).
Cute Capitola buildings along the water (above right); Capitola beachfront (above middle); Capitola village (above left); view of Capitola and the pier from the cliff-top road (below).
Cute Capitola houses lining the canal (above left); view of Capitola out to the ocean from behind the old railroad tracks (above right); beautiful mural on the road in Capitola (below).
A path made in front of some very nice ocean-view houses in Capitola (above); enjoying the sunshine at Swanton Berry Farm (below left); Swanton Berry Farm farm stand (below right).

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