During our day visit to Santa Cruz, we were amazed by the picturesque journey from Carmel and our first-ever visit to this vibrant town. We began with a delightful lunch at The Picnic Basket, a farm-to-table establishment near the wharf where ingredients are delivered daily from the farms, fields and food artisans of Santa Cruz County.
Their fresh salads (try the Harvest or Market salad), sandwiches, and other specialties left us raving, and we couldn’t resist trying their incredible The Penny Ice Creamery, with flavors like mint chip and dark chocolate.
Be prepared to wait a bit or put your order in early as there is good reason that the Picnic Basket is so popular!
Next, we ventured to Roaring Campground, a scenic 20-minute drive away, for a Steam Train adventure through the enchanting redwood forest.
The towering trees and captivating views provided a relaxing backdrop as we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the steam train during our 90-minute journey. Afterward, we took a leisurely stroll around the 0.8-mile loop and even crawled into the Fremont tree—a must-see experience. Don’t miss exploring the charming Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz with its unique shops and eateries.
To end our Santa Cruz adventure on a high note, we dined at the Chaminade Resort & Spa, a short distance away. The View Restaurant lives up to its name, offering breathtaking ocean views alongside fantastic cuisine. We started with the mouth-watering burrata & heirloom tomato salad with figs and balsamic vinegar, as well as their delectable fried calamari appetizer.
For our entrées, we savored the local fresh halibut and the seared sea scallops served with peas in a delectable sauce. The Chaminade Resort & Spa is the perfect spot for a memorable dining experience.
Assisted Writing/Editing & Photos by Lisa Koff