Santa Cruz County, California

Looking for the best chillin in Santa Cruz County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Santa Cruz County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Chillin Spots in and near Santa Cruz County

  • Santa Cruz, California

    Hike the Rincon Fire Trail

    5.0
    1 mi / 300 ft gain
    The Rincon Fire Trail Starts at a small dirt parking lot next to CA-9 and traverses down the mountain to the San Lorenzo River Connecting with the Pipeline Trail. The trail can be a simple one of a mile out and back or up to 5 miles depending on your preference. The elevation will change by about...
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  • Felton, California

    Redwood Grove Loop

    4.0
    0.93 mi / 144 ft gain
    Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located just a few miles north of the city of Santa Cruz, along Highway 9. The park is home to an array of hiking and biking trails, but the crown jewel of the park is the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which is only a 1/4 mile in from the park's entrance. Many peo...
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  • Felton, California

    Tree Climb Mount Hermon

    5.0
    Climbing an aerial obstacle course through the redwoods of Mount Hermon is a great way to experience the thrill of climbing and being in the trees.  See what it's like to scurry through the trees like a squirrel.  This unique vantage point offers amazing views of the redwoods. There are many aeri...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Bonfire at Seabright State Beach

    5.0
    This is a wide, beautiful beach that's an amazing spot to spend the day and enjoy a bonfire at night. Seabright is probably the most popular spot in Santa Cruz for a bonfire, due to its convenient proximity to the Beach Boardwalk. But luckily, this beach is tucked in between the San Lorenzo River...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    A Beach Bonfire in Santa Cruz at Twin Lakes SB

    This one-mile stretch of beach is the perfect option for those looking for a peaceful Santa Cruz experience, but without the crowds. The beach features soft sand, playful surf, an awesome view of Walton Lighthouse, and a handful of fire pits to choose from. It's a great spot to spend the entire d...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Beach Day at Lighthouse Field State Beach

    4.0
    This beach is less crowded compared to other beaches in Santa Cruz.  I got there early on a Saturday and found easy street parking.  There was plenty of space to spread out on the soft sand.  Later in the day I saw dolphins several times!  This is close to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.  It’s als...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf at Natural Bridges State Beach

    4.5
    Natural Bridges is off of West Cliff Drive to the north of popular Santa Cruz break, Steamer Lane. The break is a right point break, which breaks on a rocky shelf and reef. The break is best during sizable swells (NW, SW, and West) and a low tide. Be sure to check the wind, this break gets blown ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Explore Panther Beach

    4.5
    Panther Beach's white sand, clear water, and interesting rock formations make it one of the most stunning beaches along this stretch of CA1. But this is a hidden gem for a reason - there are no signs along CA1 for Panther Beach. You need to keep you eyes peeled for cars parked along the side of t...
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  • Davenport, California

    Beach Picnic at Shark Fin Cove

    4.3
    Shark Fin Cove is a large rock formation in an inlet off Highway 1 in Northern California. It is located 1 mile south of Davenport and 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. There is a sizable parking lot located on the side of Highway 1 to park in. Walk down the path left of the parking lot and cross the...
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  • Davenport, California

    Hike around Greyhound Beach and Climb Greyhound Rock

    0.7 mi / 0 ft gain
    The trailhead is at the Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area which is directly off Highway 1. There is a large paved parking lot with a good amount of trees so finding a shady parking spot isn't that difficult (if that's important to you). The parking lot is located on the beach cliffs ...
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  • San Jose, California

    Hike the Quicksilver Trail

    4.3
    5.1 mi / 915 ft gain
    The trails are well maintained and offer good visibility. The trail can be muddy after it rains, and does not have much shade (so bring extra water in the summer).  Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - this trail is frequently used for bir...
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  • Pescadero, California

    Pick Berries at Swanton's Berry Farm

    Take a spectacularly scenic drive or bike ride out to this quaint coastal berry farm. Look out onto the shimmering ocean while you pick the ripest and sweetest berries yourself. Head inside their shop to enjoy pre-made jams, pies, chocolate covered strawberries, and so much more. While you're ins...
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  • Moss Landing, California

    Whale Watching off Moss Landing

    The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is home to some of the most diverse and rich waters in our oceans, and you have the chance to see it up close and personal! The big prize is getting to see a whale, but these waters are teeming with other wildlife from dolphins to otters to sea lions.  F...
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  • Pescadero, United States

    Relax at Costanoa Lodge

    3.0
    Looking for a quick escape from the city, but sleeping on the ground isn’t really your thing? Look no further than Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, an upscale "glamping" experience just an hour south of San Francisco with tons of hiking options. This is a really fun option for anyone who enjoys being...
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  • Pescadero, California

    Hike the Canyon Rim Route in Butano State Park

    5.0
    11.7 mi
    Located deep within the Santa Cruz Mountains, Butano State Park boasts a large redwood canyon with many miles of hiking trails as well as campsites. This state park is one of the quietest and least visited parks on the peninsula making a perfect place to escape the hustle of the Bay Area Butano S...
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  • Loma Mar, California

    Bike Pescadero Creek County Park

    5.0
    12.5 mi / 1350 ft gain
    Pescadero Creek County Park and the connected Sam McDonald and Memorial Park are located deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains holding a vast network of secluded trails. From biking to backpacking, this area is a perfect place for a day or weekend adventure. This area also has the added bonus having r...
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