It wasn’t the nicest of days, which meant it was easy to find parking and few people on the beach. In the distance I could see rain blowing in… perhaps this is normal in Santa Cruz… but it was beautiful and strangely captivating.

There’s more to Santa Cruz than a gaudy, unpleasant, carnival-like strip,colourful surfing hoodies, and contant news stories of muggings, crime, and drug issues. I didn’t encounter any of this during my wanderings.

The only thing I encountered was natural beauty, wind, surfers, runners with dogs, and crocuses poking their heads out of the ground.

In October, you can head down to the Natural Bridges Park and see the migration of the Monarch butterfly.