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You're Not From Around Here, Are You?

A quick guide to staple Santa Cruz attractions for outsiders who want to get in and insiders looking to get out this summer

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Spanning 276 miles of shoreline between Marin and Cambria, this 5,322-square-mile marine sanctuary is one of the world's most diverse ecosystems, with the heart of it all lying right here in the Monterey Bay. Endless opportunities to take advantage of the sanctuary's resources abound in Santa Cruz, including kayaking, hiking, whale watching, fishing, sailing, surfing and scuba diving.

Pacific Garden Mall

This outdoor mall is the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. Filled with eclectic shops selling one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothes and art, as well as plenty of books, music and quirky thrift stores. Street performers lend the mall its unique bohemian character, and a wide variety of restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters keep visitors entertained into the wee hours.

Pasatiempo Golf Club

Designed by world-renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie (who also designed Augusta and Cypress Point), this 6,439-yard, par-70 course was rated as one of the top 100 courses in the country by Golf Digest.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

California's oldest amusement park is about as original and memorable as boardwalks come. The only major seaside amusement park on the Pacific Coast, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk blends nostalgia with modern thrills. You can buy a bag of saltwater taffy, get your fortune told in the old-style arcade, take a road-rage-releasing ride on the bumper cars, or test your mettle on the giant wood-framed roller coaster, The Giant Dipper, whose unforgettable dips rival any extreme adventure in new theme parks. Open daily through Labor Day, weekends fall through spring.

Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History

Tour the many habitats of Santa Cruz simply by strolling through the exhibit area; visit woodlands, chaparral, grasslands and a variety of marine environments. Pound acorns the Ohlone way, excavate sand dollars, tickle a sea star or get up close and personal with a living bee hive. Great for all ages, although children particularly enjoy climbing on the cement whale, which is located on the front lawn.

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

Santa Cruz's Misión la Exaltación de la Santa Cruz, established 1791, was the 12th mission built in California. Perched atop a steep hill overlooking downtown Santa Cruz, the mission is the only structure of the original Neary-Rodriguez adobe cluster still standing. Although it's been damaged by several earthquakes over the years, the single-story adobe mission has since been restored to its original design.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

This downtown Santa Cruz landmark focuses on contemporary and historical visual culture with a series of rotating exhibitions. The permanent collection displays historical artifacts that illustrate the unique history of Santa Cruz. The museum also offers docent-led tours of the historic Octagon building, the Evergreen Historic Cemetery and the Davenport Jail Museum.

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is housed in the small, brick Mark Abbon Memorial Lighthouse overlooking Steamer Lane. Focusing on Santa Cruz's surfing history, the Surfing Museum displays unsinkable redwood plank surfboards and photographs of sets and breaks from the 1930s on, and sells books, T-shirts and other cowabunga paraphernalia.

L. H. Selman Ltd. Glass Gallery

Little-known fact: In addition to some of the finest glassware, sculptures and jewelry around, the Glass Gallery features one of the only museums in the country devoted entirely to paperweights.

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From the June 25-July 2, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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