The Stagnaro Charter Boats company offers one of the premier Whale Watching in Santa Cruz experiences. Their boat - the Velocity - puts passengers on a fast track to the sea to see what they paid for. Monterey Bay is rich in sea life and it's as if this Santa Cruz Whale Watching service has some sort of long standing agreement with them all (whales to dolphins to seals and even Great White Sharks) so that at least a few of these majestic creatures makes an appearance on every expedition over the waters they call home.
The Velocity passenger yacht is safe, comfortable, and sleek. It offers a full-service galley which serves breakfast, lunch, and beverages for your journey (depending on the package). You'll find it difficult however, to stay inside its comfortable interior as the sea and its scenery surrounding Santa Cruz beckons you to the spacious walk-around deck. Even when packed with a "full house" there is plenty of elbow room to take out your camera and swing around in a 360 degree motion in an attempt to capture every moment possible - there are plenty. There is even exterior seating for those that want to enjoy the great Pacific scene from the comforts of a seat.
We've been on many seasonal whale watching tours along the Pacific coast of North America and we can say that Santa Cruz Whale Watching is one of the most consistent around with respect to getting up close and personal with the marine life within. Be sure to follow the whale watching seasons in Monterey Bay so that you can plan your trip accordingly.
Many seasoned tandem skydiving operations forget to remember one thing when taking someone out to skydive for the first time - that it's their first time. Too often this life changing experience is spoiled because a tandem instructor wears a glazed "over it" expression on their face that says they've done this a thousand times and have had to hear them same nervous questions over and over again. They forget what it was like when on their own first skydiving experience. However, the staff at Skydive Surf City maintains that first-timer excitement - except of course they have the years of expertise that you want (insist upon) from your tandem instruction. You see, the crew at Skydive Surf City stays stoked because they are stoked for you. Your excitement is theirs and the two of you share the experience together while strapped to one another falling 12,000 feet from the skies overlooking Santa Cruz. That kind of bond forms friendships even if that union is physically kept for a matter of minutes. No matter what, you will remember the staff at Skydive Surf City for the rest of your lives because your lives rested safely in their hands.
This is what makes Skydive Surf City so very different than many other skydiving outfits out there across America. Factoring in the coastal California scenery while free falling is simply an added bonus - albeit a damn big one.
The pacific waters off of the shores of Santa Cruz don't exactly offer the aquarium like clarity of Hawaiian seas or even reflect the same blue tones of the neighboring coastal stretches of Southern California. In fact the shore line off of Santa Cruz can be described as dark navy at times. But this stark contrast does not deter the Stand Up Paddling (SUP) crowd from grabbing plank and dipping paddles into the water to push out from the harbor. Gliding along the salt water of Santa Cruz offers a different perspective that many declare is a refreshing removal from the norm. Staring down from a 5 foot or taller perch (depending of course upon your height) while skimming the surface showcases the unique marine life of the area like no other watercraft experience. The kelp beds of Santa Cruz are intriguing to inspect as you pass over the many patches in Santa Cruz waters. Their deep green tone, rubbery texture, and sea glass like bulbs the size of seal heads create an environment that few can say they've had the pleasure to paddle. Real seals too poke their curious heads out to inspect you and your SUP as if to welcome you into their playful domain. Dolphins often arch their forms along the side of those that veture out into the deep and in the thick of whale migration seasons you can be blessed by the sight of passing or even breaching humpbacks and gray whales. Be carefull not to get knocked off of your feet, not from the marine life, but from your own excitement.
Description : ABOUT Venture Quest Kayaking…view more
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Venture Quest Kayaking
Conveniently located at the Santa Cruz Wharf Venture Quest Kayaking offers a quick and easy opportunity to launch a watercraft from the best starting block towards a day spent exploring the Monterey Bay. No need to drag your rented kayak through the sand or strap it to the roof of your car, the helpful staff at Venture Quest will get you on your way from their funky little painted shack and into the sea in no time. Kayaking this region is a unique experience that allows participants the opportunity to slice their paddles through massive kelp beds, passed packs of seals resting on the Santa Cruz Harbor Jetty, or even to glide on playful waves along with pods of dolphins. The most breathtaking experiences are had when a humpback whales pulls up along the side of your kayak, during their migration from April to Novermber, or during the months of December to April when thousands of Gray Whales play the main event. Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay offer year round whale watching and one of the greatest ways to experience these migratory phenomenons is while tucked securly atop a kayak provided by the friendly folks at Venture Quest Kayaking.
Scuba Diving in Monterey Bay is an intense experience. From down below the maze of kelp beds reaching up from the dark deep to the bright ocean surface make it feel as if you are staring up at the Northern California Redwoods - an underwater version. Things can honestly get a little eerie when scuba diving in this locale but that is a huge part of what makes it so fun. Because of the thick underwater plants and navy toned waters the abundance of sea life in Monterey Bay seems to appear out of nowhere to surprise you at every turn. Scuba here keeps you on your toes, or should we say flippers. Scuba in the Santa Cruz area is so unique that you can't claim to be a well traveled scuba afficianado until you've paid your dues in this region. We consider scuba diving in Monterey Bay to be an experience best shared with company that knows this body of water well and so the first thing you should do when considering scuba diving in Santa Cruz is to get in touch with Aqua Safaris. Whether you meet the welcoming local crew that congregates for group dives on the second Tuesday of every month or wish to organize a Monterey Bay excursion with you, your party, and the professionals at Aqua Safaris, you're headed for a once in a lifetime scuba diving experience.
Description : ABOUT Bigfoot Discovery Museum…view more
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Bigfoot Discovery Museum
The Redwoods of Northern California and the people that both populated and visited the region years ago have long told stories of the legendary Bigfoot aka Sasquatch. From the ancient Zayante Indians to hikers and campers of recent decades, tales detailed accounts of the hairy two legged cryptid beast/s roaming the Redwoods. Even today many that spend the night in the Redwoods swear to describe noises and rustlings that cannot be detailed by any California state park wildlife brochure.
Michael Rugg, co-founder of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum spent a large part of his childhood exploring this forest with more than a few occurances cementing his belief in Bigfoot. Michael will be more than happy to share these experiences if you happen to catch him in a quiet moment when visiting the museum. His confidence that Bigfoot is far more than myth is infectious and his historical accounting and collections will make a believer out of you. At the very least the most skeptical of us leave the Bigfoot Discovery Museum with a broadened curiousity and a craving to learn more about the unknown - Redwoods legend and beyond.
March 2013 Note: Due to funding issues the Bigfoot Discovery Museum is under a constant threat of closure. Be sure to show your support if you happen upon this Northern California neck of the woods and help keep roadside America's most unique attractions in business.
Address : Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Phone : (831) 335 4598
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Henry Cowell Redwoods
The Henry Cowell Redwods State Park forest terrain includes 20 miles of both hiking and riding trails that accommodate varying levels of exploration skill. The forest includes redwoods, evergreens, pines, and the famed Santa Cruz sandhills - anciet marine sand deposits. Once home to the Zayante Indians, the Henry Cowell Redwoods are rich in anthropological history. You can almost hear the spirits whisper in the calm of the night when camped out here. The forest is even richer with towers of centuries old Redwood trees that the region is known for, drawing flocks of vistors from all over the world to witness their majestic height and girth. Some of the more ancient of these perrenial beasts have lived as long as an estimated 1800 years, approaching a height of nearly 300 feet and hugging a 16 foot wide circumference. The Douglas Firs, evergreens, and pines are no slouch either and offer just as amazing a photographic subject. Henry Cowel Redwoods State Park includes a picnic area that rests above the San Lorenzo River so those that like a little civilization with their "roughing it" experience will gain peace of mind with the rich amenities on site at the state park - including a Nature Center and Gift Shop where you can buy a variety of accessories made of redwood.
Not that you need the aid of an event organizer to enjoy the forest and its numerous trails, nooks, and mossy crannies, but there are many activities within the Henry Cowell Redwoods provided by the state park that include everything from Critter Safaris to Bird Walks to Moon Madness Astronomy Nights in the summer months. Visit the Henry Cowell Redwoods website for more on the state park's event and activity schedule.
For those looking for an even more unique experience within the Redwoods, age old tales of Bigfoot sightings run deep into the forest culture so if big hairy beasts of the two legged variety get your adrenaline pumping you may consider camping out in the Redwoods after arming yourself with the knowledge found nearby in Felton's Bigfoot Discovery Museum.
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