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This Weekend in Santa Cruz: Fireworks, Lumberjacks, First Friday & Much Ado About Nothing

santa cruz 4th of july weekend 2015

Welcome to one of the busiest and most crowded weekends of the year in Santa Cruz.

4th of July is the obvious highlight of the weekend, but we also have First Friday, a free band on the beach at the Boardwalk, Lumberjack Days, Sunday Art & Music at the beach, and much more.

Read on to see our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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Santa Cruz 4th of July 2015 Events

Santa Cruz 4th of July

4th of July in Santa Cruz.

For some it means pancake breakfasts, parades and parties in the park.

For others it means backyard barbecue in the afternoon and fireworks at night.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Independence Day in Santa Cruz County.

4th of July events in Santa Cruz County include family friendly old-fashioned celebrations at Wilder Ranch and Roaring Camp, the county’s only official fireworks show in Scotts Valley, and parades spanning from Watsonville to San Lorenzo Valley.

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Looking for Wild Cats at Panther Beach

Panther Beach

A panther is hidden in the golden cliffs at a beach about ten miles north of Santa Cruz.

Perhaps you need a wild imagination (or perhaps the aid of psychedelics), but all I could see after blurring my vision, crossing my eyes, and staring intently at a mix of mudstone and sandstone, was red, yellow, and gray rock marred by graffiti and decorated with a mix of coastal buckwheat, sage, and yarrow.

If you want to try your luck at spotting the elusive wildcat in the cliffs, drive north along Highway 1, just past Laguna Beach and fields of brussels sprouts on your left and run-down shacks inhabited by weary, weathered farm workers on your right, to an unmarked dirt lot on the ocean side of the highway.

Pull off and drive slowly over the deep ruts and piles of shattered window glass — heed this warning and don’t leave any valuables in your car. Park anywhere along the edge of the lot and walk down to the railroad tracks where you’ll see a Coast Dairies State Park sign marking the trailhead to Panther Beach.

The trail down is narrow and overgrown with purple thistle and yellow and white mustard flowers in the spring. It’s also steep enough in some places that the cautious will want to have both hands free or risk a bruised tailbone.

Despite this beach’s less than desirable access point, countless college students (and let’s be fair, probably some non-students as well) flock to this stretch of sand and lug cases of beer, boxes of firewood, beach chairs, bags of fast food, and entire watermelons down the slippery sandstone hillside. Then they leave it all there, including half the watermelon. [Read more…]

This Weekend in Santa Cruz: June 26th – June 28th, 2015

santa cruz weekend events

This weekend offers some great events, including the 21st annual Woodies on the Wharf, the 3rd annual Pleasure Point Street Fair, and the Hop N’ Barley Beer & BBQ Festival.

Read on to see the rest of our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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Dog Friendly Restaurants in Santa Cruz

dog friendly restaurants in santa cruz, ca

There was a long period of time when dogs weren’t allowed in downtown Santa Cruz.

Those dog days are over.

Not only are dogs now welcome downtown, but many restaurants invite them too. The dog friendliness doesn’t stop there.

We’ve compiled the Dogs’ Dish, a guide to over 60 dog-friendly restaurants where you can bring your dog as your +1 in Santa Cruz County.

This list is compiled by neighborhood, town and city.

We’ve also included a map so you can easily find each dog-friendly establishment.

If you know of any dog-friendly restaurants in Santa Cruz County that aren’t listed, please feel free to let us know in the comments. Tell us where you like to go! Include a pic of your pup if you like!

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Free Movies on the Beach

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Movies

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been featured in a lot of movies — Dangerous Minds, Sudden Impact, Harold and Maude, and The Lost Boys, to name a few — but that’s not its only tie to cinema.  The Boardwalk also hosts free movies on the beach Wednesday nights every summer at 9:00 p.m.

And to make it even better, Wednesdays after 5 p.m. are Pepsi Nights, meaning unlimited ride wristbands only cost $12.95 if you bring an empty Pepsi can.  You can tire yourself out by working in a full four hours of rides, then lay back on a beach towel or lean back in a low beach chair and watch the big screen on the beach with your friends, family, or special someone.

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This Weekend in Santa Cruz: June 19th – 21st, 2015

santa cruz weekend events june 19, 2015

How are you celebrating Father’s Day?  If you’re in Santa Cruz, you have plenty of options, from a James Brown cover concert to the Tannery’s anniversary party.

This Friday we also get to welcome back Friday Night Bands on the Beach at the Boardwalk.  Plus, we have a sneak peek at some upcoming events, as well as a guide to 4th of July events towards the bottom of this post.

Read on to see our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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2015 Woodies on the Wharf

21st Annual Woodies on the Wharf: June 27, 2015

woodies on the wharf 2015

Eras can often be define by their popular cars.

What would the 2000s be without the Hummer, the 80s without sports cars, the 60s without VW Vans?  This is the time of year when Santa Cruzans honor the iconic cars of the pre-60s decades.

That’s right, it’s time for another Woodies on the Wharf event.

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The Last Frontier of Affordable Housing in Santa Cruz?

santa cruz market report: May 2015

The following market report is provided by Liz Kroft  & Lance Hulsey of Mainstream Real Estate Group.

Have you had the pleasure of riding the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk? As you leave the station you immediately enter a tunnel before the ride really begins upward. That ride is a perfect analogy for this months market update.

This months update is kind of like the tunnel before the ride starts upward. We know the climb is coming, it is just that a bit of uncertainty has crept into the market this month before it all starts. Enjoy our Giant Dipper of a market report this month.

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Weekend Event Roundup for June 12th – 14th, 2015

harbor beach volleyball

This weekend welcomes the kickoff of Capitola’s Art & Music on the Beach series, and will also feature two great local benefit concerts.

Read on to see the rest of our picks for the best events in Santa Cruz this weekend.

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