When you drive north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1, you don’t need much of a plan.
You could spend days exploring less crowded beaches alone—from Fern Grotto to Año Nuevo and everywhere in between—but this iconic stretch of coast-hugging asphalt also leads the way to unique destinations beyond the beach and perfect for families.
Roadside U-pick farms, a nature and history center, and even seasonal train rides are all within a scenic 45-minute drive from the outskirts of town.
We’ve made planning a one-day road trip with the kids easy so all you have to do is pack a picnic, or better yet, bring an empty basket and fill it along the way.
Now choose the panoramic setting on your camera and go!