About Joshua Vincent

Joshua Vincent is a freelance writer who has lived in Santa Cruz for 12 years. Follow his tweets at @VincentChirps.

Beaches, Barbecue and Free Concerts at the Crow’s Nest

Crow's Nest Beach Party
The Crow’s Nest Summer Beach Parties are quite possibly the quintessential Santa Cruz summer event.

Every Thursday during the summer you’ll find free live music, great barbecued food, idyllic beachside views, and a healthy slice of Santa Cruz life.

2016 Thursday Night Beach Parties

crow's nestThis year, beach parties are every Thursday from June 2nd through September 1st. The fun starts at 5:30 and continues until the sun sets…and then the fun heads upstairs.

[Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: News You May Have Missed + The Best of Local Social Media

santa cruz connected: jan

Underneath all the rain we got last month, some pretty interesting things happened in Santa Cruz.

Two local artists were honored for their work and UCSC put on an exhibit celebrating our printmaking past.

A blog post was published that every local chocolate lover will want to read, a high-tech instrument was found on a local beach, and an entertaining video of Santa Cruz from the 1950s popped up on Youtube.

All that, plus new businesses, friends to follow, and the best of the month from local social media in this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: 2015 Year In Review

Santa Cruz 2015 year in review

There was a lot that happened in Santa Cruz in 2015 and summing it all up is no easy task. As with any article looking back on an entire year, it’s impossible to include everything that warrants mentioning. We experienced highs and lows as a community; some offering a rosy glimpse into the future, while other moments left us searching for answers amid tragedy.

We saw some anniversaries of local importance, with UCSC celebrating 50 years, as well as the 50 year anniversary of the Merry Pranksters first acid tests in Soquel.

Santa Cruz got its first D-league basketball championship as well as its first UFC champion in 2015. Pop-up dining hit its stride and we experienced a mini-explosion on the local craft beer scene. An ancient fossil was discovered in Scotts Valley, plans for high-speed internet were unveiled, and a film from Santa Cruz’s past was rediscovered and restored.

All that, plus the best social media pictures and videos from 2015 in this edition of Santa Cruz Connected. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: The Best of #SantaCruzLife

santa cruz connected, nov. 2015

Collage includes photos from Instagram users @rubcabjr, @kcdrojas, @billhalleckart,  & @jasonpriz. Tag photos with #SantaCruzLife for a chance to be featured next month.

November signaled the beginning of the festive season in Santa Cruz and we had plenty to celebrate, some mystery mixed in, and by some act of sorcery, we actually got some rain.

In this edition of Santa Cruz Connected, we look back on November 2015 and some of the highlights of the month.

A massive shark was caught off the coast, a UFO was spotted in the sky, and a local martial artist turned pro.The Boardwalk got some love from Google, SF Gate continued its love affair with Santa Cruz tourist activities, and we look back at the first “acid test” of the Merry Pranksters.

All that, plus the best of the month from Santa Cruz Social media, friends to follow, and new businesses in town. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: The Best of #SantaCruzLife

Santa Cruz Connected, October, 2015

Collage includes photos from Instagram users @billydsc & @onetravelingsoul. Tag photos with #SantaCruzLife for a chance to be featured next month.

From Open Streets to Open Studios, October was a month of great events and interesting stories in Santa Cruz. We saw the Santa Cruz Sentinel run a series about spooky phenomena leading up to Halloween and a rediscovered film from the early 1900s that offered a peek into Santa Cruz’s past.

A new TV network was launched by two locals and one of the best high schools in California got a new home.

Food and beer were hot topics in October as the emergent Santa Cruz beer scene continued to make waves.

The Beach Flats community battled to save an important part of their neighborhood while the county braced for the oncoming storms of this year’s El Nino.

Two tasty new restaurants opened up and we gave a shout out to some local icons in our “Friends To Follow” section. All that, plus the best of the month on social media in this edition of Santa Cruz Connected. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: The Best of #SantaCruzLife

Santa Cruz Connected, September, 2015

September was a month that, once again, reminded us of what a special place we live in. From breaching whales to begonias, and ancient fossils to celebrity pinatas, our special brand of quirkiness was on full display.

One of our most famous surfers suffered an unfortunate injury in the water and we learned a little about the rich history of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the surrounding area. A Chilean newspaper examined the identity of Santa Cruz, and a local kickstarter campaign got off to a hot start.

In this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected, we take a look at these stories, plus local social media accounts to follow, new businesses in town, and the best of the month from social media. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: A Monthly Look At Online Local Life

Santa Cruz Connected August 2015July may have been the Earth’s hottest month on record, but August felt even hotter in Santa Cruz. Students started shuffling back into classrooms as the school year kicked off and researchers at our local university answered internet questions about their video game research.

The Museum of Art and History continued its upward trajectory behind the leadership of Nina Simon, who was named to the 40 under 40 list by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

A local surf icon was featured in a story by SF Gate, Aptos got a new community park, Big Basin hiking trails were added to Google maps, and a local UFC fighter goes for the gold.

All that, plus new businesses in town and the best of the month from Santa Cruz social media in this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Connected: A Monthly Look At Online Local Life

Santa Cruz Connected, July 2015

Photos in collage by Bill Lewis of Santa Cruz Sand, Joshua Vincent & Richard Masoner.

There’s simply no other way to paint the month of July in Santa Cruz other than what it was: tragic.

The senseless death of 8-year-old Madyson Jordan Middleton weighed heavily on the hearts and minds of the entire city as the month drew to a close. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and communities affected by this tragedy.

In local news stories that were picked up by major media outlets, Santa Cruz was lauded as a city that stands up to big banks, finds creative solutions to water rationing, and set up a new model for community television stations.

UC Santa Cruz was named one of the most beautiful coastal colleges in the U.S., a local review of disc golf courses was published, the Monterey Bay turned a vibrant blue color, and one news outlet explored the history of the “Cement Ship” (the SS Palo Alto).

In this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected, we explore these stories, plus new businesses in town, friends to follow on social media, and the best of the month from Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. [Read more…]

Local Routes: Your Guide To Santa Cruz Disc Golf Courses

Santa Cruz Disc Golf Courses

Until a few months ago, I had never thrown a disc, much less played a round of disc golf.

The only thing I knew about the game was to not call it “frolf.”

Things have changed. I played my first round as research for this article and it quickly turned into something much, much bigger.

I now have a farmer’s tan, a touch of poison oak, sturdier calf muscles, a problem controlling something called a “hyzer” and, I think it’s safe to say, a new hobby.

I also now realize that when I was introduced to a tall kid named Ricky last year, I was shaking hands with one of the best disc golf players in the world, Ricky Wysocki.

Ben Baker, a local disc golf player who competes in the advanced amateur division, was the one who introduced me to Wysocki. He joined me to talk about local courses in the area, Santa Cruz’s place in the disc golf world, and some resources available for players of all skill levels. (You can listen to the audio below.)

Music used under Creative Commons license for this podcast: “Ave” by Alex featuring Morusque & “Lamadio Tiado” by Sackjo22 featuring Air_Lomeg, Borja, Smojos.

santa cruz disc golf

Santa Cruz Area Disc Golf Courses

disc golf santa cruz

Looking for a disc golf course in or around Santa Cruz? This directory includes all six local courses with maps, contact information and a brief description of each one. All courses are free to play, except for a $2 parking fee at the DeLaveaga and U.C. Santa Cruz courses.


DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course

You can’t talk about disc golf in Santa Cruz without mentioning DeLaveaga, or “DeLa” as it’s often called. It’s a favorite course among locals, as well as one that’s known to players around the world for being one of the more challenging and beautiful courses to play. With several signature holes, including the “Top of the World” elevated shot on the 27th hole, DeLaveaga can be a challenge for players of all skill levels.

DeLa has some wooded holes and some that are more open with plenty of elevation changes to make sure you get your exercise when playing the course. Baskets are often located near steep drop-offs that can really punish errant putts and approach shots, so it can be frustrating to play for a beginner.

To get a taste of what DeLaveaga offers, watch the video below from the 2015 Steady Ed Memorial Masters Cup. The Masters Cup is a professional disc golf tournament held each year at DeLaveaga that draws top players from all over the world.

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course
1468 Upper Park Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95065

DeLaveaga review on DGCourseReview.com


Pinto Lake Disc Golf Course

Pinto Lake is another challenging and beautiful course that will give you some exercise. One of the more distinctive features of the course is the nine-hole stretch that plays through an open meadow, which is sandwiched between more technical holes at the beginning and end of the course. The challenge of playing Pinto Lake is staying in bounds, particularly on windy days on the meadow holes. Due to the variety of hole types, the course requires a good mix of throwing power and accuracy to play well.

The Pinto Lake course has played host to the Daisy Chains Women’s Tournament each year since 2012. The course was designed by Tom Schot, who also designed the DeLaveaga course in Santa Cruz.   

Pinto Lake Disc Golf Course
796 Green Valley Rd.
Watsonville, CA 95076

Pinto Lake review on DGCourseReview.com


Black Mouse Disc Golf Course

 Black Mouse is a thoroughly wooded course on a sloped hillside, which means that some of the baskets are in tricky locations surrounded by trees. Though it’s a short course, Black Mouse is difficult because there is little margin for error on most holes. A slight mistake can easily result in your disc ricocheting off a tree, landing on its edge, and spinning down the hill (known as the dreaded rollawayin disc golf).

The trees at Black Mouse provide shade throughout most of the holes and make for a cool, pleasant round of disc golf, even if you rattle more branches than chains.

Please note that the Black Mouse course is on the grounds of a middle school and is not open during school hours, except in the summer.

Black Mouse Disc Golf Course
7179 Hacienda Way
Felton, CA 95018

Black Mouse review on DGCourseReview.com


Aptos High Disc Golf Course

 This is my favorite local course and a great place for a beginner to get out and learn the game. It’s got a variety of hole types which makes it a lot of fun as a newcomer, but is still challenging enough for more experienced players. The course has a little bit of everything: wooded holes, wide open holes, a tunnel shot, elevation changes and a great “top of the world” shot, though it doesn’t offer quite the view of the famous 27th hole at DeLaveaga.

Some of the holes at Aptos have multiple basket locations, which can make the course more difficult when they are in the long position. Like the Black Mouse course in Felton, Aptos High’s course is on school grounds so players should not go there before 3 p.m. when school is in session. Etiquette is important at the courses on school grounds as well, and there’s an expectation that disc golf players not drink, litter, or smoke while playing these courses.

Aptos High School Disc Golf Course
100 Mariner Way
Aptos, CA 95003

Aptos High review on DGCourseReview.com


UC Santa Cruz Disc Golf Course

The UC Santa Cruz course offers a fun and straightforward nine-hole round of disc golf. Most of the holes have two tee box placements, some of which become rather lengthy in the secondary position. You can find a map of the course with both tee positions here

The course has some minor elevation changes, but doesn’t offer much in the way of obstacles. Due to the location of the course, wind can definitely become a factor and make a round much more challenging when it does.

You can read more about what went into the funding and construction of the course in this article from the City On A Hill Press, the student newspaper for UC Santa Cruz.

UC Santa Cruz Disc Golf Course
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064


Bridge to Bridge Disc Golf Course

Bridge To Bridge is a nine-hole course in downtown’s San Lorenzo Park. It has some nice basket placements nestled between trees and near the edge of the river that make it a fun disc golf version of a “pitch ‘n putt.” Since it’s in a public park that gets a good amount of use, all nine holes are not always playable and tee boxes are not clearly marked out. It is a good place to practice shorter throws and putts on the baskets that are more accessible, which are typically those between Soquel Ave. and the bridge to River St.

Bridge to Bridge review on DGCourseReview.com

santa cruz disc golf

Getting Started:
Disc Golf Basics

You can find discs at many sporting goods stores now, but there are a few preferred spots for local players.

DJ’s Mini Mart, conveniently on the way to DeLaveaga, has a good selection, as does Play It Again Sports in Soquel. For new players, the shop at the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course–also called “The Shack“– may be the best option since experienced players will be able to give advice about which discs are better for beginners.

Where To Buy Discs In Santa Cruz

DJ’s Mini Mart 833 Water St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 426-1722

Play It Again Sports 4770 Soquel Dr. Soquel, CA 95073 (831) 475-1988

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Shop  401 Upper Park Rd. Santa Cruz, CA 95065 (831) 423-7214 

Resources For Learning Disc Golf

Throwing Charts – PDFs from Innova Discs that explain the basics of disc throwing form and technique.

Glossary of Terms – Another resource from Innova and one that you’ll need if you’re new to the game.

Stability Guide – A simple explanation of which discs will go right or left when you throw them, also known as “stability.” Good information to know and helpful when choosing the right disc.

Disc Golf Course Review – The go-to website when it comes to finding a course in your area. They have an excellent mapping feature, course reviews, information and pictures. 

Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) – The PDGA website has information about tournaments, membership (anyone can join), current rankings, and a course directory.

Tournament Coverage – Central Coast Disc Golf is a great Youtube channel for watching local and regional tournament coverage and “In the bag” videos of professional players.

Santa Cruz Connected: A Monthly Look At Online Local Life

Santa Cruz Connected, June, 2015

June in Santa Cruz was all about community. We saw a tremendous show of public support for some worthy causes–one of which was echoed by a historical Supreme Court decision.

The progress of local public space projects continued to unfold, as did the development of local Gigabit fiber in Santa Cruz. A piece of surfing history was returned, a local wildlife photographer made news and one popular local restaurant quietly closed after 30 years.

We were reminded that Santa Cruz is a great destination for dog owners and outdoor lovers, but that it still remains difficult and expensive to have your own space indoors.

All that, plus new businesses, friends to follow and the best of local social media for the month of June 2015. [Read more…]