Santa Cruz Sandhills: The Henry Cowell Trail Less Traveled

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A visit to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park usually means one thing: a walk through the Redwood Grove Loop Trail. This is the Henry Cowell most are familiar with and for obvious reasons. Centuries-old, skyscraping redwoods are hard to miss and quite the draw, especially when hosting out-of-town visitors.

But there’s another side to Henry Cowell that has more in common with the beach than a redwood forest and, in fact, used to be a beach. Sort of.
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Beyond the Beach: A Family Road Trip Up Highway 1

highway 1 family road trip

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!
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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.

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