Meandering Through Santa Cruz


After a relaxing morning at our beach house rental on 25th Street in Santa Cruz, my husband and I headed 2-1/2 miles away, to Capitola Village, a cute little beach area with your typical souvenir shops & restaurants along with hard-to-find parking.  After nabbing a great space due to my husband’s new-found parking karma, we grabbed a lunch reservation off for Paradise Beach Grille, rated high for lunch spots on

Since I’m new to blogging I didn’t think to photograph our lunch for your viewing pleasure, but I did snap a shot from our table across a little inlet to a colorful beach hotel across the sand.

View from Paradise Beach Grille

After a refreshing glass of Chardonnay (I am on vacation, after all!) and a Turkey, Brie & Apple Panini we crossed the street for a delicious ice cream (caramel no sugar added is highly recommended as it was delicious AND felt virtuous) then walked down the beach and back up by the stores for a little shopping. At one store I found artistic items for the home but resisted all but a set of turquoise felt coasters and some handmade stone studs for my daughter.


The coasters are called Bierfilzl. Apparently, up until the late 19th century coasters made of wool felt were used in taverns across Bavaria to soak up not only any moisture but also to cover the beer glass while sitting in the beer garden on a beautiful summer day, to keep out unwanted flying guests. While the invention of less expensive paper coasters in 1880 marked the end of felt coasters, Bavarians to this day apparently call all coasters “Bierfilzl,” or beer felt. How could I live without them?

We loaded up the car and headed to Seacliff State Beach nearby. It’s a $10 day use charge but saving the $10 would have meant a long walk downhill to the beach so we handed over the money and headed down. There are plenty of bathrooms, a Beach Shack for lunch and snacks, lots of RV parking and a long beach with waves that looked good for boogie boarding but not surfing. It was filled with kids and dogs and folks enjoying the gorgeous day, as well as lots of folks making good use of the steep staircase up the cliff to run stairs, some even making use of the picnic tables for pushups afterwards. I got tired just watching them, and was more than happy to limit my exercise to a walk up and down the beach.

Seacliff State Beach is known for its fishing pier and concrete freighter which is not overly attractive except to the flocks of birds, apparently was good for fishing, but has since been closed to fishing but is in use as an underwater structure to support sealife.

It got hot, we were tired, and thus we headed back to our little house on the beach. Hubbie‘s on the couch & I’m in the shade on the ipad enjoying the sounds of the ocean and the nice cool breeze. It’s a tough life.

Tonight we’re dining at El Palomar — my favorite Mexican food restaurant in town — and then packing up to head home.

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