10 Things to See and Do in Santa Cruz, CA

10 Things to See and Do in Santa Cruz, CA

With a population of a little of 62,000, Santa Cruz is situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay about 32 miles (51 km) south of San Jose and about 75 miles (120 km) south of San Francisco. The city is well known for its scenic coastal beauty, beaches, moderate climate, redwood forests magnificent cuisine and alternate lifestyles. It is also home to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a popular oceanfront amusement park. There are an abundance of activities to do making for the perfect vacation getaway — check out these 10 things to see and do in Santa Cruz!

10. Mystery Spot

Opened in 1941, the Mystery Spot is a visual illusion-based attraction near Santa Cruz. Though the attraction consists of only 150 feet (46 m) diameter, it has much to offer. Operators will tell you that the laws of physics do not apply and provide a number of demonstrations to prove their claims. You will see water supposedly flow uphill, see people standing at a slant and more. The Mystery Spot is located on a gravity hill and tilt-induced visual illusion. When visitors stand on a titled floor and oddly tilted environment, it produces an optical illusion. From inside the tilted room, misconceptions of height and orientation occur. Even when visitors stand outside on level ground, the slant of the building causes visual misconceptions as to the height of people. It is great fun and boggles ones mind when you try to mentally correct what you know not to be true.

9. Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster

The Santa Cruz Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster on the Beach Boardwalk is a National Historic Landmark made up of a Looff carousel and the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The Looff carousel is more than just your typical carousel ride because it includes a brass ring dispenser. Riders on the outside horses of the carousel can try to grab rings which they can then toss at a target located in a clown’s mouth. It is one of the only operating ring dispensers in the world and sometimes riders will decide to keep the brass rings as a souvenir of their visit to this historic place. As previously mentioned, the Giant Dipper is a wooden roller coaster and also part of the historic significance of the area. Don’t miss out on these wonderful rides like no other to be found in the United States.

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