Lots To See And Do In Santa Cruz

As any resident of Santa Cruz, California will testify, there is far more to the beautiful city than surfing or relaxing on the beach. But as appealing as those two things may be, the wealth of things to do and see in this exciting coastal community far outweighs the common perception of Santa Cruz's enduring appeal.

From food and drink tastings to arts festivals, live music and open-air theater, the range of enticing events in and around the Santa Cruz area is guaranteed to delight residents and visitors alike. Each year, the variety of summer events keeps on growing and from May through till September, barely a week goes by without something to attend in Santa Cruz itself, or within a short drive of the city.

Among the most celebrated events to take place in this Californian paradise is the annual Santa Cruz Blues Festival. This huge gathering, featuring big names in blues and roots music from far and wide, attracts thousands of revelers every year. Music fans have also been enjoying the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival since its launch in the mid 1980s. This globally renowned event has staged performances from some of the world's most prominent jazz artists.

Theater lovers have been attending Shakespeare Santa Cruz productions for longer still, and this professional company stages classic works throughout the summer, to repeated critical acclaim. Another favorite on the scene is the Santa Cruz Film Festival. Founded in 2001, this newer event is fast establishing an excellent reputation. This fascinating and increasingly popular event not only showcases hundreds of independent films from around the world but also includes a number of workshops and social events.

Foodies and lovers of culinary curiosities are particularly well catered for too, with a program of events dedicated to the world of fine cuisine and blissful beverages. Among the most famous is the Gilroy Garlic Festival, established in 1979. This wonderful celebration not only salutes the versatility of the 'stinking rose', but also provides a fabulous day out for the whole family, with live entertainment, children's area, arts and crafts displays.

The perfect combination of live music and excellent eats is no more evident than at the Cabrillo Festival of New Music. Here, Santa Cruz's residents and visitors can enjoy the sounds of some of the world's most revered musicians and explore a wealth of exceptional foods and drinks at the Cabrillo Music Art and Wine Festival. Lovers of Greek food will also be thrilled by the Santa Cruz Greek Festival, where delicious Mediterranean flavors mingle with a celebration of Greek culture, dance and crafts.

Add to these spectacular events the vast array of local wine tastings and arts festivals, the superb Santa Cruz County Fair and the many special events taking place at Roaring Camp Railroads, the options for enjoying a great day, or evening out, in the Santa Cruz area are endless.

And on those days when a rock festival, wine tasting or Civil War Battle re-enactment doesn't quite appeal, there is always the surfing, and relaxing on the beach!

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