Aptos between xmas and new years

Sep 29th, 2009, 12:31 PM
  #1  
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Aptos between xmas and new years

My brother (and his family from Pacifica) and I (and my family from Maryland) will be renting a house in Aptos for three nights after christmas. Here's a list of stuff to do compiled from earlier postings by mlgb and other Foderites: Biking and hiking Nicene Marks, Big Basin and Henry Cowell State Parks; going on long walks at the beach (favorites are Asilomar, Sea Cliff, Manresa, Sunset, Zmudokski, New Brighton); renting a kayak at Kayak Connection at Moss Landing; going on the roller coaster at the wharf at Santa Cruz; eating at Cafe Sparrow in Aptos, Michaels in Soquel, and Gayles Bakery in Capitola.

So, whatchathink? Which beach? Anyplace our teenagers/twenty-somethings would like especially (like maybe separate hikes, beach walks, restaurants, cool movie theater)? What have I left out or put in that I shouldn't? Maybe we should go to a winery. Or drive to Big Sur. Or Carmel. Or Monterey.

Thanks for your suggestions.
santamonica is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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You are correct about adding to the list Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey and a drive to Big Sur. Those, IMHO, should be near the top of your list.
montereybob is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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I any of your choice are good, but you may have to just wait and see what the weather is. It could be nice and nippy or very rainy. I would have an outdoor and indoor plan.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk may have special winter/holiday hours. We spent our summer vacations at Seacliff, so I am partial to that area. Also, the monarch butterflies will be wintering, hopefully, in Pacific Grove. So PG/Monterey is worth a visit.

Good luck,

MY
MichelleY is online now  
Sep 29th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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Biking in the redwoods tends to be be cold and damp that time of year. For jut a walk, Cowell would probably be your best bet. I'd take a pass on Manresa, Sunset & Zmudokski, but Seacliff & New Brighton (along with Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz) should be fine. I'd also
recommend the walk along the beach from Asilomar to Pacific Grove. For restaurants, try Cafe Cruz (Soquel), the Hindquarter (Santa Cruz) along with Gayle's & Sparrow. I believe the Boardwalk may be closed that time of year.
pewang is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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Thanks. Pacific Grove and the butterflies are now on the list. The list is pretty heavy on the outdoors. We'll dress warmly. Layers. A day trip to Pieffer Beach sounds like fun too. I'm looking forward to the trip.
santamonica is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Sorry pewang, I missed your post. We'll plan on Cowell, beaches at Seacliff and New Brighton, Lighthouse Point in SC, Asilomar in PG, and look for your restaurant suggestions too. Boy, it's fun getting all these suggestions. We'll feel like insiders, real Californians.
santamonica is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Point Lobos State Park is always a highlight of our trips to that area. An incredibly scenic place only a short drive from Asilomar/Pacific Grove.
sharondi is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Thanks shrondi for reminding us about Point Lobos---how could I have forgotten to mention it. It is a definite must see and must hike the trails. It needs to go to the top of the list.
montereybob is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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The list is amended. Thanks!
santamonica is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:05 AM
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For a splurge, try the Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola

http://www.shadowbrook-capitola.com/

We like to sit on the bottommost floor, right next to the creek.
easytraveler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Thanks. This would be a good place for us to go to when we send the kids out for pizza. They'll never know.
santamonica is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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BTW for your twentysomething kids, there is a vibrant live music scene in Santa Cruz. When in Aptos, pick up the weekly free entertainment newspaper to see who's playing and where. Also, if they want to experience a flashback to the '60s, they would enjoy a stroll down Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz. (Maybe you would enjoy a flashback also?) Also a walk along Cliff Drive is a great place to watch surfers.
Have fun!
montereybob is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Pfeiffer Beach is fabulous, but I don't know that I would plan a "day trip" between Xmas and New Year's - more like an "hour trip". The water at Pfeiffer is bitter cold even in summer (we were there Labor Day weekend and the most we did was dip a toe), and it's not a calm swimming beach anytime. You go to look and take a walk, but it's small. I would visit on your way between Capitola and Big Sur (going or coming). Here's a link to some pictures I took with my cell phone, along with directions (it's impossible to see from the main road).

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...t-part-way.cfm
sf7307 is online now  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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sf7307, we've seen Pfeiffer Beach from the overlook and your recent report made another visit at beach level attractive, but we'll not plan a swim. Montereybob, we'll find out who's playing in Santa Cruz. Now, if I can just talk my two families into doing all this stuff...
santamonica is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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Hi santamonica, I'm a long time Aptosian so hopefully I can help you out. You have a lot planned for only 3 nights, but you will be at the mercy of our quirky weather so nature might narrow it down for you.
I've spent the week between New Year and Christmas working on my tan and I've spent it cuddle up on the couch watching movies and drinking wine. If you do get good weather Pt. Lobos is wonderful and the whales are everywhere.
Are you renting at the beach? Taking a walk from Rio to Seascape is one our favorite beach walks.
Got to go...I'll be back with more!
glimmer2 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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The house is a 5 minute walk from Rio del Mar...
santamonica is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:08 AM
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Hi santamonica,

I've been looking over some of the suggestions. If you're only going to visit for 3 nights, a trip to areas like Pfeiffer/Big Sur can eat up almost an entire say. Many of the parks, this time of the year, can get quite damp and the trails can be somewhat muddy--Pt. Lobos included. They're spectatular in the spring, fall and summertime, but winter is often different. For your short visit, there's probably enough to do in Aptos-Santa Cruz (I've lived in Aptos for 40 years).
Two other places worth mentioning are Natural Bridges State Park & the Monterey Aquarium.

Just 2 cents worth.
pewang is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Yes, go to Point Lobos when it hasn't rained for 3 or more days so the trails won't be muddy. I agree with the recommendation for the Monterey Aquarium ---it's another must do. And don't forget Carmel-by-the-Sea village.
montereybob is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Well, we've got plenty of time to plan. It will be hard to get two families with teenagers moving so keeping it simple and local makes sense. Also, I can get up early and go hiking/biking near the house, or to the bakery, so I won't be too impatient and annoying.
santamonica is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Definitely send the teenagers/twentysomethings to downtown Santa Cruz. We always liked Capitola Village too.
november_moon is offline  

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