The Blissology Yoga Ecology Surf Hub: Santa Cruz!

After 4 weeks away in some of my favourite places on the planet specifically Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, it is amazing to come back to a place we call home. The beauty of this place overwhelms me. We’ve spent years searching for places that had incredible organic food, beautiful nature, cool people, access to city life and of course, surf!! And I can finally say, I’ve found the most rocking place. If it wasn’t, we’d be somewhere else.

We are so excited to share Santa Cruz with you for our courses coming up this fall, our September Blissology Teacher’s Training, Our level two immersion “Yoga and Mind Body Medicine,” and drop in classes every Wed at 9am at Pleasure Point Yoga (when we aren’t running our retreats and trainings in Bali this April and May!)

Santa Cruz is nestled between the mountains and the sea, and has a truly eclectic mix of people, places and experiences to offer! It’s just 1 1/2 hours from downtown San Francisco, an hour from SFO airport and 3o mins from San Jose. We’ve got world class surfing, mind blowing hiking,  great beaches, and amazing local food and restaurants.  Santa Cruz will keep both the foodie and nature lover in you satisfied!

The climate in California comes down to one phrase: dress in layers. Its common to start your morning in a jacket and beanie and end your afternoon in a tank top and flip flops. Autumn is California is the best time of  year for great weather (and that’s when our courses are happening!) Although mornings and evenings can be cool, the daytime temps often get into the 70′s and 80′s this time of year. Luckily Santa Cruz has no shortage of beautiful outdoor spots to enjoy. If relaxing on the beach is what you’re looking then go here for just a few stunning beaches to explore! If a little more activity is what you enjoy then bring your hiking shoes! The Santa Cruz area is home to some amazing redwoods forests and hiking trails. Here’s just a few to add to your list!

Ocean lovers be warned, Santa Cruz is going to blow your mind! It’s home to some of the best surf on the west coast, from the infamous Steamer Lane to the aptly named Pleasure Point. Santa Cruz offers waves for anyone from newbie to novice.  This is also a great place for bodysurfing, boogie boarding, stand up paddle boarding, ocean swimming! Surfing lessons as well as surfboard, SUP and wetsuit rental is readily available at many locations. Just blocks from Pleasure Point Yoga there is a RipCurl, a Freeline, and an O”Neil surf shop. All will be happy to help you with your ocean minded needs. If you want lessons for beginners cruise over to the Westside of town and check out: Cowells Surfshop.

If you’re looking to enjoy the Ocean without getting we think about joining on of the Chardonnay cruises. They offer a host of day and sunset cruises to enjoy.

A Santa Cruz classic is the Beach Boardwalk (enter the Beach Boys background lyrics here!) It offers rides, games and snacks, all while enjoying the sweeping views of the Pacific!

If your more the take a take a stroll, do some shopping, people watching type head to Downtown Santa Cruz for a variety or people and shops, or for a more mellow scene zip over to Capitola Village. Another fun area worth a mention is Swift Street. This is an up and coming par of the westside. Formerly old warehouses, it has  been converted into wineries, restaurants and shops. Be sure to swing by Sawyer Land and Sea Supply, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, of one of the many Local Tasting Rooms! On your way out be sure to take a walk or drive along the scenic West Cliff. Don’t be surprised at dolphin, sea otter, sea lion and whale sightings!

And we haven’t even gotten to the Eats and Drinks this lively town has to offer! High on the list are the Santa Cruz Farmers Markets which happen a few times a week in various locations. This is a bustling display of a bounty of local, seasonal offering! Even if you’re just there to feast your eyes, this is an experience not to be missed. Go here for a list of times and locations.

There are lots of good eats to be had in this town! Just a few of our favorite restaurants include:

Ristorante Avanti: Farm to table Italian Cusine, Westside
Laili:  Afghani and Mediterranean cuisine, Downtown
Westend Tap and Kitchen: Fresh and Local Pub Food, Westside
Suda: California Cuisisne, Eastside
New Leaf Market: local grocery, Various Locations
The Verve: Local coffee that will knock your socks(or flip flops)off!

If your want to explore the surrounding areas, consider Carmel and Monterey 1hr drive, Big Sur is 2hrs drive, and San Francisco a short 1.5hr from Santa Cruz!