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Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old

Los Angeles...
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83 posts
4 reviews
5 helpful votes
Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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We will be driving up from Los Angeles, spending the night in Santa Cruz(at the Dream Inn) and then heading the next day to Oakland. A few questions:

We would like to go to the Boardwalk. I see they have reduced ride prices on Tuesday nights. We will be arriving on the last Tuesday in July. Is the Boardwalk packed on Tuesday nights because of the discounted rides?

What is a good family-friendly restaurant for us for dinner? We like Italian, but are open to other options.

Should we go to the Mystery Spot? Do we need advance reservations on a weekday?

What is the best route to Oakland from Santa Cruz?

thanks for your guidance.

--Diane

Northern California
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133 posts
11 reviews
37 helpful votes
1. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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if you've never been to a mystery spot, you might want to try it. if you have, don't bother, it is nothing special.

Pacifica, California
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for Pacifica
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13,247 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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I can't imagine you'd need reservations for the Mystery Spot. It's just a schlocky roadside attraction, but I agree with the previous comment that if you've never been to this type of place (there are similar places scattered around the US,) it might be fun to stop by. It only takes about 30 minutes.

Of course, if you go to the Mystery Spot, you shouldn't miss that other famous Santa Cruz attraction - the Bigfoot Museum!!

http://bigfootdiscoveryproject.com/index.php

I'm surprised the Mystery Spot and Bigfoot Museum don't team up and offer 2-for-1 discounts.

The quickest route from Santa Cruz to Oakland is to take 17 from Santa Cruz, and connect to I-880 in San Jose. That will take you to Oakland. A slightly longer but much prettier way would be to take 17 to 85 to 280, and then take 92 across the San Mateo Bridge to 880. Then it's just a short drive on 880 up to Oakland. Try not to do either of these drives between 4 PM and 7 PM.

Puter can answer the Boardwalk and restaurant questions.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
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34,069 posts
5 reviews
26 helpful votes
3. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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I wouldn't worry about the Boardwalk being too crowded, it is quite spread out with a lot of rides and games and food places.

The Mystery Spot is about 3 miles from town on a country road, then back in the trees. It is a schuck. Balls appear to roll uphill, people change height from one side of a plank to the other, etc. It is all based on perception and the way they have built things. If you have time, well, OK. I would skip it. They don't take reservations, you just drive in. Except that on weekends they often have to close the road because of crowds and you park along Branciforte Drive and walk in. Then you must have your tickets purchased ahead of time.

Here is the Mystery Spot website. Watch the video and then decide if its worth the trouble.

As for Big Foot, I have never heard of the place.

If you have some tme before you leave for Oakland you might walk down West Cliff Drive from the Dream Inn to Steamers Lane, where the surfers do their thing. It is marked by a miniature lighthouse, which is a surfer's museum.

And if you have not seen a redwood forest, Henry Cowell State Park is just 7 mils up Hwy 9 from Highway 1

Enjoy your stay at the newly rehabbed Dream Inn.It was bought by the hotel group Joie d'Vivre and redone last year, after some years of neglect. After your stay, I would appreciate it if you would write a review. It looks great

Food. The Municipal Wharf is next to the Boardwalk and the Dream Inn and has a lot of restaurants. Seafood, as you can imagine.

If you go into the main street of town, Pacific Avenue, about 5 or 6 blocks, you will find many restaurants of different kinds. One of the first you come to is Kianti's, which serves pizza and pasta, both very good. They have sidewalk tables as well as indoor seating.

Enjoy your stay.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
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34,069 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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Oops HERE is the Mystery Spot website

http://www.mysteryspot.com/parking.shtml

And one for Henry Cowell Redwoods and Steamers Lane.

http://www.beachcalifornia.com/cowell.html

yelp.com/biz_photos/eSz0Pkqm8sYDb5o_VGzUSQ…

Santa Cruz...
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1,452 posts
6 reviews
5 helpful votes
5. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old
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The Bigfoot museum is right across the street from Henry Cowell Park entrance on Highway 9. Don't go out of your way, but if you happen to be at Henry Cowell, you may want to stop.

6. Re: Planning A day in Santa Cruz with 10 and 14 year old

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