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Going to Santa Cruz? How do you get there?
Well, that’s easy enough to do. From the greater Bay Area (San Jose and environs), most people take Highway 17 (I-880 becomes Highway 17 at I-280 in San Jose, near Stevens Creek Boulevard) "over the hill" into Santa Cruz. Highway 17 becomes Ocean Street at the "fishhook" (the Interchange between Highway 17 and Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway) in Santa Cruz). If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can take Highway 9, which is a windy mountain road (particularly popular for motorcycles in the summer months), and you can catch this in Saratoga, and it drops you onto River Street in Santa Cruz, which leads to downtown.
If you’re coming from San Francisco, you have the alternative to take the Pacific Coast Highway down the coast (it’s a beautiful drive), and drop into the West Side of Santa Cruz, near Natural Bridges Park. Do this at least once if you can!
From the south, it’s all Highway 1 up the coast from Watsonville...
During the summer months, the commute "over the hill" is extremely bad on weekends, especially, and it also gets that way during rush hour (from 6am-10am and from 3pm-7pm), so avoid it at those times...
Don’t stay behind semi trucks on Highway 17 either--they’re slow. :)