You may remember our week in Santa Cruz last summer when Willow was just 3 months old. Walking a couple blocks to the beach and setting up for the day with two little ones was just the right speed for us… so much so that we booked another house immediately following that trip for this summer (2020). Flash forward, we were so thankful we had this week on the calendar as it was the ideal Covid summer getaway. I wanted to share some of my favorite spots with you (which are mainly the gems I found last summer–with a few additional recommendations from a local, the wine director at Mentone–because honestly this trip we didn’t venture outside of our house and the beach). It was one of those weeks where we were up with sun (thanks to Rex and Willow) and planted for the majority of the day on the beach by 9am. We ate practically every meal picnic-style in the sand, or some nights after the kids went to the bed, Tanner and I grabbed takeout and watched the waves crash in from our patio. Covid or not this is probably how this week would have looked for us regardless (maybe a few meals out)–but it was pretty ideal for vacationing with littles! Easy, low-key and stress-free! I didn’t want to leave, especially since we were coming back to a heatwave of upwards of 112 degrees here in Sacramento this week.
Both summers we’ve stayed in Pleasure Point and really love this area for walkability and the smaller beaches that are easy and great for toddlers. My sister and her husband always stay at Seascape Resort so we got to hang with them at that beach one day and grabbed pizza to-go up their way at Mentone. Definitely a must! They have a little outdoor seating in the parking lot right now with picnic tables, umbrellas, wine spritzers, gelato, pizza and great pasta. Another beach we ventured out to this week was 4 mile beach after a friend told me they had tide pools that are fun for kids (at low tide). Rex saw sea anemones and crabs which were a hit. Also, we loved that we were the only ones there–other than the surfers out on the waves. It felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves all morning.
In general since we’d head to the beach early (by 9am) the beaches were fairly empty. Things started to get crowded in the afternoon which is when we’d head in for naps. So the kid’s schedules really worked in our favor!
Discovered some go-to spots below with some local favorites shared by wine director, Alyssa Welker of Mentone:
for pizza (also a cute grocery store across the street: New Leaf–for picking up sandwiches or bites for the beach)
(David Kinch 3 star Michelin Chef of Manresa in Los Gatos)
Nisene Marks State Park: great state park for long walks or bike rides. If you go as a family, suggest driving into entrance where you’ll see parking and can take a long shaded walk over little wooden pathways nestled among the trees. Apero Club:
new natural wine bar, just opened last month on the west side, owned by the folks who own Ruby wine in SF
Humble Sea: another fun option for drinks (close to Apero club)
Beautiful home goods including ceramics, clothing, jewelry, gifts and toys for kids, etc.
: homegoods, gifts, kids, men and women.
they’re doing bean to bar chocolate and the best brownies you’ll have in your life (also downtown)
: oysters and great wine downtown
Steamer Lane Supply
: fun for coffee and great morning snacks like kimchi fried brown rice, tamales breakfast tacos, friendly stuff for kids, on the west side by the surfer statue
And our routine in Pleasure Point Consists of:
26th Ave Beach
Cat Cloud Coffee
Penny Ice Cream
Patine: for textiles and pillows
Point Market: for breakfast burritos and to watch the surfers
(the beach is great their at low tide for little ones)
one of our takeout spots–I love their Suda grain bowl