Also known as Point Santa Cruz, this area forms the northern boundary of Monterey Bay. It is one of the last open headlands in any California urban area. Surfers, tourists, birds - including the rare Black Swift and wintering Monarch butterflies are drawn to this area. Sea lions populate the offshore rocks. This is one of the places where Monarch butterflies winter along the California coast. Monarchs are unique because they migrate each winter to avoid freezing weather. The Monarchs wintering here, come from the west of the Rocky Mountains. Monarchs east of the Rockies go to central Mexico for the winter. The lighthouse is home to California's first surfing museum and is the location each Christmas for "Caroling Under the Stars," a Santa Cruz tradition which attracts hundreds of locals and visitors. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive. Overlooking internationally renowned surfing hotspot Steamer Lane, this museum has photographs, surfboards, and other interesting items tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz. Park open 7am-sunset year round.
Lita S. on West Cliff Drive Santa Cru
First, I want to start of by saying that this is not a hiking trail. It's a walking trail at its best. It is paved the whole way with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. I didn't like that the trail was right next to a busy street where you inhale all the car emissions that you normally do when in town. So if you're wanting to go hiking and get out of the busy city and stinky cars, this not the trail for you. I only gave it a three star because the ocean views were phenomenal. It should not be labeled as a hiking trail.
Tammy N. on West Cliff Drive Santa Cru
Beautiful coast trail