3. Culture – Santa Cruz is drenched in surf culture. The wetsuit, the surf leash, and the surf shop were all invented there. It’s also where many of the world’s leading skate and mountain bike brands are based. It’s a very cool place but in a very quirky way. To say that Santa Cruz is a little bit counterculture is somewhat of an understatement… the place is downright weird! I’m a big fan of ‘The Lost Boys’ so a ride on the wooden roller coaster that was used in the movie was obligatory. We spent quite a bit of time just people watching downtown. It’s a place that has to be seen to be believed and definitely a must if you are visiting North California.