I went standup paddle boarding in Santa Cruz on the weekend. It was a warm day so it was a perfect day to hit the water. I paddled for just over two hours and saw Sea Lions, Otters and forests of Kelp.
If you’re headed down to Santa Cruz for the first time, I recommend starting out at the Santa Cruz harbor (map here). It’s a great place to launch your board and is a lot less crowded than the main boardwalk beach and Capitola Beach. From there, you can head out to the ocean to see some Otters or just meander around the harbor for some water relaxation.
Get there early for good parking (don’t forget to buy a ticket).