2. Scenery – Santa Cruz and the surrounding area is absolutely stunning. It’s very rugged and completely different from the manicured Baywatch boardwalks that most people recognise from cities further south such as LA and San Diego. Santa Cruz is surrounded by Redwood forests that run right up to the beach and the area between Santa Cruz and San Francisco is largely undeveloped with endless idyllic surf and windsurfing spots just waiting to be discovered. If you want to do a road trip, hire a RV and head to Nor Cal.. you won’t be disappointed.