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By The Sea!
Day trip, Santa Cruz Coast
There's a $5 admission fee to the UCSC Arboretum just outside the entrance to UC Santa Cruz.
Open daily "10 to 4" but we found them open at 9AM. Great place to wander, take photos, picnic.
Native, non-native succulents, cactus, bright, scented plants in this area.
Some of the cactus are in bloom.
Saw 2-3 varieties of brightly colored flowers resembling Sticky Monkeyflowers.
Leaving the scented garden, follow paths that weave among some very exotic trees and shrubs.
What a sight! These bright colors will take your breath away!
Large pom-pom sized flowers with little or no scent.
Vivid colors and lots of different varieties.
In bloom now but will fade in the days, weeks ahead.
Lots of photo opportunities throughout the arboretum.
There are benches and shaded picnic tables at various places.
There's a handful of exotics with flowers resembling seedpods.
The Arboretum is wonderful habitat for birds, insects, butterflies, lizards, and definitely snakes.
Lots of exotic flowers are in bloom. Really fun place to take photos.
These are just a fraction of the flowers that bloom in the arboretum.
Plan to spend at least 1-2 hours exploring the grounds, visiting the Arboretum's gift shop.

North of Santa Cruz, this old truck caught our eye - and the sign announcing Jam Tasting.
The jam tasting shop is behind a cluster of farm buildings.
Lots of jams, jellies, seasonal fruit, coffee, tea, strawberry-lemonade, pies, pastries, chocolate-dipped fruit.
Unique payment method ... note the sea shells, bits of driftwood in cash drawer.
Impressive display honoring Caesar Chavez, farm workers organizer and founder of the UFW.
Brightly colored chairs, picnic tables outside, but what caught our eye was the "pet stairs" beneath the window.

Further north, we stopped at Ano Nuevo State Park. This old barn is now a visitor center and gift shop.

There's a level, wheel-chair accessible loop trail out to the beach and back.

Wildflowers bloom along the way.
We visited these places on a Monday. I imagine it's fairly crowded on weekends, except the Arboretum.
It's one of the coast's best kept secrets.
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