exploring santa cruz: 41st ave

Even though Seth and I have both been coming to Santa Cruz since we were kids, there are a lot of places we’ve never taken the time to explore. Now that we’re living here, we’re making an effort to visit new places, many of which we’ve seen or driven by, but have never actually experienced. I thought it might be fun to document places the places we think are worth visiting if you’re ever here!

On Saturday, we walked down 41st Avenue near Capitola. The street is lined with shops and cool places to eat. Obviously, there is a ton of surfing and skating gear, but most of the shops had a pretty good selection of clothing as well (brands like Volcom, Roxy, Billabong, etc…you know, beachwear).

This little cafe called Chill Out was so cute. It’s a tiny little place but has a lot of charm and is one of those places that makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical where the locals eat. We didn’t stop in, but it’s on my list of places to try.

When we walked by All Shook Up, I knew I had to pop in. You could spend hours scouring the racks of this place. There were crazy tie dye jeans, 60’s go-go dresses, poodle skirts, cowboy boots, and a entire wall dedicated to sequins and sparkle. I found a really cute sequin top that was only $22. I want to go back when I have more time to explore and will definitely be paying a visit in October to find our Halloween costumes. :)

Seth has been getting into mountain biking again so we stopped into Family Cycling Center to check out what they had. They had so many bikes (all of the bike photos below were taken here) and a great selection of gear. I’m dying to get a beach cruiser so I was eyeing those the whole time. ;)

We finished our stroll with lunch at Betty’s Burgers, which was delicious as usual. Since I’m eating paleo for 30 days, I was so happy that they offer a “Bareback Wrap” option, which is any burger wrapped in lettuce rather than put on a bun. Also, all of their burgers are made with fresh, all natural beef that doesn’t have any antibiotics or hormones. Yay for that!

If you do visit 41st, you could also grab some food at Pleasure Pizza (where they filmed the movie Chasing Mavericks) or East Side Eatery (which is right next to the Billabong store). You can treat yourself some handmade, organic ice cream made with local ingredients at The Penny Ice Creamery or grab a coffee at the cozy Verve Coffee. I really wanted a coffee from there, especially because of the design and branding (I could hang out there for hours), but couldn’t because of the paleo thing (I can’t do black coffee). I’ll be visiting as soon as I can have a creamy coffee again. :)

The other great thing about 41st Ave is that you an walk down to East Cliff along the coast to Pleasure Point, which was also in Chasing Mavericks and is a great place to watch surfers. Seth and I drove by when we were there and, apparently, it was the place to be. But then again, all the beaches were packed on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day, indeed!