If you know anything about Annie and I, you know we like to travel. Well, we also like good food, wine, and vodka. Cheers! Anyways, we’ve done some fun road trips to places like Shaver Lake and Monterey as well as a great train trip to Santa Barbara. It’s just fun to get out there and explore.
Our last road trip took place right after Christmas of last year and the destination was Santa Cruz, CA. Annie and I had each been there before as kids but it was time to check it out as old people. We figured this would be a fun spot for Sammy to explore as well.
Annie found this amazing hotel, the Dream Inn, which is the only hotel on the beach. We had a great room looking out at the beach, ocean, and pier. I had zero complaints about the Dream Inn. The rooms were great, the décor was awesome, and the staff was friendly and helpful. They also have a great restaurant, Aquarius, and the Jack O’ Neill Lounge…a must visit.
As usual, we left our car in the hotel parking lot on this trip and got everywhere on foot. In our opinion, it’s the best way to explore a city. You’re killing two birds with one stone, you’re able to really see everything AND you’re also burning calories so you can order more food and drink. Good thinking, right?
Here are the restaurants we went to:
Stagnaro Brothers – We had dinner here, really good. Located on the pier.
Gilda’s – Great breakfast spot on Annie’s birthday with mimosas. Located on the pier.
Olitas Cantina & Grille – We had dinner here twice because we liked it so much. Located on the pier.
Aquarius at the Dream Inn – We stopped in here a few times because it was good and convenient at our hotel.
Ideal Bar & Grill – We stopped into this joint a few times for food and/ or drinks. The staff here was incredibly kind. Located right before you go on to the pier.
As I said, we did a lot of walking. We walked out to the end of the pier numerous times just to get some exercise in and enjoy the fresh air. The boardwalk was still decked out with Christmas decorations so we cruised the boardwalk. A great spot for people watching, as you could probably guess. We also walked from our hotel to the downtown area to meet up with Annie’s cousin for lunch. It really is a great way to see more of a city rather than driving by everything at 30 or 40 m.p.h.
It’s so good to leave the bubbles that we live in and explore new things. I feel like it’s vital for our mental well-being.
You can check out some of my photos below if you’d like.