Falling for Santa Cruz - Saturday

Lisa Taggart

Sleepy-eyed faces. Bagels, breakfast wraps, and a collegiate laissez-faire can be found at Caffe Pergolesi (418 Cedar; 831/426-1775). Once you're awake, pack a picnic lunch from New Leaf Community Market (1134 Pacific; 831/425-1793) or Zoccoli's Deli (1534 Pacific; 831/423-1711).

Get your feet wet. South of downtown, walk off breakfast at Cowell Beach. Hardy souls can try surfing with Club Ed International Surf School (call ahead: 831/464-0177).

Sublime scenery. The path along West Cliff Drive offers gorgeous ocean views and glimpses of surfers, dolphins, and sea lions. Walk, drive, jog, or pedal― you can rent bicycles for $8 per hour or $25 per day from Electric Sierra Cycles (302 Pacific; 831/425-1593) or Dave's Recycled Bikes (318 Pacific; 831/423-8923).

Surf stops. Along the way, stop at two surf monuments: the hunky bronze surfer statue at Lighthouse Point, and the remodeled lighthouse that's now the Surfing Museum (12-4 Thu-Mon; $1.50 donation; Lighthouse Point, W. Cliff Dr.; 831/420-6289).

Flutter, flutter. Stop at Natural Bridges State Beach (2531 W. Cliff; 831/423-4609) to see the monarch butterflies. The eucalyptus grove is the best place to observe the 100,000 or so insects. Find a nice spot to sit and enjoy that picnic lunch.

Ocean's deep, up close. Check out an 87-foot blue whale skeleton, decorator crabs, eels, and sea stars at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, part of Long Marine Laboratory (closed Mon; $5; 100 Shaffer Rd. at Delaware Ave.; 831/459-3800).

Go organic. For a real Santa Cruz scene--and views of the campus― head to the Farm (831/459-4140), University of California at Santa Cruz's Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems. The 25-acre farm has an apple orchard with more than 24 varieties. Pick up a campus map and parking permit ($5 Mon-Fri; free Sat-Sun) at the historic Cook House, near the main entrance at Bay and High Streets. Park in the physical plant lot; it's a 10-minute walk to the Farm.

Plants galore. If you're grooving on greenery, visit the UCSC Arboretum (9-5 daily; $3 donation; off Empire Grade, 1/2 mile west of the main campus entrance at Bay and High; 831/427-2998), which also has a pretty hummingbird loop trail.

Wine tasting and a tasty meal. You can try wines from Santa Cruz and around the world at colorful Soif Wine Bar & Merchant (closed Mon; 105 Walnut Ave.; 831/423-2020), which opened in August. Or taste a little vino at the deli and wine shop Gabriella (11-4 daily; 1016 Cedar; 831/457-1217). Afterward, savor pasta at Gabriella Cafe (910 Cedar; 831/457-1677), down the street from the wine shop. Or head to Oswald (closed Mon; 1547 Pacific; 831/423-7427) for roast duck or pork chops.

Cinema Cruz. Now that the 1936 art deco Del Mar has reopened, you have many film choices nearby: try the Del Mar Theatre (1124 Pacific; 831/469-3220) or the artsy Nickelodeon (210 Lincoln St.; 831/426-7500).