Falling for Santa Cruz - Sunday

Lisa Taggart

City's best breakfast. The wait is worth it at the Walnut Avenue Cafe (106 Walnut; 831/457-2804), serving omelets, pancakes, and the like.

Old-fashioned fun. At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (12-5 Sat-Sun; along the waterfront east of Santa Cruz Wharf; 831/426-7433), you can ride two historic monuments― the 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster and the 1911 Looff Carousel― or try your hand at Atomic Bowling.

Seagulls and fishermen. Lined with restaurants, the Santa Cruz Wharf, built in 1914, is a pretty place for a stroll. A short drive away, Seabright Beach is another good spot for promenading. Head toward the rock jetty to see the city's newest beacon, the 42-foot-tall Walton Lighthouse.

Nestle in. Across the harbor, grab lunch at the Crow's Nest (2218 E. Cliff Dr.; 831/476-4560). Here you can munch on crab sandwiches and get a view of the ocean from the deck. You might even spot a few monarch butterflies trickling in for the winter.

Santa Cruz lodging

Babbling Brook Inn. Thirteen rooms by a 1-acre garden near downtown. From $130. 1025 Laurel St.; (800) 866-1131, (831) 427-2437, or www.babblingbrookinn.com

Cliff Crest Bed & Breakfast Inn. Lovely renovated Victorian with five rooms above the boardwalk. From $175. 407 Cliff St.; (831) 427-2609 or