EDITOR'S NOTE: Sometimes all it takes to be romantic is a bouquet of flowers or a well-timed kiss, but in Santa Cruz County, you have plenty of picturesque backdrops to choose from to highlight your love story in a unique way. With the awe-inspiring Monterey Bay and beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains just outside, it shouldn't be too hard to show some imagination when it comes to romance. And, if you happen to be looking for inspiration, we have you covered. We recently polled our staff and readers, asking them to share their favorite romantic things to do in and around Santa Cruz. Here are some of our favorites:
Imagine this: A seemingly endless expanse of water stretching into a vibrant sunset, a cool wind brushing across your face, and you with your arm wrapped around your significant other, keeping each other warm sailing the Pacific Ocean. Sounds nice, right? Luckily, the Monterey Bay is a prime spot for romantic cruises -- and charter boats from the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, or from the Monterey Harbor, are in ample supply. When we polled our readers, some of the most popular suggestions for charters were the Chardonnay II, Lighthall Yacht Charters, the O'Neill Catamaran and Pacific Sail. If you're lucky, you might see some visiting whales while you're out there.
Cost: Varies. Private charters will cost upward of a couple hundred dollars, depending on how long the cruise last.
Do it cheaper: While you may not have the sea to yourself on a public charter, your expenses will be about half of what they would be on a private charter, if not less.
Turn up the heat: Go for some hot chowder afterward to warm up.
Location: The Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor is at 135 Fifth Ave., Santa Cruz