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Explore: The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz

If you’re planning a summer getaway weekend down in Santa Cruz, the University’s Arboretum is a must-do (and if you’re not planning a trip, why not?). Not everyone’s heard of this particular Arboretum and its beautiful gardens, so we wanted to get the word out!  There’s lots and lots to see—it’s a huge place—so bring the binoculars and a camera.

When to go: The gardens are gorgeous all year round, but are at their most colorful between March and June.

Approximate travel time: The Arboretum is located 80 miles south of San Francisco.

What to see: Gardens from countries such as New Zealand and South Africa, birds (especially hummingbirds), a rare fruit garden, an aroma garden, and much more.

Where to have lunch: Bring your own (there are plenty of picnic tables there) or head over to ‘Emily’s Good Things To Eat’ – reportedly the best bakery in town.

How to dress: The weather is mild in Santa Cruz, but take jackets, as it can get cool/breezy.

Bonus: Admission is FREE the first Tuesday of the month.

Cost of trip: Inexpensive. Admission is only $5 for adults, $2 for ages 6 to 17, and under 6 are FREE.

NOTE: You can reserve specific areas within the gardens for any large group by calling 831.427.2998.

Online: www.arboretum.ucsc.edu

—Annie Sheldon

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