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Located in downtown Santa Cruz atop Mission Hill, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park guards Surf City. Visitors bring picnics to enjoy on a patio near the lovely gardens, offering excellent views of the city. Note the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791, and lovingly restored to its original appearance. California Native Americans used to live in the single-story adobe. Today, when you explore the mission, pay attention to the exhibits showcasing the history of the Ohlone and Yokut people. The park is currently closed on Sunday; call before ...

Located in downtown Santa Cruz atop Mission Hill, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park guards Surf City. Visitors bring picnics to enjoy on a patio near the lovely gardens, offering excellent views of the city. Note the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791, and lovingly restored to its original appearance. California Native Americans used to live in the single-story adobe. Today, when you explore the mission, pay attention to the exhibits showcasing the history of the Ohlone and Yokut people. The park is currently closed on Sunday; call before visiting. The park also offers a number of seasonal events such as nightly campfires where visitors learn to make their own tortillas, and Junior Ranger events. No matter the season, wear layers because the fog can get chilly.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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