Day Trips

The Parks Department offers a wide variety of trips for older adults and seniors. We utilize luxury motor coaches (with a restroom onboard) for all trips. Included in the registration fee for each trip is bus transportation, tour guide, and entry fees; lunch is included only when specified.  Register NOW by calling  454-7941, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  You may also register on-line by clicking the program number (e.g. #13356).    

Chardonnay II Cruise

Join us for a 2-hour cruise aboard the beautiful 70’ sloop, Chardonnay II on Thursday, September 6, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.  This FREE event is made possible by the generosity of Chardonnay Sailing Charters. This trip is open ONLY to seniors age 55+, who have NOT participated before; reservations will not be accepted from those who have previously attended. To make your reservation, please mail-in or walk-in your name, address, and telephone number by August 17, 5:00 p.m. to: Jessica Beebe, 979 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, 95062. Please neatly PRINT all of your information!  One entry per person. A drawing will be held on August 20 to choose the lucky winners for this year’s cruise.  A wait list will also be created. Winners will be notified via mail.  If you don’t hear from us it is because your name was not selected. 

Jack London Square & SF Bay and Bridge Lights Cruise

The fun will begin in Jack London Square, where you’ll have time for dinner on your own and browsing in the shops and at a new biweekly event offering unique clothing and jewelry vendors.  Next, join the beloved River Dolphin crew for a 2.5-hr. narrated cruise and experience part of the San Francisco Bay from an entirely different perspective.  Discover the natural and cultural history of the waterfront and islands as you can only from the water, viewing Treasure Island, part of the Oakland Estuary, San Francisco City Front, Yerba Buena Island and lighthouse, and McCovey Cove near AT&T Park!  See the new construction and deconstruction of the Bay Bridge, and take a step back as you realize the breadth and magnificence of this bay and its attributes.  As darkness falls, we will enjoy views of The City lighting up as well as the Bay Bridge Lights Art Project, a 1.8-milewide and 500-foot-high never repeating, dazzling display of 25,000 LED lights.  Please note: we will return to Santa Cruz County after sunset.  Will this be a late night out? Yes, but it is sure to be well worth it! 

Jack London Square & Berkeley Marina – Age 30+
Sun     9/16     12:30PM-11:30PM      $99/ $109        #18964


Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

Do you want to experience the festivities of the season without the fuss?  Travel with us and enjoy the picturesque view along the coast on your way to the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival with no concerns about finding parking when you arrive!  Don’t miss the massive, mind-boggling champion pumpkins on display, the mesmerizing “Picasso of pumpkin carvers” sculpting and shaping one-of-a-kind masterpieces, harvest-inspired crafts by America’s top artists, festive food and drink and the Great Pumpkin Parade.

Half Moon Bay – Age 7+
Sat           10/13            7:30AM-4:30PM        $39/ $43         #18965


Director’s Choice Tour!

Join Santa Cruz County Parks Director Jeff Gaffney for our inaugural Director’s Choice Tour.  Jeff grew up in the Gilroy area exploring the outdoors both locally and throughout California. He became a Park Ranger for the County of Santa Clara and later held various positions with California State Parks.  His passion for the region and knowledge of unique locations to explore is sure to lead to an informative and adventurous day! These Director’s Choice Tours have an air of mystery about them. But you can rest assured they’re designed with you in mind and will be implemented similarly to the other trips that we offer. This year’s adventure features a tour of the magnificent and historic Grand Island Mansion and includes a lovely brunch on the grounds.  You will have to join us to discover what else is in store!

Walnut Grove & more! - Age 30+ 
Sat         10/20           8AM-7PM       $129 / $142         #18970


Golden Gate Fields

Join us in an exciting outing to Golden Gate Fields where we will enjoy a day of thrilling Thoroughbred racing and a lavish luncheon buffet in the Turf Club. The expansive viewing area offers a close-up view of your favorite rounding the turn, heading toward the finish line. Don’t miss out on action packed horse racing, a mouth-watering meal and a chance to taste victory!  Fee includes transportation, admission, reserved seating, racing program, and luncheon buffet.

Golden Gate Park, SF – Age 30+
Sat         10/27           9AM-6PM           $85/ $94          #18966


Port Chicago Tour by Land and Water

The water portion of our tour will begin in Vallejo, home to Mare Island, a prominent naval shipyard dating back to the early days of California.  Once aboard the River Dolphin, we will be treated to a narrated cruise down the Carquinez Strait, past Benicia and under a number of bridges.  Lunch will be served onboard as we approach Port Chicago from a distance and begin to unfold its intriguing and historically significant past. Next, we will travel by bus to the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial for an opportunity to dive deeper into the 1944 Port Chicago disaster.  Learn how the explosion and its aftermath led to the largest Naval mutiny in US history and how the subsequent trial became a major catalyst for the United States Navy to desegregate following the war.  Trip fee includes: transportation, narrated cruise, lunch and guided tour of memorial.

The last day to register is October 12.  Because the memorial is located on an active base, identification information for each participant must be submitted in advance.

Port Chicago, CA – Age 30+
Sat        11/3         6:30AM-4:30PM          $117 / $129         #19122


Mamma Mia! & Carmel

The day will begin with a beautiful drive to Carmel-By-The-Sea, where you will have time to browse and enjoy lunch before traveling by bus or, if you choose, walking to the nearby historic Golden Bough Playhouse.  There you will be treated to professional theatre company Pacific Repertory Theatre’s presentation of Mamma Mia!, brought back by popular demand and sure to delight!

Carmel-by-the-Sea – Age 30+
Sun           11/18         8:30AM-5:30PM        $75 / $83         #18967


San Francisco Shopping & Vasona Park Festival of Lights

The fondest childhood memories of the holidays often involve viewing festive holiday light displays.  Join us for a fun outing, beginning with an amazing shopping experience in downtown San Francisco. The bus will drop us off in the heart of Union Square, where you will be able to choose from a variety of stores and restaurants. If you like, you may choose to stay in one location and enjoy shopping at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. The Centre is home to the second largest Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s in the country as well as over 170 specialty stores and exclusive boutiques for an awe-inspiring blend of commerce, couture, cuisine and culture.  On our return trip, we’ll stop off at Vasona Park’s very popular Festival of Lights, where the bus will meander through a 1.5-mile path of themed light displays. Please note: we will arrive back in Santa Cruz County after sunset.

Union Square/Westerfield Ctr., SF & Vasona Park, Los Gatos - Age 30+

Tues 12/4 8:30AM-7:30PM $49/ $54 #18968


Hamilton February 2019 & Hello Dolly! Feb./Mar. 2019

Hamilton is returning to the Orpheum in San Francisco in winter 2019.  We will make an attempt to acquire group tickets if they are available.  Hello Dolly! has been revived and is breaking box office records, receiving rave reviews!  Call 454-7941 to be placed on interest lists for these shows and we’ll notify you when information becomes available.

Holidays at Filoli

Experience honored family traditions at the historic Filoli House, featuring a story of Christmases from 1917 to 1975 with lush and beautiful décor in every room. After a guided house tour, meander through the gardens, adorned with special holiday touches.  Enjoy festive entertainment, grab a bite in the Quail’s Nest Café and indulge in holiday shopping in a setting reminiscent of European Christmas markets.

Filoli, Woodside - Age 7+
Sat         12/8       8AM-3PM         $65 / $72      #18969


Fairmead Fossils, Air Force One & Pea Soup Andersen’s

Did you know that Columbian mammoths, camels, giant ground sloths and dire wolves once roamed the San Joaquin Valley floor?  Tour the Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County and learn about one of the largest fossil sites on the West Coast, its contents and how it was discovered.  Next, we will travel the short distance to the Castle Air Museum.  In addition to a guided tour of fabulous aircraft displays and war-time memorabilia, we will be treated to a tour of Air Force One, the VC-9C that served the administrations of Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush! Lastly, we will stop at Pea Soup Andersen’s for a mouthwatering buffet dinner.  Bring the whole family for a fantastic intergenerational opportunity!  Trip fee includes transportation, museum entries, Air Force One tour, dinner and dining service fees.

Chowchilla, Atwood, Santa Nella - Age 7+
Sat        4/27/19        7:30AM-6:30PM          $120 / $132       #18972



Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831)