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, walk-in, or email your name, address, and telephone number by August 16, 5:00 p.m. to: Jessica Beebe, 979 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, 95062 - email jessica.beebe@santacruzcounty.us. Please neatly PRINT all of your information!  One entry per person. A drawing will be held on August 19 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. 


Daffodils & Discovery

Join us on an exciting new outing to discover beauty and fascinating nuggets of California history.  The first stop is Daffodil Hill, which is sure to be a site to behold!  This working ranch, littered with pine trees, the original 1880s barn, gold rush era mining equipment and antique farming implements, also boasts approximately 300,000 daffodil bulbs when in full bloom.  That is not a typo!  Meander through the property at your own pace before boarding the bus for the short trip to Sutter Creek, where you will have time to have lunch on your own, browse the many boutiques and antique shops, enjoy a historic walking tour of Main St. and sample Amador County wines in one of the 11 wine-tasting rooms.  Those interested can even bypass Sutter Creek and get whisked away to the nearby Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort for a few hours of frivolities.  The fun doesn’t end there!  On the way out of the area, we will stop for a tour of the Preston Castle, a California State Historic Landmark and most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode.

Registration is now open for this trip!

Volcano, Sutter Creek, Ione – Age 30+
Sun     4/14    7AM-7:30PM      $109 / $120        #6904

 


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        7:30AM-6:30PM          $120 / $132       #5832

 


di Rosa Center, Sonoma Plaza & Jack London State Historic Park

This exciting excursion will begin with a tour of the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, an art park located in  Napa that encompasses multiple galleries and a sculpture meadow on protected land. Next, we will travel to Sonoma Plaza where you will have time for lunch on your own, browsing in the many shops, wine-tasting, and exploring the historical sites in the immediate area.  Before heading home, we will travel to Jack London State Historic Park for a tour of the newly redesigned park museum, The House of Happy Walls, which celebrates the adventurous and inspiring story of Jack London and his wife, Charmian, and inspires visitors to pursue life with passionate curiosity.

Napa, Sonoma, Glen Ellen – Age 30+ 
Sun         5/19    8AM-7:30PM       $86 / $95         #6905

 


Delta Cruise, Rio Vista & Western Railway Museum

Enjoy three modes of transportation with us on this fun-filled excursion!  After traveling by bus to Antioch, we will board the River Dolphin for a cruise on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, exploring the cultural and natural history of this critical area.  The cruise will enter the San Joaquin River before crossing through Three Mile Slough and entering the Sacramento River. Witness the levees, wetland areas, birds and people that all co-exist here.  We will disembark in Rio Vista, where you will have time to explore the historic town, visit the Rio Vista Museum and have lunch on your own.  Next, we will board the bus and travel to the nearby Western Railway Museum.  There will be treated to a car house tour and an approximate one-hour ride aboard a restored historic electric rail car. 

Antioch, Rio Vista, Suisun – Adults & children - Age 7+
Sun         6/2    8AM-6PM           $129/ $142          #6906

 


Backyard Treasures

The first stop on our journey will be at the Bay Area Glass Institute, where we will be treated to an educational glassblowing demonstration.  Next, we will tour the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph, which features a central dome, cupolas, finials, towers and 39 beautiful and unique stained-glass windows.  After stopping for lunch on your own, we will travel the short distance to the Winchester Mystery House for a guided tour of the world’s longest renovation project, spanning 1886 to 1922. This architectural wonder and curiosity was built at a price tag totaling over $5 million in 1973!  Please note:  The Winchester Mystery House tour cannot accommodate walkers, wheelchairs or electric scooters; canes are permitted.

San Jose - Adults & children - Age 7+ 
Sat         6/8     8:30AM-6PM           $88/$97          #6909

 


San Francisco Giants Game

See the San Francisco Giants embark on what hopes to be another winning season. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, at AT&T Park watching the San Francisco Giants vs. the New York Mets (Section LB 127). Bring a friend or grandchild with you to enjoy this special day in the city. Pack a lunch or grab a bite after we arrive at the park, where you will have a variety of food and beverage options to choose from. Fee includes transportation, shuttle from parking lot, and entrance to the game. 

Oracle Park, San Francisco - Age 7+
Sun 7/21    8:30AM-6PM           $130/ $143          #6907

 


Golden Gate Park & Lunch at the Cliff House 

Live harp music and panoramic ocean views will set the stage for a delectable Sunday Champagne Buffet Brunch in the Terrace Room at the Cliff House.  After your lovely meal, you will board the bus and travel to Golden Gate Park, a testament to the will of San Francisco's residents to preserve a place to play, relax and grow culturally.  Once at the park, a free shuttle will transport participants to several points of interest within, including: The Conservatory of Flowers where the dahlias should be presenting beautiful blooms, Japanese Tea Garden, Strybing Arboretum, Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, McLaren Lodge, and more. Equipped with a map and a comprehensive guide that you will receive in advance, you will have the choice to visit those attractions that interest you. Many are free, while others charge small fees.  Trip fee includes Champagne Brunch, transportation and guide to park.

San Francisco – Age 30+
Sun         8/25    7:30AM-5:30PM           $139/ $153          #6908

 


A Day in the Presidio

Join us on an excursion to the Presidio of San Francisco, a premier national park with a remarkable past and a variety of enjoyable experiences to offer visitors. Upon disembarking at the park, you are welcome to explore on your own or join the trip host in exploring the offerings around the Main Post area, including the Walt Disney Family Museum.  The hosted tour will also include exploring the newly opened Visitor Center, which features exhibits that tell the park’s fascinating history, in depth information about current park features and a gift shop. Next, a visit to the Presidio Officers’ Club will offer deeper insight into the park’s history and culture, and features Arguello Restaurant for lunch on your own.  For those who choose to explore on their own, hopping on one of the free park shuttles will give you access to beautiful views of the Bay from Crissy Field, 24 miles of trails, Fort Point, and more.  Trip fees include transportation and the “Tour Including Walt Disney Family Museum” fees include museum admission.  Food trucks and entertainment will also be available on the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground.

San Francisco – Age 30+
Tour Including Walt Disney Family Museum      Sun    9/15    8AM-6PM          $75 / $83         #6910
Self-Guided Tour Without Disney Museum Sun    9/15    8AM-6PM $55 / $61 #6911

 


Safari West, Charles Schulz Museum & Petaluma

Discover wildest Africa in the heart of wine country! Safari West offers adventurous treks in search of cheetahs, romping rhinos, towering giraffes and more.  Our 90-minute trek with a highly-trained safari guide will consist of a ride in a larger safari vehicle, which has a smaller step up to get in than their classic tour vehicles, and 40 minutes on foot.  Next, we will board the bus and travel to the Charles Schulz Museum, where you can get acquainted with Charles M. Schulz and his lovable cast of characters during a docent-led tour.  The next stop will be the quaint downtown area of Petaluma, where you will have time to do some exploring on your own.  There you will find many wonderful restaurants, antique shops, art galleries, specialty shops (including Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company's only west coast location), historic architecture of many structures that survived the 1906 SF earthquake and the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum.

Santa Rosa, Petaluma - Adults & children - Age 7+ 
Sat         10/12    7AM-7PM        $127 / $140         #6928

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 Fields, San Francisco - Age 30+ 
Sat         10/26    9AM-6PM        $86 / $95         #6765

 


Forestiere Underground & Shinzen Friendship Garden Tours

Discover the underground home and garden built by Italian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere, patterned after the ancient catacombs of his native land. Forestiere designed a network of rooms, grottos, and passageways that once honeycombed almost 10 acres and three separate levels.  The stonework, the scallop-shaped seats carved into the walls and passageways, and the lush greenery of trees and grapevines growing beneath the ground proclaim Forestiere’s love for life, nature, and the divine. After stopping for lunch on your own, we will continue to the Shinzen Friendship Garden, where we will enjoy a guided tour of the peaceful and beautiful 5-acre North American Japanese Garden and discover the art of bonsai in the notable Clark Bonsai Collection.  Please note:  This trip will require a moderate level of walking to enjoy attractions.  It may be too strenuous for those who find walking for extended periods of time difficult.  Poor weather conditions will cancel this trip.  

Fresno, CA - Age 30+
Sat         11/9    6:30AM-5:30PM        $99 / $109         #6912

 


San Francisco Shopping, Sightseeing & Holiday Lights in the City Tour

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.  New this year - We have added a drop-off and pick-up location at Pier 39 for those interested. The fun only begins there!  After a day of shopping, a tour guide will meet us, board our bus, and narrate as we tour the city.  As darkness falls, we’ll be treated to views of holiday lights in San Francisco and even have the opportunity to disembark and have a closer look at some of the city’s best displays!  Please note: we will return to Santa Cruz County after sunset.

Union Sq./Westfield Ctr. & Pier 39, San Francisco – Age 30+
Tu         12/3    8:30AM-8:30PM         $87 / $96      #6766

 


“A Holiday Tradition” at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate

Step back in time and experience a turn-of-the-century Holiday Tradition, one of Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate’s premier events.  Take a guided tour of the magnificent 16,224 sq. foot, 37-room mansion, transformed into a breathtaking masterpiece of Edwardian holiday, featuring elegant holiday trees, antique furnishings, and festive decorations in each room.  After the tour, purchase a light lunch and sip something warm in the Carriage House Café, enjoy holiday entertainment and discover a unique shopping experience at the mansion’s holiday gift shop.  The event also features kid-specific activities sure to delight grandchildren should you choose to also treat them for the day.

Dunsmuir Hellman Estate, Oakland – Age 7+
Sat        12/14    9:30AM-5:30PM          $65 / $72       #6769

 


 

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) 454-7901PRCweb@santacruzcounty.us