Santa Cruz and beach cruisers are like peanut butter and jelly: They just work better together. A great place to enjoy this classic combo is West Cliff Drive—a seaside bicycle path near the historic Santa Cruz Boardwalk. This 3-mile ride offers the Santa Cruz spectrum in all its quirky glory. In addition to a parade of people and pups, you’ll pass the lighthouse, which doubles as a little surfing museum, and the famed Steamer’s Lane break, where professional-grade surfers line up. If you want to cool off, access the hidden beaches near West Cliff Drive and Fair Avenue—or try the clothing-optional sands at West Cliff Drive and Auburn Avenue. Natural Bridges State Beach is the turnaround point, and it’s a great spot to break out the sunscreen and sandwiches—peanut butter and jelly, of course.
Rent your cruiser from Electric Sierra Cycle, 302 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz; 831-425-1593. Bikes are $8 per hour or $25 per day; the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (no rentals after 5 p.m.). West Cliff Drive starts just across the street.