A few steps from our backyard is the Sunset Trail from Quail Hollow Ranch Park, a 300-acre historic horse ranch currently a nature preserve and home to a few horses but is also to 15 hiking and equestrian trails.
The picturesque historic logging villages of Felton, home of the Roaring Camp Railroad, and Ben Lomond are both within 2 miles of the Ben Lomond Bungalow. Boulder Creek is a little further up the mountain and a great place to visit.
Roaring Camp Railroad (steam) is 2 miles down the road. You will find a variety of well loved rail adventures. Select passage on this 19th century steam train through Henry Cowell Park or from the Redwood Forest to the Main Beach Boardwalk; additional seasonal events are offered throughout the year. Drive another 8 miles to the heart of Santa Cruz, the Beach Boardwalk and Wharf and the memorable strolls down Pacific Ave, or West Cliff drive are all easy. State Parks surround us, Big Basin State Park, Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, Historic Wilder Ranch State Park, Quail Hollow Ranch Park, UCSC is also an easy drive. Go a little further to find Sea Cliff Beach State Park, Elk Horn Slough in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Point Lobos Nature Preserve, and even Big Sur. North along Highway one you will discover elephant seals at Ano Nuevo, Davenport, the home of Odwala Juice and Bonny Doon Winery, lighthouses, and many remote isolated beaches, wind surfing, and other unique enterprises
Quick outings might include the 1 mile bike ride to the 19th century Mt. Hermon conference grounds where you may choose to whiz down a zip line (known as the longest on the central coast) through the tree canopy.
Or pedal the 2 miles to the picturesque Village of Ben Lomond where the smell of chicken barbecue always wafts from the parking lot of the Ben Lomond Market.
The Mountain Village of Boulder Creek is where you will find the streets found in a number of Hollywood movies because its historic charm is evident along each block, as the quaint shops of artisans, antique dealers, are mixed with the local fabric of the community.
Hiking through Big Basin Redwood Forest is a lifetime memory or visit the Highland Park or the 3 remaining Historic Logging Villages. Henry Cowell Redwood Forest and State Park is home to a centuries old Redwood Grove that features a self-guided nature path. The park has a picnic area above the San Lorenzo River. Anglers fish for steelhead and salmon during the winter (catch and release).
Shop till you drop on the Pacific Avenue Mall and enjoy the street musicians. Folks say the nearby Pasatiempo Golf course, a Alister McKenzie design, is as good as you can get for public (semipro) golf. Golfweek rates it #3 in California.
Rent a fishing boat or Canoe at Loch Lomond (3 miles up the hill) or fish in the San Lorenzo River, off the wharf or ask how to sign up for deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is part of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, a research and education facility of the University of California, Santa Cruz just 10 miles away or drive a little further to the Monterey Bay Aquarium,
Follow paths to incredible vistas along coastal edges and high mountain trails that overlook the Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean. Visit Santa Cruz's 300 historic homes dating from the 1850s through 1930s and its 247 structures of architectural significance that dates from 1930 through 1950.
Santa Cruz Farmer's Market is every Wednesday located one block off of Pacific Avenue.
World class jazz every Monday at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz is open to all ages.
Take day trips to explore the California Coast from Big Sur and Carmel-by-the-Sea, to the Golden Gate Bridge and streetcars of San Francisco.
Colleges and university visits are a natural from Ben Lomond Bungalow. UCSC is 12 miles, CSU San Jose and CSU Monterey Bay are about 30 miles, Stanford University is about 40 miles and UC Berkeley is 70 miles.
Visit up to forty-five different Santa Cruz wineries. Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook Restaurant features 2 to 4 wines from local Wineries in a spectacular river front setting.
Barrel Tasting & Wine Dinner is held at Bonny Doon Vineyard every Thursday where you can glimpse into the winery & cellar. Barrel tasting is followed by a hosted three-course, prix fixe family-style dinner paired with wines of Bonny Doon Vineyard.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is recognized as the best seaside park in the world. Friday night bands on the beach are free. But one of the best tiny venues to see great musicians is the nearby Don Quixote’s International Hall of Music, come for dinner and a show. Home will be within two miles.
Only 30 miles from San Jose is a different world, but it is magic here on the mountain.