Panther Beach, Davenport, CA
There are not a lot of things about San Jose that I really like to brag about but one thing that has proven its worth time and time again is the location. Being in the South Bay Area allows us to quickly access Oakland, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and of course Santa Cruz.
When you think of Santa Cruz the first thing that probably comes to mind is the Beach and Boardwalk. Well that is where our day began as well - using tickets to attractions that my mother had given us. With two free attractions each, we hit the boardwalk early Friday afternoon. We chose to play laser tag and take a run through the laser maze. After we played a few games of skeeball to finish off our credits, we decided it was time for lunch. We heard once again from my mom that Macy’s was having a huge sale so off to the mall it was. After scouring the sale section we emerged victorious with two pairs of shorts for me for $10 and a pair shoes + a jacket for her for $10 as well. Sufficiently happy with shopping for the day we moved on to downtown where we planted ourselves in Verve Coffee. Lynn had work to do and I wanted to write a few more of these posts so we sat for a few hours before it was time for our photo shoot at the beach.
We had a little more time to kill before our picnic at the beach during Golden Hour so decided to head over to Swanton Berry Farms for some of their famous strawberry apple cider. A cup of hot cider is only $1 but beware, it is extremely tart, even for my taste. We filled it with some sugar and sat down to explore the small shop. The farm shop looks like it is from the 50’s with all of it’s old school games and magazines. The two that really caught our eye were "Shoot the Moon" and "Skittles."
More determined than before I took control of the device and tried many times in vain to break her score. I finally found some momentum and managed to tie her before handing it back. Not long after regaining control of the device she doubled her score, making her way up to 1000. I seized control of the game once again and set out to defeat her as she went to play the other game. With fierce determination in my eye I began to dismantle the game in my mind. I once got the ball to fly all the way to the end board but it didn’t land in 5000 so Lynn wouldn’t let it count. With one final attempt I saw the ball fly down the rods and land in the 2000 mark. I sat back and marveled at what I accomplished. Lynn had no interest in trying to beat me so we moved on to playing skittles. You spin a top and attempt to knock over pins to score points. The game feels like 100% skill but we had fun nonetheless. You set up pins in an open area and in the back where your top has to move perfectly to fit through. Lynn had trouble getting her top to go forward at first but quickly got the hang of it. We played casually for a little while until the sun started to set so we left our playground from another era to head to the beach.
Shoot for the moon is a game of dexterity and skill. Two metal rods hold up a wooden ball. As you move the rods apart, the ball begins to roll. Move them too far apart and the ball drops, too close and the ball returns to the starting position.We must have spent an hour sitting there trying to get all the way to the moon. We took turns attempting it for the first fifteen minutes with neither of us having success. The goal is to drop the wooden ball as far up the rods as possible, the scores get higher the farther away from the starting position you get. it starts at -20 and goes up from there to 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and finally 5000 max. Lynn was the first to get a big breakaway, hitting 500.
Panther Beach can be hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for. A very small dirt road off of the highway leads to a very bumpy and pothole ridden road. Park anywhere along this before you hike down to the beach proper. A steep climb down a well worn path brings you down to a nice secluded beach. A few others were starting bonfires so we walked through the natural rock formations to the second part of the beach. Picnic baskets and blankets were set up and we decided to frolic before we ate. The ocean here is pretty unpredictable and has some huge waves that can come in. We did our best at first to avoid the waves but I gave in, as the ocean called to me. Lynn took pictures from afar while the ocean and I had our moment. After I felt at peace with the sea I grabbed the camera and began to take photos of Lynn. I purposely didn’t tell Lynn when a wave was coming so I could get funny shots of her (sorry, I love you <3). We had a fantastic time at the beach and as the sun set we packed our things away before heading back into downtown Santa Cruz for some truly fantastic ice cream.
The Penny Ice Creamery makes all of their ice cream in shop and always has unique flavors and toppings. We split a Black Tea Peach ice cream on a waffle cone with Marshmallow Fluff topping. I am not normally that big on marshmallows but the fluff at Penny’s is amazing. They scoop the ice cream on stop then use a food torch to brown the top. This is a normal stop on most of our Santa Cruz trips but there is something very special about ending your night with ice cream.
So there you have it. Looking for some things to do in Santa Cruz? We filled a whole day with these activities. Hope you enjoyed this post and until next time, happy travels!
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