Last week it rained and it poured and it stormed, although we Californians can't really complain considering the Midwest got ripped apart by tornadoes for two days straight. Nevertheless, we sure were ready for some sunshine come Saturday, and that's exactly what we got!
There is a beach right down the road from my house in San Francisco, but on the rare occasion that the weather is nice enough to enjoy it, every square inch of sand is covered with blankets and bodies from sun up to sun down. I prefer to cruise down the coast an hour to Santa Cruz where there is more beach to go around.
If you haven't been to Santa Cruz before, know that it can be sketchy, so make sure you stay on the right side of it. The Boardwalk is expensive, crowded, and highly overrated. If you have never been, give it the obligatory touristy walk-through, but once that's out of the way cruise over to one of my favorite beaches, between Woods Lagoon and Schwan Lagoon, off of E Cliff Drive. During tourist season, which begins the first weekend of April, only residents with a neighborhood permit can park on the street, but if you arrive early it's not impossible to find a free curb space or a reasonably priced lot.