A Splash of Sunrise by Greg Archer in Santa Cruz, California, USA

A walk or bike ride along Santa Cruz’s revered West Cliff Drive is never boring. Perched against the northern shores of the stunning Monterey Bay, a protected marine sanctuary, there is plenty of eye candy. On a typical walk, one can spot surfers catching some waves at the iconic Steamer Lane surf spot. On other days, the harbor seals can be heard barking from the Wharf nearby. And in the distance, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is festive during the summer months. But in the early mornings of late-fall and winter, when the sun rises from what appears to be a south-eastern position, the view is heaven-like. Coupled with a high surf and crashing waves against the shore, it can make for one idyllic sunrise. Such was the case one December morning when I found myself mesmerized by the scenes unfolding in front of me. I quickly snapped several shots and marveled at the beauty.

Name:Greg Archer

Writer, Editor, Culture Vulture


Mid-century modern homes in Palm Springs, California

Tell us about the place you live:

Santa Cruz, California, boasts a bevy of scenic eye-candy. From the lush Santa Cruz Mountains to the stunning coastline along the Monterey Bay, it remains one of the most protected, untouched coastlines in America. Traditionally known as a surf town, back in the 1970s, it nabbed the curious title of being a “hippie town” with its close proximity to UC Santa Cruz. These days, the laid-back vibe may prevail but it’s quickly becoming known as Silicon Valley By The Sea as emerging tech-savvy geniuses roll in. Still, nature prevails and walks along the scenic West Cliff Drive certainly showcase the Monterey Bay at its best.

A perfect day?

A perfect day would be a walk, jog, bike ride, or even surf on Santa Cruz’s East or West Side before heading into the thriving Downtown area for some java and then off to creative or tech work in one of the numerous portals.

What is the best thing about Santa Cruz?

The view is priceless and an unbeatable outdoors experience.

What is the worst?

Occasional fog in mid-summer can blanket the area for a day or two, but on the plus-side it always burns off.

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider?

Just how much there is to enjoy outdoors, from sailing to hikes in the redwoods. All that … and a surprisingly inventive culinary/wine scene.

If your city was a person or character who would it be?

Stevie Nicks with shades of Laird Hamilton

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Alexander Payne, Woody Allen, Annie Leibovitz




Name:Greg Archer

City:Santa Cruz

Favorite place to eat:


Favorite place to drink:

The Red

Favorite shop:


Local Tip:

Check out the many wine bars and wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Wine bars like Soif and Vinocruz showcase plenty of Santa Cruz Mountain wines.

Must Do:

Enjoy as much as the outdoors as possible, book a Chardonnay II Cruise and/or visit the Boardwalk.