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There are no flights that leave from Santa Cruz, CA. However, you can fly from San José (a quick 40min drive from Santa Cruz down the CA-17 N). Flights from San José International (SJC) to San Francisco International (SFO) start at $283, and will take around 3 1/2 hours (as there are no non-stop flights from SJC to SFO).
San Jose Airport in based right in the middle of Silicon Valley, which is home to Google, Apple, Intel, and many of the big names in the computer technology industry. Because of this, San José International is a modern airport, with scores of restaurants, pet relief, and lots of aid for the handicapped, with wheelchair services, Telecommunication to Text devices for the deaf, and security checkpoints to ease your mind about safety and security.
Once you land in San Francisco International Airport, you will be greeted by free Wi-Fi, stores to shop at, places to dine, or you can peruse the SFO museum, and improve your knowledge of art and culture. You can stock up on Sun Screen or Sun Tan Lotion before hitting the streets of San Francisco to explore.
Things to see and do
Before leaving Santa Cruz, there are some amazing attractions you can view, such as:
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk; Spend the day watching the sea, eating local delicacies, playing at the arcade, or for just $44.95, get yourself an all-day pass for the theme park, and have a blast riding the famed “Giant Dipper” rollercoaster, get dizzy from the spinning “Fireball” ride, or have some fun bashing your friends in some Bumper Cars. These are just SOME of the thrill rides that the Boardwalk has to offer.
Whilst travelling on the scenic route, you can visit one of the many Nature Preserves along the I-280, and if you bring a picnic basket (remember not to litter), you can have a relaxing day in beautiful nature, as well as get to experience the beauty of the Californian coastline.
If you take the more straightforward route through San José, you can visit the “Happy Hollow Park & Zoo”, which is a conservation-centered centre for families to explore and enjoy, with tickets priced at $14.25 each. Alternatively, if you’re more interested in history and culture, you can visit the “Winchester Mystery House”, built by Sarah Winchester in the late 1800s, with staircases that lead to nowhere, no set construction plans, or mirrors on the walls, it’s an eery and fascinating place to visit. Guided tours are conducted daily, and they start at $36 for a tour of the mansion, or $44 for the entire estate.
Once you get to San Francisco, you have to make sure you visit the Golden Gate Bridge. These iconic landmark (first opened in 1937) transverses the Golden Gate straight, and is 1.7 Miles long! Stop at Fort Point to get some amazing photos of the structure, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on the “Golden Gate Bay Cruise”, and view both the San Francisco waterfront, sail under the bridge, and then around Alcatraz Island. Starting at $30, this tour would be something memorable that you would never forget.
Once in San Francisco, don’t forget to try out the iconic trams they have running through the city. For as little as $7 per trip, you can experience the city in a way that you’ve never experienced another before, by travelling through the heart of town, and up all the hills on the San Francisco Cable Car system, the world’s last manually operated system still running! It’s definitely something not to be missed out on!