After introducing Josh to California in San Francisco and Monterey, we took a day trip to one of the most underrated cities in the state: Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz lays at the tip of the Monterey Bay, hidden inside of the Santa Cruz Redwood Mountains. Known for its beachy-meets-mountain feel, tourists come here for a mixture of both relaxation and adrenaline.

Eager to continue on with our sense of mystery, Josh and I headed out to the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot.

There, our perception of the natural changed forever.

What is the Mystery Spot?

In short, the mystery spot is a gravitational vortex. In that vortex, you look like you’re standing at a 45 degree angle — but you’re standing straight up.

Of course, there are many skeptics who argue with the logistics of how something like this works. This, however, is Life in Another World, and lack of imagination won’t get you too far.

Although many claim that mystery spots are nothing more than tourist traps (there are more locations than just this one,) the tour provides a fun, relaxing activity anybody can do. Despite any explanations for the strange gravitational phenomena found here, nothing beats standing on a chair that makes you look like you’re about to fall over.

Especially if you generally come with a lack of balance.

Santa Cruz’s Most Intriguing Attraction

In 2014, the California Register and Director of California State Parks signed a declaration stating the Mystery Spot a Historical Landmark. As it was the first of its kind in California with increasing popularity, it’s a significant example of intriguing activities California has to offer.

Whether a genuine gravitational apex or not, tourists flock by the thousands for an out-of-this-world experience in California’s redwood forest. The location itself proves why this activity should be added on to any California road trip.

Even if you cock a curious eyebrow at the events of the tour, enjoy the surrounding redwoods.

Experiencing the Tour

As for myself and Josh, we’re believers.

Standing outside of the house that contains the actual “mystery spot,” our tour guide proved water could go in the opposite direction, people of different heights could switch places and be at the same height, and gravity is nothing but a mystery.

Before entering the house, our tour guide, Jane, warned us of the potential of headaches or a dizzy feeling.

The moment we stepped over the threshold, we both felt the “shift” in gravitational energy.

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, the Mystery Spot acts as a fun hour suitable for all ages.

If you’re planning on visiting Santa Cruz anytime soon, click here for more information.

Down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

After spinning our minds at the Mystery Spot, we made our way down to the other landmark that puts Santa Cruz on the map: The Beach Boardwalk.

The boardwalk stretches along the ocean and offers various rides and attractions to hold your interest.

If you’re a thrill seeker, take a ride on the iconic Giant Dipper. If you’d prefer to be hoisted 125 feet in the air before you’re dropped back to the ground, you can always take your chances on the Double Shot. Perhaps the ocean view will mask any fear you may have?

Maybe letting your stomach flip upside down isn’t quite your thing, but don’t let that hinder you, either. Take a ride on the 1911 Looff Carousel, which is named as a Historical Landmark alongside the Giant Dipper. The carousel was hand-carved, and still plays the original music from the three organs alongside the road.

You can even relax on the Sky Glider, which has an aerial view of the park and gets you away from all of the noise.

Although you don’t have to pay to enter the park (meaning you can walk down the beach and admire all the rides), you do have to pay for each ride. The attractions are $5.00 each, or you could purchase an all-day pass for $30. There’s also always the option for a season pass or a MyBoardwalk card that you reload any time.

The Boardwalk in Modern Culture

If you’re a movie buff, you may recognize the Giant Dipper from a couple of different films — including The Lost Boys, Dangerous Minds, and Sudden Impact.

The rollercoaster itself was built by Arthur Looff, son of Charles I.D. Looff, who built the 1911 Looff Carousel. In 1987, both the Giant Dipper and the carousel were named as Historical Landmarks by the U.S. National Park service.

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the historic Laughing Sal, who moved to the boardwalk in late 2004.

Saying Goodbye to Santa Cruz

Although we could easily purchase boardwalk season passes and stay forever, Josh and I eventually had to depart Santa Cruz.

If you have some more time to spend in Santa Cruz or if you hit the city in the off-season when the boardwalk is closed, you can also check out the Redwood Canopy Tours for a zipline through the redwoods.

Regardless of what you choose to do in Santa Cruz, you should never pass up an opportunity to get out into its mountains. As one of California’s most relaxed places, it will always provide the perfect weekend getaway.

Have you ever been to Santa Cruz? What did you do? Let me know in the comments!