What to Eat or Do in Santa Cruz and in the Valley During Quarantine

Written by Zachary Reaves (Features Editor)

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been plaguing us for the last 6 months, many places have needed to close down due to the national quarantine. However, recently several local establishments have been reopened to some effect. Specifically, there are multiple restaurants, parks, and entertainment services that are open with the necessary safety precautions that you can enjoy.

First, there are lots of different restaurants to choose from. If you live in the Boulder Creek area, Foster’s Freeze is open for takeout,  there generally aren’t too many people there so there’s less of a wait and less danger. Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub is also open for both curbside pickup and delivery. Furthermore, Scopazzi’s is open for outside dining and takeout. If you live closer to the Ben Lomond Area you could go to Spanky’s or Casa Nostra for takeout. Alternatively, there are tons of places to eat in the downtown Felton area. Rocky’s Cafe and Taqueria Vallarta are both open for takeout, while you could get Round Table or Redwood Pizza if you’re in the mood for pizza. If none of the closer options suit your tastes, you could go out a bit further to Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz and eat at places such as Togo’s or Santa Cruz Diner.

Secondly, there are lots of parks and other public places that have remained open for the most part. For instance, Henry Cowell has been open to the public for a while now, provided you wear a mask. You can go on hikes or walks through the redwoods to get some exercise, or maybe get something from the gift shop. Unfortunately, Roaring Camp is only open with reservations. Therefore, you can only enter Roaring Camp by signing up ahead of time. Another great place is Loch Lomond. There are some nice trails for hikes, and picnic tables for eating. If you have your own boat you can even take it out on the water, provided that it’s been quarantined. You can also go fishing if that’s more your thing. The Loch Lomond Recreational Area is only open on weekends from 9/26 to 10/11.  The beach is also a nice public and accessible place to go. They were closed for a while during the summer, but it should be fine to go as long as you stay socially distanced. Sometimes there’s not even that many people and you have a big portion of the beach to yourself!

Finally, there are lots of entertainment and leisure-based activities that are currently open to visitors. One of these is the Scotts Valley Cinelux movie theater, which has recently reopened. On a related note, the Boardwalk is currently holding Drive-In movies every Saturday through October. The Boardwalk itself is mostly closed. The only parts of the Boardwalk currently operating are the shops and concessions, while the various arcades and rides are closed. Additionally, the Boardwalk Bowl is closed for, well, bowling, but is open for dining. 

In the end, while most of the places we would normally go to during our downtime are closed, there are still a bunch of options to choose from during leisure time. When you’re hungry, there’s a lot of places open for takeout or delivery, and sometimes they even offer outside dining. If you want to go on a hike, or maybe hang out somewhere more natural, there’s multiple parks and beaches to choose from. Finally, you can sit back and watch movies or shop at the other open locales such as the Boardwalk or the Scotts Valley Shopping Center. All in all, there are a bunch of options to keep us occupied while staying safe.

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