Below are some links for tourist type stuff.
There are lots of free lectures and activities at UCSC
and I won't try to include that.
All day trip going north to San Francisco about 2 1/2 hours drive
along the coast highway then onto Highway 35 above Pacifica,
behind the Zoo to
the Great Highway.
Past the Cliff House to Lands End then to
Alternative, turn right at the end of the Great Highway into
They close the Park roads on some Sundays for bicycle riders.
There are other things to do in SF like Fisherman's Warf,
Cable Car and ExpOatorium but very packed with tourists
and parking tickets
Half day trip north, Ana Nuevo (elephant seals).
Closer to BonnyDoon, seven miles down Pine Flat
and one mile north on coast
highway, Whale City Bakery.
Lots of locals and kids and some tourist buses
Music and cheap meals on Thursdays.
Afternoon trip, Big
Basin Redwoods State Park.
North on Empire Grade, down Jamison Creek Road
to left on State Route 236.
UCSC Arboretum, down Empire Grade on the left
1/2 mile before UCSC main entrance.
Bus station is on Pacific Ave. There
are lots of shops
and restaurant there.
Can walk to Beach/Boardwalk from
restaurant at the end of the pier.
Capitola, Home Depot and Sears at
the Shopping Center
on 41 Ave. Capitola beach is cheaper
Now starting from Big Sur about 2 1/2 hours drive south.
Mission Carmel, part of the Spanish history of California.
Carmel by the Sea
Art Galleries and boutiques and nice but
Seventeen Mile Drive (toll road, take State Route 1 if
you are in a hurry).
Pebble Beach Golf.
About two hours south from
Monterey Bay Aquarium, probably the best aquarium
California Coastal ecosystems.
Allow all day for this.
I don't know how
far you want to go from Santa Cruz.
Yosemite National park is about 5 1/2 to
6 hours east
on highway 580 or 152.
About 8 hours on State Route
130 (Lick Observatory).
There are nice Hotels outside the Park entrances and
camp style accommodations inside the Park.
But it's very crowded during
summer vacation and
probably hard to find
Yosemite Valley is a good place to bicycle.
Golden Gate Park
Academy of Science
Pigeon Point Light House
Whale City Bakery
Santa Cruz Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz Beach and Board Walk
Carmel by the Sea
Seventeen Mile Drive
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Yosemite National Park