We are considering the Santa Cruz area in August for 5 days. We have a 3yo and 5yo. We aren't really all that interested in the beach (we live on the beach in SoCal so we get enough beach activities here) but moreso the hiking/biking Santa Cruz has to offer. We wouldn't mind a little beach time though - we do like to kayak assuming it's in a protected bay or harbor. Maybe a boat ride.
Anyways, any specific recs? I see there's a nearby river we might want to explore. Definitely want to spend some time in the redwoods. With 2 small children we can't be on bike or foot trails all day but both do well for a bit of time. These are all activities we do at home so nothing new for them - a change of scenery for us would be nice though. We like to spend most of our time exploring/learning/adventuring vs eating and shopping and lounging. A little pool time would be nice but the main focus is for us to get out and expose the kids to nature/areas we don't have here.
Also, any recs to stay? Again, doesn't have to be fancy - just clean, comfortable and reasonably priced in a decent enough location for day trips.