If you're looking for an adrenaline-fueled punk rock weekend in Santa Cruz, look no further than this Roller Derby-inspired weekend. Grab a drink at the Jury Room, catch the derby girls at the Civic Auditorium and hit up a couple iconic diners.
The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium is the home of the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, the city's world-ranked roller pro derby team is the definition of cool. The whole Santa Cruz Roller Derby non-profit fronts several other amateur teams as well, and the tight-knit crew of women kick butt on the rink (roller derby girls are known for their quirky style and sassy nicknames) and off (they all have jobs outside the team, but still manage to travel for away matches and act as local celebs.) The punk-meets-compassionate and open-minded attitude of roller derby really gels well with the city of Santa Cruz, so it's no wonder the sport has caught on here!
In search of some hot buns? Look no further than Betty Burgers. This rockabilly burger joint with three locations features a menu of classic diner staples with cheeky names, has a fun retro atmosphere that's equal parts sassy and adorable. Try an alcoholic milkshake or a cocktail... it's what Betty would want you to do!
Whether you're a complete amateur or semi-pro when it comes to skateboarding, there's something for you at Santa Cruz's local skate shop, Skateworks. If you've been inspired to practice your roller derby moves, you can pick up gear here-- the employees are super friendly and will be more than glad to advise and assist with whatever it is you have questions about.
Even if you can't skate, it's worth it to drop by the Ken Wormhoudt Santa Cruz Skate Park to watch the pros do what they do best. Ken Wormhoudt was one of the first-ever skate park architects and built the world's first skate park at Derby Park in Santa Cruz. This new skate park, which was built after Wormhoudt's passing and which was named in his honor, features a full pipe, two bowls and a street course. Plus, a lot of it has been decorated with some pretty rad murals and mosaics, so if you don't skate, the views are still awesome.
If you're feeling intimidated by the Roller Derby girls and the skaters at Ken Wormhoudt Skate Park, fear not! There's a place for you, too: the skating area at Felt Street Park is really good for beginners. There's also some play equipment, bocce ball courts, and green space with grills and a garden.
Another great place for beginner skaters is the Santa Cruz Roller Palladium. The 1950s-era rink is pretty low-key and laid-back, with kids and adults sharing the space and skating along to bumpin' songs. Have some pizza delivered to make an afternoon of it!
Santa Cruz is more than just its beaches and boardwalk... it's an experience. The passionate and friendly residents you'll encounter at the roller derby matches, in its local diners, and at its most fun dives are just as important to having a truly great adventure around the city.
Santa Cruz is a classic California beach town, birthplace of U.S. surfing and home to a seaside amusement park. With 14 state parks and beaches, redwood forests, wildlife viewing, boutique wineries and microbreweries, farm-to-table fare, and a vintage steam train, there’s something for everyone.