One of the best things about living in the Bay Area is the amazing amount of day trips and staycation opportunites we have at our fingertips; Santa Cruz is most definitely one of those spots! One of the most prolific beach towns in the entire state of California, Santa Cruz is a destination spot for travelers around the world. Lucky for the South Bay and Peninsula Elite Sqaud, it's also part of our 'hood. And on Friday, February 24, Yelp had its first Santa Cruz Staycation Elite event! Thanks to the Santa Cruz CVC, this was all within reach...
The fabulous Dream Inn was our host for the evening, not only showing off their event space that looks right out on the water and boardwalk, but offering discounted King suites for any yelper who wanted to stay the weekend! Jen C couldn't get over the venue: "This hotel is a great place to party, it's right next to the beach! The party room has nice views of the ocean and the Santa Cruz wharf. Freakin' awesome!" Guests were also greeted by cans of Guyaki Organic Yerba Mate, brewed right down the road in Watsonville. It was a nice non-alcoholic alternative for yelpers to enjoy.
As guests filtered into the party, dressed in their favorite resort wear, they were immediately greeted by the "fabulous" Starring You Photo Booth where they could mug it up for the camera right away. Meg T was enamored by them: "The pics turned out hilarious and the options of black and white or color just added to the fun!" Check 'em out on Facebook to see everyone's photos. Also on hand to snap pics was PhotoStudio29, our regular Bay Area Yelp photographer duo. And who could forget our very own San Francisco yelp team, Ruggy J DJ'ing our party and Jessica T's amazing hula hoop skills?
There were plenty of local food, drink and entertainment for guests to try, including organic pulled pork sliders from The Picnic Basket, prune ice cream bon bons from The Penny Ice Creamery, pork belly appetizers as well as tasty bevvies and massages from Chaminade Resort & Spa, vino tastings from Copious, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard as well as Quinta Cruz, homemade Balsamic and olive oil samples from The True Olive Connection, crab wontons from Aquarius, mint infused punch from ZU Vodka and a delicious floral Love Potion beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery. Not to mention the paddle surfing demos from Coverwater Stand Up Paddle. There were so many sponsors, Mellanie D "didn't know where to start. Pulled pork sandwiches, bon bons, wine and more wine, beer, vodka, massages, chopsticks, salads, seafood, awesome music..." Hey, Santa Cruz knows how to party! Read the 5-star event reviews here!
After two hours of eating, drinking, music, pictures and overall fun, the Elite portion of our weekend was over. However, the party didn't end there! Since many stayed the night at The Dream Inn, one of our awesome Elites planned a brunch/winery UYE the very next day. A handful of yelpers dragged themselves out of their big, comfy beds to enjoy a quick breakfast at the Beach Street Cafe before hitting up Swift Street Courtyard for some wine tasting. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon filled with local vino, new friends and even a cheeseburger or two... We all left that afternoon a little buzzed, sunburned and definitely grateful to live so close to an awesome beach town.
Jessica J summed up the weekend pretty eloquently: "Ocean Views, Photo booths, Bon Bons, Bison Grass flavored Vodka, Balsamic Oils, Copiuos amounts of wine, FREE Mimosas with Brunch!, Learning about the Mothership (@Bonny Doon), Love Potion Brew, buying new SANTA CRUZ sweatshirts, ordering Big Juicy Burgers with Bacon from Kelly's Bakery while sitting on my butt enjoying a beer at SC Brewing Co, Spa Getaway, walking around Santa Cruz at 2 am looking for ANYTHING but Taco Bell!, making new friends.... Oh good times! I love you, Santa Cruz!!!"
Until next time, SYOY!
Abby "I need a vacation from my staycation" S, Yelp South Bay-Peninsula Community Manager