Those of you who drive to Santa Cruz, California on a regular basis are no doubt familiar with the notorious, and sometimes dangerous, Highway 17 corridor.
For a change of pace, there are many delightful country roads that pass through the Santa Cruz Mountains. These roads provide a nice respite from the "Nascar" experience on H17.
From San Jose, take H17 south into the mountains. After passing the Lexington Resovoir, take the Bear Creek Road turnoff. Bear Creek Road will wind throughout the grand redwood forests found along the Pacific Coast. After that, you will find yourself in the small, delightul town of Boulder Creek. Boulder Creek is not very big but it does have some interesting shops in the "downtown". If you are wanting to get to Santa Cruz without delay, take H9 south through Ben Lomond and Felton. If you have time, work your way over to Empire Grade Road. This road starts at UC Santa Cruz and makes its way north through heavily wooded country. Not much in the way of Redwoods, but it is still a nice drive. Eventually, you will find yourself in Bonny Dune. You can now take the steep road down to Highway 1 where you will be just south of the town of Davenport. Keep a sharp eye out for people on bicyles as they frequent these roads on a regular basis. Have fun!