Wide sidewalks, hip shops, eclectic eateries--this is Santa Cruz at its left-leaning best..
Away from the tourist bustle at the beach, Pacific Avenue offers exquisite shopping, eating and people watching opportunities. Devastated by the 1989 earthquake, the area has been rebuilt almost entirely. Don't worry about strip mall aesthetics; there aren't any here. Instead, the tree-lined walks and charming stores provide an almost small-town quaintness in the midst of the cosmopolitan city.
No one block of this charming venue is the same. At the south end, vintage clothing stores and hipsters pour over racks of clothing or buy CDs at the multiple record stores. Towards the north end, more chain stores can be found. These shopping magnates are interspersed between many homegrown offerings (stores offering trinkets, home decorating items, custom-made hats). Two movie theaters and many restaurants and bars offer visitors ample opportunity to rest in between strolls.
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