Took 92 west over to Half Moon Bay then down Route 1 south. Route 92 was a very twisty, narrow way that we encountered a lot of traffic on. There were lots and lots of pumkins though. Half Moon Bay being the heart of pumpkin growing country.
Route 1 was an amazingly beautiful scenic drive. Lots of places to stop for pictures. Many, many sandy beaches with little or no people on them. We stopped at the Pescadero State Park. It was a smaller beach but lots of cool drift wood all along the beach. It has a small restroom facility and free parking.
From there we continued down route 1 and eventualy stopped at the Pigeon Point lighthouse. Again amazing views. You can't get into the lighthouse and the parking was a little harder but there was no cost to walk around the grounds.
My sis had her heart set on reaching Sant Cruz, so we continued on route 1 until we got to Santa Cruz. Parking was hard due to a Car Show and a Sea Glass show that were in town for the weekend. We drove around for awhile looking for a spot. We ended up at a meter near the boardwalk. It was much more of a tourist trap then I like. It had an amusement park and arcade on the boardwalk. A few surf shops, which is what my sis was looking for, where you could rent boards for the day. The wharf was nice and the area is a marine life preserve so we saw sea lions swimming right off the pier. The wharf had several areas cut out where you could see the sea lions resting on the scaffoding built under the pier. All in all I didn't find the town to be overwhelmed with people so you were able to see any thing you wanted too.