This coastal California county made New York Times’ ‘places for a changed world’ list

·2 min read

The New York Times released its annual list of top places to visit this year and Santa Cruz County, which hugs the Pacific seaboard south of San Jose, made it at No. 44.

It was one of two California destination on the list in 2022, the other being San Francisco’s Great Highway.

Unlike previous lists that featured sites with new resorts or food scenes, this year’s catalog features worldwide destinations where travelers can make a positive difference to issues, such as overtourism and climate change.

According to the Times, it looked at the environmental shifts caused by climate change that are affecting places across the globe, from storms and rising sea levels to wildfires. It identified locations where positive change is happening — places where endangered lands are preserved, communities are strengthened and threatened species are protected.

It also considered locations where tourism can help local economies and showcase to visitors new cultures and customs.

For Santa Cruz County, the Times highlighted the area’s recent wildfires that ravaged the area and its forests, and its initiative to rebuild its greenery in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

New trails are also being added to the San Vicente Redwoods, and the Cotoni-Coast Dairies is expected to open next year with thousands of coastal terraces and redwood trees, the Times article noted.

“The area’s designation as a national monument will help protect its rich ecology and cultural history, including ancestral sites of the Indigenous Cotoni people,” the Times said about the Cotoni-Coast Dairies, the latest unit added to the federally-protected California Coastal National Monument.

Other spots that made the cut on the list include Queens, New York; the Red Sea Mountain Trail in Egypt; and Estes Park, Colorado. Chioggia, Italy was selected as the top spot on the list.

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