You find all types of different people at the beach, which for those of us who sometimes like to just sit back and take in our surroundings makes it one of the best places to soak up some rays. While getting that golden brown skin that is so highly coveted, you also get to perform a very interesting observational study. You can learn about fashion, pick up some new slang, take notes about which types of sunscreen work best, and learn a cool new way to dive for that ball you always seem to miss when playing volleyball. Another beautiful thing about the beach is that it’s the one place where everyone seems comfortable enough to show it all off. Regardless of the insecurities people may face in ordinary life, at the beach all inhibitions are set aside in order show off their cute and brightly colored swimsuits, and to fully enjoy the sun and the waves. Another reason why the beach is great is that you almost never see a grumpy or sad face. Rather, the shore is lined with people smiling, laughing, or simply looking content with life. Families play with their children and teach the youngest ones how to dip their toes into the cold water, teenagers gossip about school, and several friends throw around a football while others throw around a Frisbee. The beach has something for everyone, hence the basis of its appeal. Because the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has the amusement park right along the beach, here you get an even more varied selection of people. You get the adrenaline junkies, the city folk looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, as well as plenty of quirky locals who you can tell in an instant by their dreads, bohemian garb or surfer look that they were born and raised in Santa Cruz. Here are some pics I snapped during my own people-watching escapade (and by that I mean as I sat there with my camera and tried to find something interesting to point it at without actually moving).