Access to a car? Santa Cruz is just over the hill (25 mile drive). Since you only have about 4 hours of daylight each day, I suggest you come on over to my town for quick photo opportunities. There's a boardwalk with a 100 year old roller coaster and merry-go-round, Surf Culture and surfers at Lighthouse Point and at many other beaches, rock formations and waves at Natural Bridges State Park and Wilder Ranch (2 miles north of town). There's a wharf with some cool restaurants and at the end of the wharf, you can look down on many sea lions sleeping on the wharf crossbars. There's a 2.5 mile walkway between the Lighthouse and Natural Bridges. This is called West Cliff Drive - there's a sidewalk elevated above the ocean on the cliff above the ocean and it's on the ocean side of the road. Plenty of places off the path to set up your tripod. Six miles south of SC is Capitola.....still some cute beach cottages there and on the cliff above (Depot Hill). Great sunsets from any of these places, as long as the fog hasn't rolled in. Every Wed. evening is the "Sailboat Races". Basically, the local boat owners go sailing on Wednesday nights, from about 5 to dark. No one is really racing. Plenty of boats out on the water between the Lighthouse and the Yacht Harbor. Download a map.......it's easy to find any of these places.
Go to my gallery, a few years ago I gave myself an assignment to shoot San Jose with only a 12-24 zoom. I have a ton of images there that should give you some ideas. If you set the view for 90 images and then go to page 18 that is the start. here is one sample:
Just north of San Jose is Palo Alto and Stanford University. Stanford has interesting architecture in some buildings and even some of the gardens are worth a few frames. It would be an easy side trip from San Jose (about a half-hour drive in non-commute traffic) and you will probably find several spots for good images in an evening.