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Santa Cruz
Travel Guide

Santa Cruz which includes general coastal views and views as well as an individual male

This Californian city attracts visitors looking for sun and sand, and has one of the strongest surfing cultures in the country.

For many, Santa Cruz embodies the laid-back spirit of coastal California. The city has strong surfing and skateboarding cultures, beautiful beaches and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

There are many options for outdoor recreation in and around Santa Cruz. Rent a kayak and paddle out to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Try to spot sea lions, seals and even whales (during winter and spring) as you paddle along. Hiking enthusiasts will also enjoy the numerous scenic trails at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Wilder Ranch State Park.

No trip to Santa Cruz would be complete without delving into the city’s surfing heritage. Catch a wave at one of the well-known surfing breaks or rent a car and cruise along the scenic West Cliff Drive to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. This museum is located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse and overlooks the famous Steamer Lane surf break.

Downtown Santa Cruz is known for its eclectic shops, cafés and restaurants and is a short stroll from the beach. Families will love the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This amusement park opened in 1907 and is full of old-world charm. Take a spin on one of its historic rides, such as the wooden Giant Dipper Roller Coaster.

Foodies should check out the Santa Cruz Wharf, home to many seafood restaurants and shops. Wine aficionados will love the Santa Cruz Mountains, where many local wineries have tasting rooms.

You can cover much of Santa Cruz’s main downtown and city attractions on foot, by bike or with the Santa Cruz Metro bus services. If you want to venture farther afield, it’s best to rent a car as the roads near the Santa Cruz Mountains can get very steep.

Chaminade Resort & Spa
Chaminade Resort & Spa
4 out of 5
1 Chaminade Ln, Santa Cruz, CA
The price is Rs13,435 per night from 19 Apr to 20 Apr

Situated in the mountains, this spa resort is within 6 mi (10 km) of Capitola Mercantile, Mystery Spot and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Santa Cruz Wharf and Swift ...

3.8/5Good! (623 reviews)

"Overall we enjoyed our staycation here. The room faced the woods which was very nice having a balcony to listen to birds all day. The room was clean and nicely decorated. The restaurant that looks over Santa Cruz was under construction during our stay, so we couldn’t go. But would definitely come ..."…"

Reviewed on 3 Apr 2021

Chaminade Resort & Spa
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
1410 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA
The price is Rs9,237 per night from 18 Apr to 19 Apr

Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Ocean Street and within 3 miles (5 km) of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Monterey Bay. Pacific ...

4.2/5Very Good! (974 reviews)

"We stayed here to visit UCSC. It was close to campus and to the downtown and boardwalk area. Very convenient location. The staff were wonderful. Our room was good size, very clean, and the beds were very comfortable. I also appreciated the toiletries in the room, especially the full size pump shampoo/conditioner/body ..."…"

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2021

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz, an IHG Hotel
Dream Inn Santa Cruz
Dream Inn Santa Cruz
4 out of 5
175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA
The price is Rs16,145 per night from 12 May to 13 May

Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within a 5-minute walk of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (957 reviews)

"The Dream Inn is a wonderful and accommodating place to enjoy Santa Cruz. The staff is always friendly and helpful with whatever you may need. The amenities are fantastic with a taco bar in the afternoons and ice cream for kids in the evenings! Close to shopping and the Boardwalk is an added ..."…"

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2021

Dream Inn Santa Cruz
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Fern River Resort
Fern River Resort
3 out of 5
5250 Highway 9, Felton, CA
The price is Rs7,818 per night from 29 Apr to 30 Apr

Nestled on the beach, this Felton cabin is within 1 mi (2 km) of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Roaring Camp Railroads. Felton Covered Bridge Park is 1.5 ...

4.4/5Excellent! (195 reviews)

"Adorable little resort. Very clean and comfortable but if your neighbors a loud talkers/walkers you’ll hear everything. Only a 15 minute drive to Santa Cruz!"…"

Reviewed on 27 Mar 2021

Fern River Resort
Jayes Timberlane Resort
Jayes Timberlane Resort
3.5 out of 5
8705 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, CA
The price is Rs9,757 per night from 19 Apr to 20 Apr

Situated in Ben Lomond, this holiday home is 2.5 mi (4 km) from Felton Covered Bridge Park and 2.8 mi (4.6 km) from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Roaring ...

4/5Very Good! (156 reviews)

"A quaint cabin with a remodeled kitchen set in the woods provided a private setting for a weekend retreat. Comfy bed. Windows muffled traffic noise from Hwy 9 adjacent to the property. Easy drive to Santa Cruz."…"

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2021

Jayes Timberlane Resort
Beachfront 2br/2ba W/ Pool & 180-degree Bay View 2 Bedroom Condo
Beachfront 2br/2ba W/ Pool & 180-degree Bay View 2 Bedroom Condo
3 out of 5
230 Rio Del Mar Blvd, Unit N, Aptos, CA

Situated in Aptos, this golf condo is within a 10-minute walk of Seacliff State Beach, Monterey Bay, and Rio Del Mar Beach. Potbelly Beach and The Forest of ...

3/5 (1 review)

"Living room and kitchen are very nice. Also had a nice view. Did find live crickets inside. Missing half the bedding for the sofa bed as well."…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2020

Beachfront 2br/2ba W/ Pool & 180-degree Bay View 2 Bedroom Condo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Santa Cruz

Reviews of Santa Cruz

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
4
5 - Excellent 21.05263157894737%
4 - Good
9
4 - Good 47.36842105263158%
3 - Okay
4
3 - Okay 21.05263157894737%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 10.526315789473685%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Oct 2019

Overall, Santa Cruz Boardwalk area is family friendly and worth a visit, so long as you don't mind crowds. Wharf restaurants are good too. Just avoid the Comfort Inn at Beach/Boardwalk Area.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

16 Oct 2019

Expensive and abit tacky seaside resport Not our cup of tea.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

13 Oct 2019

somehow lost its hippie flair in the last three years. lot's of homeless lying around...

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Oct 2019

Great place and wonderful weather. The beaches were amazing and the doggy beach was lovely too

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Sep 2019

Recommend Dolphin diner on the wharf for best breakfast of our trip. Lightest, freshly made hotcakes and fab huevos rancheros.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

7 Sep 2019

Santa Cruz is a litre run down and didn’t feel very safe at night

Cities near Santa Cruz