It’s easy to fall head over heels in love with Santa Cruz, California. This small city of 55,000 people boasts pristine beaches, cultural attractions, and plenty of sunshine. Santa Cruz is known as one of the world’s greatest surfing locations. It’s a destination for relaxation where you can stretch out on the beautiful beaches at Natural Bridges State Park.
There is a large selection of quality hotels in Santa Cruz CA. You can choose from budget-friendly inns and hostels all the way to luxury mountain resorts. If you enjoy sleeping outdoors, you can pitch a tent at Butano State Park and breathe in the ocean air. Santa Cruz has hundreds of vacation rentals available right on the beach.
Santa Cruz is the best spot for couples, singles, families, and groups of friends. Aside from the stunning scenery, there’s plenty of exciting things to do. Here are the top reasons why you should plan your next getaway at Santa Cruz, CA.
The residents of Santa Cruz take pride in their coastline, and it shows. Along with the government, they protect it from damage, resulting in beaches that are clean and gorgeous. You can swim, surf, or snorkel comfortably in the warm waters at Natural Bridges State Beach. Elite surfers from all over the world come to Steamers Lane in the winter to compete.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk feels like you’re stepping back in time. This seafront district has excellent restaurants, over 40 carnival rides, roller coasters, gift shops, a large arcade, indoor miniature golf, and is home to the Giant Dipper. Take a ride on the Sky Glider cable car and experience dramatic views of the mountains. You can’t visit Santa Cruz without spending time at The Boardwalk.
Music is a way of life, and local events such as May’s International Blues Festival bring in thousands of visitors every year. There are summer-long concerts and festivals featuring well-known pop and rock artists. Pacific Avenue is downtown’s main thoroughfare, lined with vintage clothing shops, coffee bars, street art, and bookstores. Midtown, also known as Seabright, is where musicians, bohemians, and artisans assemble. You can tour Ocean View Avenue and visit Seabright Beach, the Santa Cruz Brewery, or the Museum of Natural History.
Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf sees over 8,000 people each day. From the pier, you can take off on a boat tour group, and fish for salmon, rockfish, and halibut, either by tin boat in the ocean or over the pier. Barking sea lions are always congregating on the rocks underneath the wharf. There are unique boutiques and gift shops, and restaurants serving the most exquisite cuisine and freshest seafood.
Roaring Camp Railroads
Ride through the Redwood Forest and the Santa Cruz Mountains on a steam locomotive in Felton at Roaring Camp. The train ride lasts one hour through nature’s true splendors. Many locals and visitors come here to hike, picnic, and take in the vegetation and wildlife Roaring Camp has to offer.