Santa Cruz

Travel Guide

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.

Hotel Solares
Hotel Solares
2.5 out of 5
The price is HK$585 per night from 28 Dec to 28 Dec
Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ocean Street and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Wharf are also ...
3.3/5 (962 reviews)
"Best hotel ever! Great hospitality. The man who helped us was wonderful. Definently staying there again."

Reviewed on 1 Dec 2021

Hotel Solares
Dream Inn Santa Cruz
Dream Inn Santa Cruz
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,466 per night from 8 Dec to 8 Dec
Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this beachfront resort is in the city centre and within a 10-minute walk of Santa Cruz Main Beach, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (961 reviews)
"Great stay overall. Friendly staff. Sent up a birthday dessert and drinks to our room for my boyfriend’s birthday only after writing an optional request at booking without having to bring it up at check in."

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2021

Dream Inn Santa Cruz
Hyatt Place Santa Cruz
Hyatt Place Santa Cruz
3 out of 5
Fully refundable
The price is HK$1,045 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ocean Street and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz Wharf are also ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (966 reviews)
"Great property. Good condition and feels new. No frills but great service."

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2021

Hyatt Place 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.
Complete Comfort Sanctuary in Santa Cruz Mountains-Private BDRM
Complete Comfort Sanctuary in Santa Cruz Mountains-Private BDRM
The price is HK$662 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
Located in the heart of Santa Cruz, this holiday home is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Wilder Ranch State Park and within 6 miles (10 km) of University of California, ...
3/5 (3 reviews)
Unbearable
"Long 20 minute dangerous hairpin trip up narrow road, no cell service, no lock on door to keep strangers out of room, a mist shower that took 15 minutes to wet hair until it shut off mid shower--had to fill coffee cup in sink to get soap out of eyes, water cooler with no water and a sign to fill ..."

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2019

Complete Comfort Sanctuary in Santa Cruz Mountains-Private BDRM
Adorable studio w/ shared hot tub! Only 5 blocks to beach & 1 mile to boardwalk!
Adorable studio w/ shared hot tub! Only 5 blocks to beach & 1 mile to boardwalk!
The price is HK$779 per night from 5 Dec to 5 Dec
Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Swift Street Courtyard and Monterey Bay. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and ...
4/5 Very Good! (32 reviews)
Santa Cruz 70.3
"Great place to stay for the race"

Reviewed on 28 Sep 2021

Adorable studio w/ shared hot tub! Only 5 blocks to beach & 1 mile to boardwalk!
Beach Oasis in Downtown Santa Cruz
Beach Oasis in Downtown Santa Cruz
The price is HK$3,218 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
Located in Westside Santa Cruz, this historic holiday home is within a 15-minute walk of Pacific Avenue and Ocean Street. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Monterey ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Fabulous Weekend Getaway
"Had a wonderful stay just prior to Thanksgiving. Really a perfect a setup for our family of 5 (incl 3 kids aged 6, 4, and 2) - the kids loves the game room (downstairs bedroom) with the arcade setup, board games, and kid-friendly book options. Plenty of space to spread out with large bedrooms and ..."

Reviewed on 29 Nov 2021

Beach Oasis in Downtown 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.

Top things to do in Santa Cruz