Santa Cruz, United States, CA
Everyone has their favorites, but we like Seabright or 26th Avenue and Main Beach and Harbor for watching volleyball.
- More about your oliver guide: Sarah Hart
- Trip type: Family, Beach
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: A weekend is great!
to & from
Fly into SFO or San Jose Airport and drive an hour south. You will want a car so if you are flying in, rent a car.
Where to Stay
VRBO’s are always a good idea in Santa Cruz, especially if you can get one on/near the beach. If hotels are more your thing here are some favorites
The Dream Inn – Retro and on the Beach and pricey!
Paradox-New and Noteworthy
Chaminade– Monastery turned resort; in the Hills but a short drive to town.
Ocean Echo is a small and sweet cottage inn- steps away from the beach and perfect for families! While it’s a tad pricey it’s a great set-up for families and close to beach.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Verve Coffee- High-end, hipster coffee (multiple locations)
- Lillian's-Old School Italian, very popular, fun with kids (Midtown)
- West End-Tap Room (West side)
- Shadowbrook-Unique, nice restaurant with a funicular that kids love, right above Capitola Village
- Oswald-Farm to Table (downtown Santa Cruz)
- Bantam-Great pizza (Westside)
- Assembly-Farm to Table (downtown)
- Bagelry for Bagels (multiple locations)
- Laili-Greek/Med- Never been but people love this place
- Mobo Sushi (fun rolls, strip mall location)
- Gayle's- Very popular breakfast/lunch/bakery/to go or eat in casual food in Capitola)
- The Penny Creamery- Unique flavors of ice cream (Downtown)
- The Buttery (Eastside)
- Kelly's- Good for breakfast or lunch-in West End complex, Amazing pastries
- Linda's Seabreeze Cafe for breakfast or lunch
What to Do
- Boardwalk (with kids)
- Mystery Spot- A vision illusion attraction since 1939!
- Rent bikes or stroll on West Cliff Drive
- Paddle Board/Sail in Habor
- Surf! Beginners at Cowell's and watch experts at Steamer's Lane or Pleasure Point
- Hike Fall Creek (longer hike) in Henry Cowell Park
- Santa Cruz Natural History Museum (near Seabright Beach)
- Seymour Marine Discovery Center (great for little ones)
Beach time… Everyone has their favorites, but we like Seabright or 26th Avenue and Main Beach and Harbor for watching volleyball.
What to Pack
Casual and layers.