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Santa Cruz Holiday

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.


Top Santa Cruz Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 323 properties in Santa Cruz
Dream Inn Santa Cruz NZ$343
Reviewed on 6 Dec. 2019
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Dream Inn Santa Cruz

Dream Inn Santa Cruz

175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA
     
    4.5 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Laying in bed in the morning looking at the surf. xxxx

    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz NZ$180
    Reviewed on 2 Dec. 2019
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    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz

    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Santa Cruz

    1410 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA
       
      4.3 of 5
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Very spacious and comfortable room. Good indoor garage access. Very appealing range of breakfast offerings.

      Ocean Pacific Lodge NZ$148
      Reviewed on 9 Dec. 2019
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      Ocean Pacific Lodge

      Ocean Pacific Lodge

      301 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA
         
        4.0 of 5
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        The gentleman that checked my family in was so kind and wonderful to us. Our room was lovely, beds are very comfortable and the hotel is very clean. Cannot wait for our next visit, we have found our hotel for our Santa Cruz visits.

        Hyatt Place Santa Cruz NZ$230
        Reviewed on 3 Dec. 2019
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        Hyatt Place Santa Cruz

        Hyatt Place Santa Cruz

        407 Broadway, Santa Cruz, CA
           
          4.5 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Most of the off marks are probably due to location and size. Space seemed very limited. It was a hassle to have to use valet parking, as we were in and out frequently. Window shades seemed very worn and were automatic but jerky and sticking.

          Casablanca On The Beach NZ$214
          Reviewed on 3 Dec. 2019
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          Casablanca On The Beach

          Casablanca On The Beach

          101 Main St, Santa Cruz, CA
             
            3.7 of 5
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great location. Terrific bartender. Exotic room with great views.

            Hilton Santa Cruz - Scotts Valley NZ$197
            Reviewed on 9 Dec. 2019
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            Hilton Santa Cruz - Scotts Valley

            Hilton Santa Cruz - Scotts Valley

            6001 La Madrona Drive, Santa Cruz, CA
               
              4.2 of 5
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Excellent hotel, wonderful location. would recommend.

              Chaminade Resort & Spa NZ$194
              Reviewed on 28 Nov. 2019
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              Chaminade Resort & Spa

              Chaminade Resort & Spa

              1 Chaminade Ln, Santa Cruz, CA
                 
                3.9 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                The resort fee is a total ripoff. It adds almost $40 a person. Expedia and the property should stop the fraudulent practice of not including the fee in the rate so people know what the real rate is— not the false Rae with hidden fees. The problem is as much with Expedia using this practice as the ...

                Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection NZ$205
                Reviewed on 8 Dec. 2019
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                Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

                Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

                611 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Agree with others, better than the pictures and on a central location in town. We reserved the wrong days but the staff worked it out so it wasn’t a problem.

                  Santa Cruz Flight Deals

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                  Top 10 Things To Do In Santa Cruz

                  See all 62 activities in Santa Cruz