Santa Cruz City Guide

City Guide for Santa Cruz, California

We live pretty close to Santa Cruz, so it makes a nice place to spend the day. Along our trips we’ve rounded up a few favorite places to eat, things to see, and stuff to do.


Marianne’s Ice Cream
A major favorite for us on a hot day. Tons of flavors, cash only.
1020 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060 (www)

We love this place simply because it’s different.
1520 Mission St, Santa Cruz, California 95060 (www)

The Crêpe Place
Great outdoor dining options, delicious savory crêpes.
1134 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, California 95062 (www)



Seabright State Beach
This is a nice stop off not too far from the Boardwalk.
1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, California 95062 (www)

Twin Lakes State Beach
Our favorite regular beach. Not crowded, especially on weekdays.
2628 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (www)

Natural Bridges State Beach
Great rock formations and tide pools. Can be crowded in summer.
2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (www)



Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Can be a fun amusement place. We also like to walk out to get chocolate on the wharf.
400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (www)

Roaring Camp Railroads
Perfect for little railroad enthusiasts. Also feature holiday trains, and Thomas.
5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton, CA 95018 (www)

Mystery Spot
We tried to go once and it was too busy. Would love to see this!
465 Mystery Spot Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95065 (www)


We live really close to Santa Cruz, so we don’t stay the night often, but the Dream Inn is our favorite place to stay the night.

Do you have any favorite places to add in Santa Cruz?

46 thoughts on “Santa Cruz City Guide

  1. adore staying at the west cliff in santa cruz. it is a charming bed and breakfast located a couple blocks from the pier / boardwalk! also you must stop for a cone at the penny ice creamery. my absolute favorite ice cream in the area!

  2. I live in San Jose, and we make it down to Santa Cruz a lot during the summer. Downtown Capitola and Seacliff State Beach are some of my favorite spots, and I love to run from the Santa Cruz boardwalk up to Natural Bridges and back…the view is like nothing else!


  3. That looks like a great place to visit. I might check it out the next time I am on the west coast.

  4. I’ve never been. However, judging by these pics, I think I may want to visit. 🙂

    Love your pictures and blog. That lighthouse pic is dreamy.

  5. I love all the pictures. This looks like a great place to go on vacation. I love going to the beach.

  6. we seriously need to make it out to santa cruz asap.. i love lighthouses. well, and pretty much everywhere else in the bay area. 🙂 hopefully, we can have a longer trip next time.

  7. What a beautiful way to spend a day or more! I haven’t been beyond the New England area, but once when I was about 13 we went to Florida, I want to travel more. Appreciate this post!

  8. This looks like a great place to relax and enjoy the day. You are lucky you live so close to such a beautiful place.

  9. I haven’t been there, but it looks like a place that I’d enjoy and would love to explore. I love anything beaches and pretty sights.

  10. Santa Cruz looks like such a gorgeous place but being an island girl I do love anywhere by the sea. That first picture with the rainbow is so lovely.

  11. What gorgeous pictures indeed. I would love to visit Santa Cruz City some day. It looks so beautiful on the beach. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What incredible views! I’ve never been to Santa Cruz before, but if someone asked me to go right now, I’d have my bags packed in 5 minutes.

  13. Don’t forget Ed’s surf rentals right on Cowell’s. They rent boards (paddle and surf) along with wetsuits! Gorgeous pics!

  14. Santa Cruz is one my favorite places. I agree, the beach boardwalk is a must see. On the actual boardwalk I love Riva’s (great chowder!). I also absolutely love Mission Hill Creamery- some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Santa Cruz is a great place that I highly recommend everyone visit 🙂

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