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)
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?
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 🙂
Don’t forget Ed’s surf rentals right on Cowell’s. They rent boards (paddle and surf) along with wetsuits! Gorgeous pics!
What a lovely place to have a photo-opp. I love the beach and the nice view that comes with it. Very nice!
Such beautiful views! I haven’t been to any part of CA. Would love to go one of these days and check that place out.
Beautiful pics! I have always wanted to check out Santa Cruz!
What a beautiful place! The pictures are just geourgeous! Thank you for the tips!
I would love to visit Santa Cruz sometime. It looks like a great place with a lot of cool things to do.
This looks so peaceful. I’ve never been to Santa Cruz so I can’t say where my favourite spot would be but, by the pictures, I’m guessing on the water would be my idea of a fantastic afternoon 😛
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.
What gorgeous pictures indeed. I would love to visit Santa Cruz City some day. It looks so beautiful on the beach. Thanks for sharing.
Simply gorgeous! It has been awhile since I’ve been to a beach. 🙂
I’m adding this to my must see list. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely adding this to my “places I want to visit”! Great review. Posts like this make trip planning so much easier.
Looks so beautiful wish i lived close and no an ocean away. Thanks for sharing Jessica always love reading your adventures.
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.
You’ve sure got some fantastic pictures. I can see why it would be a happy place to visit.
The beach looked clean and pristine! I love the white sands! Ohhh this is the place to be!
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.
I’ve never been. The lighthouse is gorgeous. Next time I’m in Cali, i will check it out
Still so so beautiful. I have never been to this part of Cali
I’ve never been to Santa Cruz but all of these places sound fantastic! It looks like a beautiful area.
Ohh that looks lovely! I love the lighthouse! <333
Ive never been to Santa Cruz but its on my list. It looks beautiful
Gorgeous! LOVE the rainbow in that first pic!!
This looks like a great place to relax and enjoy the day. You are lucky you live so close to such a beautiful place.
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!
Sta Cruz have a really scenic beach. It would really be relaxing just being there.
really lovely guide! if i am ever in santa cruz i will def hav to check these places out!
rae of love from berlin
Awesome! Laidback and so relazing to look at.
Bookmarking this for my travels coming up.
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.
I’ve been to Santa Cruz before. Absolutely love it!
Santa Cruz looks so beautiful, I would love to go there some day and just see all there is!
I’ve never been there! Those pictures of the beach are just dreamy though.
I love all the pictures. This looks like a great place to go on vacation. I love going to the beach.
Lovely photos! You’ve made me want to schedule a vacation.
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.
Sitting here in the dark and cold, i want to goto a beach.. looks so inviting.
Santa Cruz looks like a fabulous place!!!!
We’ll be heading to the West Coast soon. Maybe we’ll get a chance to visit Santa Cruz. It looks lovely.
Looks Like A Great Trip You Look Beautiful Hope You Had Fun!1
That looks like a great place to visit. I might check it out the next time I am on the west coast.
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!
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!
aand bookmarking now 😉 I can’t wait til we make it down there – it looks beautiful! xx
My favorite thing about Santa Cruz was walking around the beach and people watching. 🙂 But perhaps I need to go for a second time to discover a new spot. Thanks for sharing. Gorgeous photos, as always!