If possible, we would give Seaway Inn 3 1/2. Because of the great price and location, we've bumped it up to 4.
This old style motel sits right across the street from the Pier, boardwalk and the walking/bike path that runs along the coast. No fancy amenities like a pool or spa, but recently remodeled rooms that were clean and comfortable. A huge plus for us is that they allow dogs. The free breakfast is the usual make-your-own-waffle, cereal, muffins, juices and coffee that are found in most US motels these days. Nothing special, but perfectly adequate. Staff were all very friendly and the free wifi was fast and reliable. We should also mention the free parking available at the Inn. Most of Santa Cruz has parking meters.
We stayed in room 221. The 2 queen beds were very comfy and the water pressure in the new feeling shower was great. There was a futon sofabed that needs some extra padding, but having the extra space to watch TV was nice. This good sized room is at the front of the motel and has a fantastic view.
The cons: Room 221 is the closest to the street and does have a bit of traffic noise, mainly noticed in the mornings. DO NOT stay in this room on a Sunday night. Monday morning is trash day, and pick up is right around dawn, right at the curb below the window. There is nothing the Inn can do to change this huge racket, but it is something to take into consideration.