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Best of Santa Cruz Guide

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Santa Cruz
The quintessential California beach town of Santa Cruz! It was here that surfing was first brought to the mainland by Hawaiian royalty. Home to the legendary Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined downtown area, and the historic Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, which stretches out a half-mile into the waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Other highlights include UC Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, and nearby redwood forests.

All things to do » Things to do

West Cliff Drive
West Cliff Drive
Attraction type: Scenic Drives; Scenic Walking Areas
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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Owner description: The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a classic seaside amusement park. The admission-free attraction features thrill rides like the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster, kiddie rides... more Owner description: The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a classic seaside amusement park. The admission-free attraction features thrill rides like the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster, kiddie rides, games, shops, food, and year-round indoor activities. Admission is free. Ride tickets may be purchased per ride, per day, or per season. Free summer entertainment includes Free Friday Night Bands on the Beach. less
Attraction type: Game & Entertainment Centers; Piers & Boardwalks; Mini Golf
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Natural Bridges State Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach
Owner description: A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tidepools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a... more Owner description: A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tidepools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a bicycle path around the perimeter of the park. less
Attraction type: Beaches; Geologic Formations; State Parks
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Santa Cruz Wharf
Santa Cruz Wharf
Attraction type: Piers & Boardwalks
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Mystery Spot
Mystery Spot
This enigmatic place draws curious visitors who come to witness its gravity-defying properties.
Attraction type: Mysterious Sites
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All places to eat » Places to eat

Marianne's Ice Cream
Marianne's Ice Cream
Ranked #1 of 357 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Laili Restaurant
Laili Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 357 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Price: $7 - $22
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Afghani, Gluten Free Options
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Buttery
Buttery
Ranked #3 of 357 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: American, Cafe
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Linda's Seabreeze Cafe
Linda's Seabreeze Cafe
Ranked #4 of 357 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: American, Cafe
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Crow's Nest Restaurant
Crow's Nest Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 357 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Pacific Rim
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings, Families with children, Scenic view, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Drinks, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible

All accommodations » Where to stay - Budget

Quality Inn
2.0 of 5
Quality Inn
$99 - $270
Ranked #5 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Carousel Beach Inn
Carousel Beach Inn
$111 - $178
Ranked #9 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Seaway Inn
Seaway Inn
$110 - $228
Ranked #12 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Midrange

Bella Notte - The Inn at East Cliff
Bella Notte - The Inn at East Cliff
$146 - $244
Ranked #1 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Sea and Sand Inn
Sea and Sand Inn
$190 - $314
Ranked #2 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Beach Street Inn and Suites
2.0 of 5
Beach Street Inn and Suites
$199 - $445
Ranked #3 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Luxury

Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel
4.0 of 5
Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel
$253 - $577
Ranked #4 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Chaminade Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5
Chaminade Resort & Spa
$205 - $429
Ranked #10 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
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Additional nearby recommended accommodations:

Seascape Resort
4.0 of 5
Seascape Resort
$258 - $448
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Aptos
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.