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Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

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Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

We are traveling next week to see the Redwoods. We have 2 days planned before we spend 2 days in San Francisco. We are planning to stay in Santa Cruz, because that seemed the most central place for us to explore the Redwoods at Big Basin and Henry Cowell. We can't wait to ride the Steam Train at Henry Cowell state Park (a surprise for my train enthusiast 6 year old).

Can you recommend any nice hotels that would be convenient in that area? I'm having a hard time finding a map that shows the hotels that are in the center of where we want to be.

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

The Dream Inn in Santa Cruz gets good reviews. For location, pretty much anywhere in Santa Cruz will be convinient to HC and BB parks.

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is 7 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. The South exit to Big Basin at Boulder Creek is 13 miles north on the same road and then has a 17 mile loop drive before going back to Highway 9, 21 miles north of Santa Cruz.

The steam trains are not at Henry Cowell. although one route runs through it. They begin at Felton at Roaring Camp Railroads. Henry Cowell is just before Felton as you go out Highway 9. There are two routes, one which goes up Bear Mountain and one which goes through the redwoods and ends up at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, and then returns to Roaring Camp.

Your son is in for a treat.


You should stay in the town of Santa Cruz, as there are no nice hotels on Highway 9, in fact, little lodging at all.

The nicest hotel in town is the Dream Inn, which faces Monterey Bay near the Municipal Wharf and the Boardwalk. Every room has either a balcony or patio facing the Bay. It is about a block from the Boardwalk.


If that is too pricey, the Seaway Inn is across the street and is on a hill, so there may be views from its balconies.


I do not recommend any of the motels in the direction of the Boardwalk, as the area is noisy and it is near a less desirable part of town.

Another possibility is the Ocean Pacific Lodge, two blocks inland from the Dream Inn.


If none of these work, on the way into town on Ocean Street there is a brand new Holiday Inn Express, a Hampton Inn and a Comfort Inn. If you google the Comfort Inn be aware that there are two of them. You want the one on Ocean Street, not the one at the Boardwalk.

I would get on this right away if you are coming next week. Good that you are taking two days because at this time of year most accommodations have a two night minimum.

Here is a traveler article on Santa Cruz to help you get started. Note the sea lions who live at the Municipal Wharf. Your son will love them.


Have a great trip. Let me know if you have questions or if I can be of further help.

Lassen National...
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3. Re: Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

We took our son there when Thomas the Tank was visiting. Another time we took the ride to the Wharf. Got off and did some of the rides. Then rode the train back. That was really fun. We didn't do the steam train. It looked like the track was rolling or at least had a good incline because we could hear people shouting as if they were on a roller coaster.

You can park at the Henry Cowell Redwoods and walk a few feet to the Roaring Camp Railroads.

4. Re: Hotel near Big Basin and Henry Cowell?

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