Like any city by the ocean, summer is the time to pull out the bikinis and beach chairs and head to the shores. Average winter temperatures are a bit too cool to enjoy many of Santa Cruz's charms, and the chance of rain and humidity is a bit higher during those months as well.

However, those who enjoy seeing the sights with less crowds may opt for the winter months regardless of weather. Those who don't mind exploring Santa Cruz with a jacket will probably have a more relaxing and enjoyable experience without throngs of people to share space with.

Santa Cruz gets all of its annual rain between November and May. There is virtually no rain between June and mid October. Interestingly, the hottest months of the year are typically not mid summer. The mercury reaches its peak usually in September and early October. That's because the usual summertime fog stay out at sea and the "Indian Summer" sets in without the benefit of the cooling marine layer.

Average temperatures during the summer are in the 70’s, which is ideal for beach-going. Santa Cruz can have consistent morning fog that doesn't burn off until noon or 1:00. Don’t forget the sunscreen even on cloudy days.