Santa Cruz sits on the northern edge of glittering Monterey Bay, a sunny area that's known for its golden sandy coastline and grand redwood forests. The laidback and liberal city attracts a healthy mix of artists, surfers, and fun-loving vacationers with its family-friendly amenities, top-notch surfing, and cool-as-ice nightlife.

    While Santa Cruz’s main beach is the star attraction, the city’s lively wharf and action-packed boardwalk are close seconds. The palm-lined boardwalk is home to the city’s amusement park – a cotton candy-perfumed hub of arcade games, mini-golf, and thrill rides like the iconic Giant Dipper wooden rollercoaster.

    What to see & do in Santa Cruz

    Featured stories & fun stuff
    • 9 Best Things to Do in Santa Cruz

      Santa Cruz is a bustling coastal city in California that’s packed full of aquatic adventure if you're looking for unforgettable thrills. However, that's just the beginning of what Surf City has to offer. You'll find stunning natural features, a cultural hub, and many more exciting activities that the whole family can enjoy, so you'll never be short of fun things...

    Where & what to eat in Santa Cruz

    • 10 Places Locals Love to Eat in Santa Cruz

      One of the best aspects of Santa Cruz is the local cuisine, along with its stunning coast and bustling cultural city center. Embracing Southern California tradition with a bit of influence from around the world, the coastal city's culinary scene is among the best around. To truly embrace everything it can offer, you'll need to learn how to eat like...

    Where to go & what to do at night in Santa Cruz

    • 9 Best Things to Do After Dinner in Santa Cruz

      Santa Cruz is a vibrant coastal city that offers a wide range of exciting nightlife, which keeps you occupied your entire vacation. After a filling dinner, you can try solving puzzles in an escape room before heading to a lively nightclub or genuine Irish pub for a few drinks. If you have kids in tow, Santa Cruz has many old...

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    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.