Santa Cruz Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted
Santa Cruz Boardwalk

California is known for its stunning coastline, good vibes, and great weather. Santa Cruz is a coastal town that epitomizes this, showcasing the best that the state has to offer. With an idyllic boardwalk and miles of clean, white beach, it’s hard to look past Santa Cruz as a summer vacation destination. You can enjoy the natural attractions in the area, take a surfing lesson or simply soak up the sun! If you are seeking a laidback beach town that offers a diverse range of accommodation and local attractions, Santa Cruz might be just what you are looking for.

Shopping street in Santa Cruz, California

A weekend in Santa Cruz

Located only an hour and a half south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz is a dream weekend getaway destination. It’s the perfect spot to take a break and escape from the stresses of everyday life. Make sure your mini-vacation is completely hassle-free by utilizing a bag storage in Santa Cruz. The last thing you want to be doing is worrying about your luggage due to a late check-in or early check-out.

To give you some trip inspiration, here are some perfect attractions for a weekend in Santa Cruz.

  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - A stroll along this boardwalk is an absolute must-do when you visit Santa Cruz. It is always buzzing with excitement thanks to the amusement park located right next to the water.
  • Natural Bridges State Beach - Visit this beach at low tide to explore the rockpools as you admire the beauty of the natural bridge. Go during butterfly seasons for an extra special experience! 
  • West Cliff Drive - If you’re looking for spectacular coastal views, head to West Cliff Drive. You’ll also get to look at the impressive beachfront properties.

Santa Cruz Lockers

Santa Cruz is all about carefree vibes. The last thing you want is to have your relaxation time ruined by hassles with your luggage. A luggage storage facility in Santa Cruz can take care of this problem, keeping your bags safe whenever you need them. The service is designed for travelers and offers complete flexibility, meaning you can fit drop-off and pick-up into your schedule.

Off the beaten path in Santa Cruz

Sometimes it takes a little local knowledge to find the best spots in a destination. We think that Santa Cruz has some exceptional hidden gems for any traveler willing to get off the beaten path. 

Here are some sites you’ll want to add to your itinerary:

  • DeLaveaga Park - Santa Cruz is all about the beach, but if you are looking for some greenery head to DeLaveaga Park. It’s a popular local hangout with picnic areas, hiking trails, and sporting facilities.
  • Capitola Cliffs - This secret spot is certainly not a major feature on tourist itineraries. Located between Capitola Village and New Brighton Beach, we promise the adventure to get there is worth it!
  • Beer Thirty Bottle Shop and Pour House - Looking for a casual place to have a drink? This is a local favorite offering an impressive range of craft beer.
Beach in Santa Cruz, California

What to do alone in Santa Cruz

There’s something refreshing about traveling alone and Santa Cruz is the perfect place to relax. Whether you are in town on business or for pleasure, you’ll be impressed with this town as a solo traveler destination. There are even luggage lockers in Santa Cruz so it doesn’t matter if there’s nobody to watch your things!

If you’re wondering what to do alone in Santa Cruz, here are some ideas.

  • Santa Cruz Wharf - This wharf is lined with shops and restaurants that are well worth a visit. It has a great vibe during the day and night, and you’ll probably even spot some seals and sea lions!
  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum - Surfing is a huge part of Santa Cruz’s culture and you can learn all about it at this informative museum. It may be small, but the exhibits are of extremely high-quality.
  • Lighthouse Field State Beach - Looking for the perfect beach for a long walk? You can’t go past Lighthouse Field State Beach. White sand, crashing waves, friendly owners with their dogs - what more could you want?

The best souvenirs in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has a range of souvenir shops on the main wharf where you’ll be able to pick up gifts and tokens to remember your trip. You’ll find all of the classic items from caps and bottle openers to photo frames and key chains. We also recommend heading into some of the boutiques to find some local art or Santa Cruz collectibles.

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