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Santa Cruz and Central California Will Rock Your World

Central Coastal California conjures up images of beautiful beaches and bikini clad babes all strutting around sunny seafront promenades and driving easy convertible topped cars. Santa Cruz is no exception to this sunny paradise picture of the region. There are plenty of outdoors activities and beachfront condos awaiting visitors here.

Museums

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum When you're out for a walk along the bluffs in Santa Cruz, you will come to a historic lighthouse just begging to be explored. Inside this gem piece of architecture is an interesting museum on the history of surfing in Santa Cruz. There is no museum that is more 100% all about Santa Cruz than this one, so it is well worth a stop in when you find yourself passing by.

Outdoor activities

West Cliff Drive Trail West Cliff Drive Trail is an excellent walk or drive that can occupy a few hours or even a day of visitors time. For those who are interested in tide pools and their unique topography, this trail offers at least one stairway down to some terrific ones. The scenery is very interesting and the people watching is good as well. There is also a boardwalk here that makes for a nice stroll, as it is both well-preserved and historic to the area. The old horse carousel with its brass rings is still sitting there, and even the original roller coaster made out of wood still thrills daredevils.

Beaches

Santa Cruz Wharf This is a beachside area where you can watch seals frolic and bark. The young ones are the most interesting. The scenery and views are first rate, as are the surfers keeping busy catching the waves on the other side. For a totally free attraction, this may be the best thing going in Santa Cruz. The cool drinks are good, though the food on offer is pretty mediocre.

Family attractions

Seymour Marine Discovery Center Families will enjoy this marine world discovery miniature aquarium facility. The children will be especially impressed by the contents of the tanks. Outside, there are cliffs with stunning views for the adults. This is worthwhile for the kids, but less interesting for those without their own children in tow.

Santa Cruz Weather

The weather is among the greatest of attractions that Santa Cruz and the whole state of California has to offer visitors. Here, the average January temperatures range from 41F - 63F, with 6.3 inches of rain. Summers are quite possibly perfect temperature-wise, with the average June temperatures ranging from 52F - 75F, with only .2 inches of rainfall. This all begs the question is there any month that is not ideal weather to visit Santa Cruz? The wettest three months of the year might rain on your beach parade and plans, so it might be smarter to avoid the months of January and February especially, and also March, if you are able to work your trip to the area and town in during the drier months.

How to Get To and Around Santa Cruz

Getting to and away from Santa Cruz is not extremely difficult or inconvenient. Commercial airports in the area include the San Jose International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport, and the Oakland International Airport. You might also come by boat if you are fortunate enough to have a seaworthy vessel and sail up the Pacific Coast. There is the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor that offers temporary berthing and permanent moorage to visitors and locals alike. They average an impressive 15,000 visitors-nights each year. This charming harbor is located between Pillar Point Harbor found in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Harbor.

Coming by private car or rental car is also not difficult. Santa Cruz is a mere half an hour drive from the Silicon Valley and San Jose. From Monterey and the Carmel area, it is 45 minutes, and from San Francisco it is a still manageable 75 minute drive. Be forewarned that the traffic is particularly heavy on both holidays and summer weekends, as you might expect when the weather is so picture perfect.

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                                                                                                    Recent Santa Cruz Reviews

                                                                                                    Great stay

                                                                                                    5 of 5
                                                                                                    We had a great stay (2 families with kids ranging from 7 - 12). Gabreal was very responsive and helpful. Excellent location--on a blocked off street (so safe for kids to be outside) right near beach. Very dog friendly! House has a lot of character--good for families. We provided Gabreal some ideas on how to make the house even better and he is already working on them.
                                                                                                    • Submitted: Aug 17, 2016
                                                                                                    • Stayed: Aug 2016

                                                                                                    Clean, Comfortable and Perfect location

                                                                                                    5 of 5
                                                                                                    Case La Sirena was the perfect house for our getaway. Our group of 4 came to the Santa Cruz area to run the Wharf to Wharf, which runs right past the house, and a very convenient, short walk back after the race finished. The location was perfect to enjoy the sights from San Fransisco, Monterey, Carmel, and the Big Sur areas. We also enjoyed the short walk into Capitola where you find many wonderful restaurants and shops. The private beach was beautiful and a very short walk. Overall the house was clean, comfortable, well stocked, in a safe and convenient location and Akemi always responded quickly when we asked questions. I would highly recommend this rental. It was a 100% positive experience.
                                                                                                    • Submitted: Aug 4, 2016
                                                                                                    • Stayed: Jul 2016

                                                                                                    Awesome oasis with all the amenities

                                                                                                    5 of 5
                                                                                                    The place is very well designed and has everything you need to relax, cook, and head to the beach. We enjoyed bringing our doggie to the beach across the street. Bonus - Starbucks opened right down the road!
                                                                                                    • Submitted: Jul 21, 2016
                                                                                                    • Stayed: Jul 2016