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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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31
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59
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43
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51
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Viewed 42 times in the last 48 hours
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Santa Cruz: Houses, Cottages & More (300+)

 

Recent Santa Cruz Reviews

Cozy, comfy, all amenities as advertised!

5 of 5
Beautiful and relaxing long weekend at the beach. The house was beautifully appointed! The bottle of wine that greeted us and the organic soaps were a very nice touch. Loved the 6 burner Wolfe range and other upscale appliances - great for enjoying family meals together....and then of course - the proximity to the beach. Even in the rain - beautiful!
  • Submitted: Jan 11, 2018
  • Stayed: Jan 2018

Great Beach Cottage!!

5 of 5
This was our second time staying at Lyn's Beach Cottage. I grew up in Santa Cruz and moved away since college 20 years ago. Now I'm married and have 9-year old son. I still have a few good friends living in Santa Cruz who we can stay with, but it was so nice to have a beach cottage to ourselves and enjoyed having friends stop by everyday. It is a very small place but it was a perfect cottage for three of us. My son loved the cottage very much because he can spend all day on the beach, playing with sands and boogie boarding on the waves, then we can walk back to home for lunch and snack. It's also very relaxing to sit on the porch and look at the beach and ocean for hours without being on the sands. As my son says, wish we live here! We had exceptional time here at Lyn's cottage. We will be back again soon!
  • Submitted: Dec 12, 2017
  • Stayed: Nov 2017