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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Pedestrian Plaza
“Please don't miss taking a stroll down the free Boardwalk. It's such an awesome place. ”
  • 309 locals recommend
American Restaurant
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“Owned by the Shadowbrook owners, this is also beautiful - but a little cheaper.”
  • 143 locals recommend
Beach
“Very cool beach! In the fall, monarch butterflies are seen in the 1000’s. Great spot for a picnic and beach photos.”
  • 126 locals recommend
Park
“Great coastal park, with a historic ranch home, hikes, a creek to play in, and trails to the beach.”
  • 101 locals recommend
Route
“walk, bike, jog, push stroller, skateboard (or drive if you have to) from the wharf to natural bridges state park along the edge of the cliffs that drop down to the bay, watching (or joining!) surfers at the famous steamer lane along the way.”
  • 94 locals recommend
Museum
“The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is a nonprofit educational institution in Santa Cruz, California, located at the downtown McPherson Center. Its mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections, using art and history to build a stronger, more connected community”
  • 71 locals recommend
Bakery
$$
“Great breakfast, within walking distance. Pastery and coffee or full on breakfast.”
  • 79 locals recommend
Pier
“Take a walk down the Pier and bring your appetite! There are shops, snacks, restaurants, and even free, no license fishing from the pier!”
  • 67 locals recommend
Bar
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“This bar/restaurant is only located about 1.5miles away. A great spot anytime of day. They have a beautiful garden setting in the back. Perfect for breakfast and they have late night live music. Ofteb times they have bands traveling from LA to SF and making a stop in Santa Cruz.”
  • 76 locals recommend
Bar
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“Great beer selection and tasty homemade flatbreads. Be aware, their salads are huge! ”
  • 64 locals recommend
Bakery
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“It's a local staple and the pastries are truly eye candy (not for the diet-conscious ;-)”
  • 63 locals recommend
Route
“a walk up and down Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz will show you why many people believe in the slogan - Keep Santa Cruz Weird this is the VW Bug and Tiedye capital of the world. Many homeless but that is part of the local culture.”
  • 54 locals recommend
Restaurant
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“One the most popular restaurants in town , run by a very nice local family. You will not be disappointed! Reservations recommended.”
  • 56 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
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“Some of the best Mediterranean Afghan Cuisine you'll ever have! But be sure to make reservations!”
  • 57 locals recommend
Restaurant
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“Organic, delicious and cheap street food. Outdoor seating of sorts under a covered area off to the side. Not fancy but stop by for a great meal for lunch or dinner.”
  • 52 locals recommend
Restaurant
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“Best pizza in town! Take that from someone who owns a pizza oven. Nice salads, good job with fish too. ”
  • 47 locals recommend