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Best things to do in Santa Cruz

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Pedestrian Plaza
“A great beach side park for kids. If you go from Highway 1, it's not that far away. Great ocean view along the way..”
306 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
American Restaurant
$$
“It’s the bomb.com!!! Delicious food, amazing views!! I frequent this spot after a long day at Twin Lakes Beach in Santa Cruz. Live bands Friday and Saturday nights upstairs in the bar. 100% recommended, prices are middle of the road. ”
140 locals recommend
Park
“Great coastal park, with a historic ranch home, hikes, a creek to play in, and trails to the beach.”
101 locals recommend
Route
“walk, bike, jog, push stroller, skateboard (or drive if you have to) from the wharf to natural bridges state park along the edge of the cliffs that drop down to the bay, watching (or joining!) surfers at the famous steamer lane along the way.”
94 locals recommend
Museum
“The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is a nonprofit educational institution in Santa Cruz, California, located at the downtown McPherson Center. Its mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections, using art and history to build a stronger, more connected community”
71 locals recommend
Pier
“My group swims around the wharf Friday nights and Sunday mornings. Let me know if you’d like to join-and bring your wetsuit, the water is chilly!”
65 locals recommend
Bakery
$$
“Great breakfast, within walking distance. Pastery and coffee or full on breakfast.”
79 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
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.”
75 locals recommend
Bar
$
“Great beer selection and tasty homemade flatbreads. Be aware, their salads are huge! ”
63 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.”
55 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
$$
“One of my favorites in town. Unusual and consistently well done. Also has outdoor seating in good weather. Best to call for reservations.”
56 locals recommend
Route
“a walk up and down Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz will show you why many people believe in the slogan - Keep Santa Cruz Weird this is the VW Bug and Tiedye capital of the world. Many homeless but that is part of the local culture.”
54 locals recommend
Café
$$
“Yummy, yummy, yummy! Everything here is amazing...especially the Bloody Mary's! Get there early though or be prepared for an hour and half wait on the weekends...enjoy a bloody or two while you wait!”
44 locals recommend
Restaurant
$
“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.”
51 locals recommend