Santa Cruz is a touch of California class, but if you want to stay longer than three nights, don't stay at the youth hostel, they won't let you book another night.
Santa Cruz is awesome. Try to visit the small towns up in the mountains like Ben Lomand, Felton, Bouldercreek, and Brookdale.
If you wanna surf, Steamer Lane sucks. Too many locals ripping sh*t up.
The Seymore Marine Research Center and the Natural Bridges State Park where the Monarch butterflies swarm and mate are here. Both worth a visit. The Santa Cruz boardwalk is terrific. We went swimming and sunbathing in October and had a great time.
Sierra Nevada visitor
Santa Cruz is sooo much fun!
Pack a sweater! Because Santa Cruz is in California and a beach town, many people think it will be warm and sunny. Actually, it can get surprisingly cold. Also, don't count on swimming in the ocean, unless you wear a wetsuit. As with most of Northern California beaches, the water is freezing.
Welcome to the California coast -- Santa Cruz is known for its beaches, the surfing possibilities (many famous surfers have practiced in the beaches of Santa Cruz), a young vibe, and as a place where many different cultures and lifestyles come to mix, creating a rather alternative feel. Santa Cruz is the kind of town you can get a hostel in to chill and enjoy the beach lifestyle.
Popular attractions include the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park, which has a giant wheel similar to the famous one in Santa Monica beach. On sunny days and weekends, you'll find a lot of people (families and young crowd) enjoying themselves in the oceanfront walkways -- strolling around, roller-blading, taking dogs for a walk, jogging, and carrying surfboards toward the big waves that hit the coast. The beach is very popular, but that doesn't mean the water temperature is that inviting! Unless it is a particularly warm day in the summer, wet suits are advised for those daring to enter the water.
Going away from the seafront and getting into downtown Santa Cruz, you'll be able to enjoy an immense offer for shopping, entertainment, and food. As this is a town with a large college population, there are often events and concerts catering to young people.
There is quite a variety of accommodation options in town, including Santa Cruz hostels, inns, and motels, including popular chains and one-off establishments. Pricier options tend to be those closer to the boardwalk, perhaps with views toward the ocean. But there are also plenty of great options downtown, where you'll also be closer to the action once the night comes.
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Santa Cruz hostels. Welcome.