Vacation Rentals in Santa Cruz

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Popular Accommodations in Santa Cruz

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Highlights in Santa Cruz

  • Superb beaches
  • Great surfing opportunities
  • Family-friendly attractions
  • Fine food and food festivals
  • Natural scenery close to the city
  • Excellent museums
  • Plenty of markets and independent stores

Most popular in Santa Cruz

Internet 278
Pet allowed 83
Balcony/Terrace 251
TV 263
Air conditioning 26
Garden 113
Parking 262
Washing machine 246
Heating 251

Santa Cruz Vacation Rentals

Explore Hundreds of Beautiful Vacation Rentals in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is at the heart of one of America’s most stunning tourist regions, and the scenery us matched by a huge selection of wonderful vacation rental options. Some of the finest holiday homes on offer are in the hills. If you want to enjoy some peace and quiet, check out cottages and homes with sprawling gardens to the north of the city.

Stay in Beachfront Villas by the Pacific Ocean

Then again, Santa Cruz also has plenty of beachfront vacation home options to choose. With mile upon mile of seafront and a lively city center by the ocean, it’s a great part of town to stay in. Anyone who wants to be close to the boardwalk and the sand will be spoiled for choice by the range of apartments and holiday homes near the Santa Cruz seafront.

Vacationing in Santa Cruz, California

One of California’s Favorite Tourist Destinations

Santa Cruz is located around 350 miles north of Los Angeles, and 70 miles south of San Francisco, and sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. With its impressive surf, unspoiled beaches, pristine forests, wineries and generally laid-back atmosphere, the city is one of California’s premier vacation destinations, attracting 3 million visitors per year.

There are Plenty of Ways to Reach a Santa Cruz Vacation Rental

Getting to Santa Cruz shouldn’t pose any problems at all. The city is just 30 miles from San Jose International Airport, which offers connections to every corner of the United States. From there, all you need to do is take the Amtrak Express to downtown Santa Cruz.

Drive to Santa Cruz Along the Beautiful Pacific Highway

If you are driving to Santa Cruz from LA or San Francisco, the best route to take is Route 101, but you could also set aside some time to drive Route 1 – the scenic coastal road. You can even board Amtrak's Coast Starlight in Seattle, San Francisco or LA and take a taxi from San Jose.

The Giant Dipper roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk
The Giant Dipper roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Activities

1. A Fantastic Destination for Beach Lovers

The beaches at Santa Cruz run for 30 miles along the Pacific Coast and are the ideal place to play volleyball, swim, sunbathe or surf. With reliable waves and surf shops all along the coast, it’s a great place for surfers to head.

2. A Magnet for Wine Lovers

The valleys of Santa Cruz County and the surrounding region are crammed with world-class wineries. Sample the best local creations at seafront wine bars, or join tours with experts who know all of the year’s finest vintages.

3. A Great Water Sports Destination

Whether you adore sea kayaking, splashing around in water parks or taking the wheel of high-performance yachts, Santa Cruz is one of America’s best places to relax on the open water.

Pacific Coast
Pacific Coast

Top 5 things to do in Santa Cruz

1. Spend a Day at Santa Cruz Beach

Santa Cruz Beach is more than just a beach. It’s also an excellent family amusement park, with an endless array of rides, stores and bars along the attractive boardwalk.

2. Enjoy Some Gourmet Food

Santa Cruz is a major foodie destination. Check out enticing ice creams from local creameries, try organic produce from nearby farms, relax at artisan coffee roasters by the sea and fill up every day on pancakes and syrup by the boardwalk.

3. Pay a Visit to the Mystery Spot

Whether you believe the legends attached to it or not, the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot is still a must-visitattraction. Hear stories of strange noises, warped buildings and crazy magnetic forces – and come away with a souvenir or too as well.

4. Check out the City’s Museums

Museum fans won’t leave a rental home in Santa Cruz disappointed. From the Surfing Museum, which glorifies heroes of the waves, to the superb Natural History Museum, Santa Cruz has exhibits for anyone to enjoy.

5. Attend a Gig at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Probably Santa Cruz’s most famous music venue, the Kuumbwa Center attracts big-name jazz and pop musicians to its intimate venue (and also serves up great food and cocktails).

The story goes that three Hawaiian princes introduced surfing to the USA in 1885 by showing off their boarding skills at River Mouth, which is part of Santa Cruz beach.

Useful Information

Climate

If you intend to make the most of the local beaches, try to book a trip between June and early October. However, Santa Cruz is one of those fortunate places that has very mild winters – so there’s no “bad” time to visit. Surfing actually may be better in the winter, and every season offers good conditions for getting out in the forests or along the coastal paths.

Events

You might want to time your visit to coincide with local events. September brings the town’s Greek Festival, as well as the Capitola Art and Wine Festival, so if you want to be entertained and well fed, that could be the best month to go.

Transportation

Getting around town isn’t hard. The boardwalk runs all along the seafront, and you can walk, cycle or rollerskate wherever you need to go, while Santa Cruz Metro provides a good bus service to every other part of the city.