"Santa Cruz Area" Top 5 Page for this destination Santa Cruz by trvlrtom
Santa Cruz Travel Guide: 287 reviews and 637 photos
There are many great beaches in and around Santa Cruz, and each has its own characteristics. Main Beach at the boardwalk gets the most visitors and is great for the scene, activities, shops, boardwalk rides and tourist restaurants. But depending on your time and interests, others in town may be preferred: Natural Bridges, Its, Seabright (aka Castle), Twin Lakes... take your pick.
North of Santa Cruz you will find several other more rugged beaches, visited more by surfers, fishermen and those wanting a more secluded or "off the beaten path" experience. These beaches are unmarked, don't have official parking lots and have no services or lifeguards. You can find most of them just by spotting cars parked near access points.
Pacific Avenue is the epicenter of Santa Cruz. Eccentric and colorful, the half mile long stretch from Water St. toward the beach has plenty to see and do for shopping, dining and people watching. It has taken a long time for the empty lots to all be rebuilt since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, but fortunately the new buildings have been designed thoughtfully; they maintain the character and charm of earlier days.
Capitola is a popular beach and surfing town a few miles south of Santa Cruz. I worked here for two years and got to know it rather well. Not to be missed are
1 - Capitola Village, for its interesting shops and restaurants;
2 - Capitola Beach, for the relatively milder waters and proximity to the village,
3 - Pleasure Point, to see the surfers,
4 - Pleasure Point at 41st Avenue, for surf shops, funky shops and restaurants.
My Capitola page has some details on this fun little area.
- Pros:Many options for food, beaches and fun.
- Cons:Litter and garbage left on beaches
Santa Cruz is a town with many good restaurants. Aquarius is newer, and may be the best. First, the food is top quality... more travel advice
Santa Cruz has many beaches, but this is my favorite. It is right in town but doesn't have the crowds or hype of the... more travel advice
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Santa Cruz Travel Guide
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- "Best Beach Action in Northern California"
- "Santa Cruz - Beaches, Surfing and Pot"
- "Santa Cruz - An Eccentri - City"
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