The 10 Best Things To Do In Santa Cruz

Ah, Santa Cruz! It’s a place where the salty sea air mingles with the buzz of vibrant street life, where the redwoods stand tall, whispering stories of the ages. If you’re looking for a slice of Californian paradise, you’ve hit the jackpot. Let’s dive into the top 10 things that make Santa Cruz an unforgettable destination.

1. Stroll Along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Imagine the sound of laughter and the clinking of carnival games as you wander down the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It’s an iconic spot that’s been delivering fun since 1907. With the ocean as its backdrop, this amusement park offers a mix of old-school rides and modern thrills. Don’t miss the Giant Dipper roller coaster; it’s a wooden classic that’ll have your heart racing!

2. Catch a Wave at Steamer Lane

Surf’s up! Steamer Lane is a world-renowned surf spot that’s perfect for catching some epic waves. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just watching from the cliffs, the energy here is palpable. If you’re itching to give it a go, there are plenty of surf schools ready to teach you the ropes.

3. Explore the Mystery of the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot

Ready for a head-scratcher? The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot has been baffling visitors since 1940. It’s a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests. Here, balls roll uphill, and people seem to defy gravity. It’s a quirky detour that’s worth the trip – just don’t forget your camera!

4. Take a Hike in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

For a change of pace, head to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. It’s a haven for nature lovers. The towering redwoods are simply awe-inspiring, and the trails cater to all levels of hikers. The famous Redwood Grove Loop Trail is a must-do; it’s like stepping into another world.

5. Sip and Savor at Local Wineries

Who knew Santa Cruz was a hotspot for wine lovers? The region’s wineries offer some top-notch vino. Spend an afternoon sipping on local creations, and don’t forget to take a bottle home. It’s the perfect way to savor your Santa Cruz memories.

6. Discover the Santa Cruz Wharf

Stretching out into the Monterey Bay, the Santa Cruz Wharf is a hub of activity. It’s lined with shops, restaurants, and even spots to rent kayaks or paddleboards. Keep your eyes peeled for sea lions; they’re known to make an appearance, basking in the sun.

7. Get Cultured at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Art buffs, rejoice! The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History is a treasure trove of creativity and history. With ever-changing exhibits, there’s always something new to discover. It’s a great way to dive into the local culture and get inspired.

8. Indulge in the Santa Cruz Food Scene

Foodies will be in heaven in Santa Cruz. The city’s food scene is bursting with fresh, innovative cuisine. From farm-to-table restaurants to food trucks, there’s a taste for every palate. Don’t skip the seafood; it’s as fresh as it gets!

9. Take a Scenic Drive or Bike Ride Along West Cliff Drive

For breathtaking views, West Cliff Drive is the place to be. Whether you’re behind the wheel or pedaling along, this scenic route offers stunning vistas of the ocean and beaches. There are plenty of spots to pull over and soak it all in.

10. Unwind at Natural Bridges State Beach

Last but not least, Natural Bridges State Beach is a serene spot to relax and watch the sunset. The natural rock bridge is a sight to behold, and during migration season, it’s a prime location for monarch butterfly spotting.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Santa Cruz?

    Summer is fantastic for beach activities, but don’t discount the off-season. Fall offers warm weather without the crowds, and spring brings beautiful blooms.

  • Are there family-friendly activities in Santa Cruz?

    Absolutely! The Boardwalk, state parks, and beaches offer plenty of fun for all ages. Plus, there are interactive museums and outdoor adventures galore.

  • Can I visit wineries without a car?

    Many wineries are accessible via local tour companies that offer transportation, so you can enjoy without worrying about driving.


There you have it, folks – the crème de la crème of Santa Cruz activities. From the thrills of the Boardwalk to the tranquility of the redwoods, there’s something for everyone in this coastal gem. Whether you’re a surfer, a foodie, or a nature enthusiast, Santa Cruz beckons with open arms. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to make some memories. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Remember, Santa Cruz isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience. And it’s one that’s waiting for you to dive in. See you on the beach, or maybe in the forest, or better yet, let’s catch up over a glass of local wine. Cheers to Santa Cruz and all the unforgettable moments it promises!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.