Find your flow... the surf's up in arty, eccentric Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is one of America's best surfing locations, whose legendary waves attract surfers from all around the globe. There's even a dedicated surfing museum. The amusements on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk are a top attraction, as is the seriously weird 'mystery spot' where gravity goes pear shaped. If you adore the great outdoors, put the splendid Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary and Natural Bridges State Park on your radar.
Santa Cruz County has 14 state parks and beaches plus dozens of local reserves. There's even a world-class marine sanctuary.
Sun-drenched beaches. Awesome hiking. Fabulous restaurants and excellent boutique hotels. Santa Cruz is California's finest beach vacation location. But there's much more to this brilliant town than nice sand. Wine tasting, steam train journeys, cycle tours, horse riding, museums and galleries, giant redwood trees... there's loads going on in Santa Cruz.
Explore 29 miles of absolutely breathtaking coastline
Experience some of the tastiest wines in the whole of California
Buy something special at one of many brilliant art festivals
Art plus wine plus glorious beaches equals a picture of Santa Cruz in vivid technicolour detail, delivering a feast of exceptional memories.
City Streets to Southern Beaches From £2139.00 (inc flights and hotels)
From the lively streets of San Francisco to the beautiful beaches of San Diego, experience the dramatic cliffside vistas of the Big Sur, explore Cali’s Wine Country and soak up the surf at Huntington Beach.
Save up to 18% per person on this itinerary
Visit Santa Cruz County for sheer variety: windsurfing, kite-boarding, sailing, rock pooling, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, horse riding, camping, rock climbing and bird watching. There are more than 70 family-owned wineries in the area, most with tasting rooms. But there's much more than wine on offer...
Sail on the beautiful 'Sarah', the city's only classic charter boat
Visit the fascinating Aptos History Museum
Explore masses of chic independent shops and funky art galleries
Santa Cruz County's arts scene is famously vibrant, offering a year-round love affair of museums and art galleries, performing arts, excellent clubbing and more than 100 local events and festivals taking place every year. You can enjoy whale watching tours and the area is studded with good pubs.
“Santa Cruz was like an awesome summer hippy camp. I got to take a vacation from reality and hang out on beaches and in forests” - Aaron Koblin
Take leisurely, friendly whale watching and fishing trips courtesy of Stagnaro, Monterey Bay's oldest operator. Sample the delicious local wares at the welcoming 99 Beer Bottles on the Wall, an award-winning pub and a real taste of home-from-home for Brits. It's child-friendly and dog-friendly, with a great reputation for serving excellent food. And the area's farmer's markets are a legend in their own lifetime too, jammed packed with gorgeous, fresh local produce. Head for the spectacularly beautiful Ano Nuevo State Park for brilliant beaches, nature reserves, wildlife watching opportunities and guided tours. Or watch the super cool surf dudes and chicks doing their amazing thing at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, Longboard Invitational and Kayak Surf Festivals. Surf's up!
Want to experience classic Cruz? The city's gorgeous Beach Boardwalk is the country's oldest, delighting holidaymakers and open non-stop since 1915. It's still home to a 1924 wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster and a 1911 Carousel, both historic American classics. The Boardwalk area is free to enter, giving you access to 36 monster fairground rides and attractions, two huge game arcades, an excellent 18 hole indoor mini-golf course, laser tag, more than thirty cool places to eat out, loads of shops, a massive bowling centre and more. That's what we call top family entertainment!
Dedicated California experts with a passion for the Golden State and the USA
Our team have all had their own California adventures, ask them for a few stories!