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Top 8 Things to Do in Santa Cruz


You'll find a lot of things to do in Santa Cruz, but these are some of the best.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

It's perhaps the best remaining seaside amusement park in the state, located right on the beach - and you can get in to walk around without paying admission.

Go to the Beach

Forget Southern California. Santa Cruz is home to some of the state's nicest beaches, and we've ferreted out the best of them for your interests.

West Cliff Drive

It's a pretty drive, but an even nicer walk. Park anywhere you can find a space and join the locals for a walk along the cilfftops to watch surfers at Steamers Lane, kayakers paddling by and comormants diving for fish.

Sail on Monterey Bay

The Chardonnay II offers landlubbers like me a chance to go sailing without all the fuss. You can enjoy their food-oriented trips featuring local wineries and microbreweries, but for a true local's experience, join them for the informal Wednesday night sailboat races.

Downtown Santa Cruz

It's one of the most vibrant little downtowns in central California, with lots of cafes, locally-owned shops, artist galleries and two movie theaters. The people-watching here is unparalleled.

Santa Cruz Music Scene

Santa Cruz has one of the most vibrant music scenes around, and on any given night you may find members of the Turkish national orchestra performing in one place while heavy metal rockers and hip hop musicians appear elsewhere. The link will take you to a calendar.

Local Artisans

You can find works by local artists at shops in downtown and especially at Many Hands Gallery in nearby Capitola. However, the best way to delve into their works is during the annual Open Studios weekends, held in early October, when these creative folks open their studios to visitors and sell their works directly to the public.

What Do People Like to Do Most in Santa Cruz?

We've outlined the top things to do in Santa Cruz. Now you can vote for your favorite:

Poll: What Do You Like to Do most in Santa Cruz?

See what other people like to do best

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