Santa Cruz hotels

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What travelers to Santa Cruz are saying

Santa Cruz is a quaint little surf town with street performers (mostly musicians), a hipster vibe, and a local university (UCSC). I enjoy it for the local state parks which make for a breath-taking escape from city life. In short, the city is very chill and slow compared to San Francisco, but it feels more lively than San Luis Obispo.
Gabriel K. Jun 15, 2015
Santa Cruz is a wonderful town for a getaway. There's lots to do downtown and at the beach. We had a great breakfast at the Walnut Cafe just off of Pacific Ave, and a delicious lunch at Emily's Bakery. Bookshop Santa Cruz is an excellent bookstore.
Amy S. Jul 22, 2015
I like Santa Cruz. It's a great place to go on a hot day or a weekend trip with the kids. The rides and food can be costly for a family of 5 but they deal on specific nights of week for rides. Summer time concerts are always a great time.
pedro a. May 4, 2015

Feel the relaxed vibes of Santa Cruz, California

About 65 miles down the California coast, south of the ultra-cosmopolitan city of San Francisco, sits the open-minded city of Santa Cruz. The surf beaches, amusements bustling boardwalks and redwood forests of Santa Cruz County are about 90 minutes from the city, offering visitors an escape that feels worlds and decades away from the hubbub of everyday life.

Things to see and do

Perfect for those who like a laidback surf getaway, there is even more to Santa Cruz than catching some waves.

Santa Cruz Mystery Spot

Local legends regarding the infamous Santa Cruz Mystery Spot abound. The gravitational anomaly spot is a playground of puzzling gravity, height and perspective. Some people claim to have walked across the ceiling of the odd architectural funhouse. Visitors who wish to find out for themselves are invited to 465 Mystery Spot Road.

Natural Bridges State Beach

The freshwater wetlands, salty marsh and exquisite natural geology of Natural Bridges State Beach are a marvel, well worth a day of your vacation time in Santa Cruz. The park is open year-round from 8:00a.m. to sunset. Time your visit to coincide with the annual monarch butterfly migration, from late October through January, to see one of nature's greatest shows.

Where to stay

Beach front

Santa Cruz hotels with a beach view treat your senses, with the sounds of waves crashing and the aroma of on-site seafood being cooked. Santa Cruz Dream Inn celebrates the retro coolness of this town, with its roots firmly in the 60s. Views of Monterey Bay and the adjacent Beach Boardwalk give visitors the full seaside experience.

Riverside Avenue

Leading you from the beach to the center of town via the San Lorenzo River, Riverside Avenue is a handy location to stay on. Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach Boardwalk East reflects the liveliness of the city and is in close proximity to pretty much everything you need to see and do in Santa Cruz.

Where to eat

The city’s beach location makes for an ideal, housing everything from after-surfing, Baja-style fish taco joints to upscale seafood restaurants. The Crow’s Nest restaurant is a hit with the locals, and serves up fresh seafood specials as well as breakfasts. If you have a hankering for a satisfying plate of absolutely unpretentious shrimp, you can find casual eateries right next to the beach with amazing views such as Harbor Cafe.

For travelers who prefer to graze lightly or make their own in-room meals, Santa Cruz County offers an abundance of farmers markets. Some run from May through to October while others, including the Westside Santa Cruz Farmers Market at the corner of Western and Mission, are open year-round.

Best time to visit

The central coastal location of Santa Cruz in Californiamakes it a nice place to visit any time of year. If you're coming in hopes of finding big surf, visit during the winter months. Summertime draws in a variety of travelers looking to do all sorts of things.

How to get there

Several airports serve Bay Area visitors very well. Travelers who fly into either airport will find plenty of cabs, buses and shuttle services that serve the Santa Cruz area.

From San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Pick up a rental car and head south on U.S. Hwy 101 to highways 85 and 17. To enjoy a super-scenic but somewhat longer drive, take CA Hwy 1 south through Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz.

From Oakland International Airport (OAK)

Follow signs from the airport to Interstate 880 and take it south toward San Jose. In approximately 42 miles, I-880 becomes CA-17. Remain on the road and merge onto CA Hwy 1 S to Santa Cruz.

Recently booked Santa Cruz hotels

Hotel Last booked Stars Price from
Santa Cruz Dream Inn 9 hours ago 3 stars $257
Oceana Inn Santa Cruz 9 hours ago 2 stars $96
Continental Inn 12 hours ago 2 stars $133
Ocean Echo Inn and Beach Cotta 13 hours ago 2 stars $205
Casa Blanca Inn on the Beach 14 hours ago 4 stars $238
Hotel Paradox 16 hours ago 4 stars $227
Holiday Inn Express & Suites SANTA CRUZ 16 hours ago 3 stars $153
Coastview Inn Santa Cruz 17 hours ago 3 stars $149
Ocean Pacific Lodge 17 hours ago 2 stars $126
Ocean Gate Inn 18 hours ago 3 stars $90

Recently Rated Santa Cruz Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Hotel Paradox
3.8 / 5
49 reviews
4 stars $227
Santa Cruz Dream Inn
4.1 / 5
101 reviews
3 stars $257
Holiday Inn Express & Suites SANTA CRUZ
4.0 / 5
64 reviews
3 stars $153
Ramada Limited Santa Cruz
2.7 / 5
69 reviews
3 stars $117
Ocean Pacific Lodge
3.8 / 5
136 reviews
2 stars $126
Hampton Inn Santa Cruz
3.4 / 5
18 reviews
3 stars $159
Continental Inn
4.2 / 5
19 reviews
2 stars $133
Bay Front Inn
3.8 / 5
40 reviews
2 stars $132
Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach Boardwalk East
3.7 / 5
19 reviews
2 stars $145
Casa Blanca Inn on the Beach
4.0 / 5
10 reviews
4 stars $238

Featured Santa Cruz Hotels

From $257

1 Santa Cruz Dream Inn

3 stars
4.1 / 5 101 reviews

175 West Cliff Drive

Save 15% On Your Stay

Only in Santa Cruz is retro so cool. Instead of tearing down this 1960s relic, hoteliers embraced and retrofitted the 10-story property fronting Cowell's longboard wave as a chic boutique hotel in...

Beach trip
We ended up staying in a hotel room that had no AC or heater. They did move us into a different room. The staff is so friendly and happy it's better than Disneyland! It has a very good modern kick...
Jul 18, 2015
From $238

2 Casa Blanca Inn on the Beach

4 stars
4.0 / 5 10 reviews

101 Main st

Once a luxurious mansion built in 1916, This Charming Seaside Inn overlooks the beautiful Monterey Bay across from the Main Beach & the Santa Cruz Wharf.A true Mediterranean Villa, this...

Charming Restored Historic Santa Cruz
A really lovely historic hotel with recent modern updates that made it heavenly. New mattresses, toilet and sink. And a great location. Our room had a full ocean view overlooking the Boardwalk and...
Jul 13, 2015
From $90

3 Ocean Gate Inn

3 stars
2.6 / 5 23 reviews

111 Ocean Street

Whether you are traveling on business or on vacation, we know that you have a choice where you want to stay when you visit Santa Cruz, CA. When you choose to stay with us at Ocean Gate Inn, you...

Quick Santa Cruz get away
I decided last minute to take my kids to The Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. We stayed over night and got a room at ocean gate inn! It was great for the price , friendly staff, and we could park the...
Jun 27, 2015
From $133

4 Continental Inn

2 stars
4.2 / 5 19 reviews

414 Ocean Street

The Continental Inn is just minutes from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Indulge in the comfort of one of our Deluxe style guestrooms, featuring wireless Internet access, HBO and much more. In the...

Great Trip
So close to The Beach and to Capitola. The room was clean and plenty of parking.
Jul 20, 2015
From $96

5 Oceana Inn Santa Cruz

2 stars
2.8 / 5 95 reviews

525 Ocean Street

Oceana Inn Santa Cruz is just one mile to the shore of the Pacific Ocean in Santa Cruz, California. This budget-friendly motel with a swimming pool and poolside patio also offers a free, daily...

Room was not clean(dirty wall and furniture-stained) desk chair was ripped and torn. Bed spread had holes in it shower pan was stained looked dirty. Soap and lotions small and cheap. The staff was...
Jun 11, 2015
From $132

6 Bay Front Inn

2 stars
3.8 / 5 40 reviews

325 Pacific avenue

The pet-friendly and comfortable Bay Front Inn is close to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the shopping and night life of Downtown Santa Cruz, while offering affordable accommodations and featuring...

family trip
we enjoyed the hotel and its surrandings very much. the locatoin is very good and simple. near the ocean and city center. room is simple and clean. they have parking on site. very nice and efficiant .
Jul 19, 2015
From $126

7 Ocean Pacific Lodge

2 stars
3.8 / 5 136 reviews

301 Pacific Ave.

Ocean Pacific Lodge offers a value accommodation in the heart of laid-back Santa Cruz. The ocean and downtown are never more than a five-minute walk away. Personal service and attention to detail...

Monterey trip
Good stopping point between Northern California and the Monterey area!
Jul 22, 2015
From $181


3 stars
3.7 / 5 49 reviews

500 Ocean Street

Palm trees and Northern California sun greet guests at Best Western All Suite Inn in Santa Cruz, located in the heart of suburban surf city near Hwy 1. Large and contemporary all-suite units...

Beds could be softer
Other then a very hard mattress, great place. Definitely will be back.
May 24, 2015
From $149

9 Coastview Inn Santa Cruz

3 stars
3.2 / 5 60 reviews

301 Beach Street

Coastview Inn Santa Cruz boasts an unbeatable and rare beachfront location just across from Santa Cruz's main beach. A large seasonal courtyard and heated pool offers guests to choice to relax...

Basic room, very close to beach
The location here rocks! The room was bare bones basic, exactly what we expected. The staff was friendly and helpful -- we'd stay here again.
Jul 10, 2015
From $99

10 Motel Santa Cruz

2 stars
1.7 / 5 45 reviews

370 Ocean Street

Central to Santa Cruz, the Motel Santa Cruz is just minutes from the Santa Cruz beach and Boardwalk, the Light House State Beach, Museum of Natural History, the University of California Santa Cruz,...

Glad it was only one night
OK for over night stay. Stiff drink helps. stayed here 12 years has gone down hill.. Felt really good leaving early in morning ..Good coffee across street at 7/11
Jun 19, 2015
From $227

11 Hotel Paradox

4 stars
3.8 / 5 49 reviews

611 Ocean Street

Book now and save 15%

The new Hotel Paradox in beautiful Santa Cruz, California, is introducing a chic vibe to hotel lodging on the Central Coast. Designed with a fine eye to detail, the boutique Hotel Paradox features...

Was a great trip. Perfect.location restautant great lovely pool
Jul 23, 2015
From $114

12 Comfort Inn Santa Cruz

2 stars
3.4 / 5 34 reviews

110 Plymouth St.

Comfort Inn Santa Cruz is convenient for highway travelers to Santa Cruz. This hotel is located at the crossroads of highways 1 and 17 in a suburban area, with downtown Santa Cruz and beaches just...

Good practice room
I wanted a simple room to sleep in. In was in a good location for me so I was happy with it.
Jun 22, 2015
From $134

13 Days Inn & Suites Santa Cruz

2 stars
2.7 / 5 30 reviews

600 Riverside Avenue

Stay 2, Save 15%

An affordable hotel offering rooms and two-story suites ideal for group or family travel. Stay within walking distance of downtown Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Our hotel features...

Over Santa Cruz
It was dirty! It smelled! It was a horrible hotel! I use to love going to Santa Cruz when I was younger but now that town is gross!
May 6, 2015
From $153

14 Holiday Inn Express & Suites SANTA CRUZ

3 stars
4.0 / 5 64 reviews

1410 Ocean Street

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (0.9 mi/1.4 km)Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium (1.1 mi/1.8 km)Downtown/Pacific Street (1.2 mi/1.9 km)Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf and Beach Boardwalk (2 mi/3.3...

Weekend getaway
The staff was awesome!!! They were very friendly and accommodating.
Jul 23, 2015
From $117

15 Ramada Limited Santa Cruz

3 stars
2.7 / 5 69 reviews

516 Water St

Stay 2, Save 15%

For an easy location and basic hotel amenities that include an in-room refrigerator and microwave, Ramada Limited Santa Cruz Water Street provides a good value. The downtown accommodation near Hwy...

dismal hotel
This hotel was very poorly maintained. Our room had a broken and very noisy refrigerator, and only one bulb in the 2-bulb lamp between the beds. Lots of peeling paint on outside walls. Although we...
Jul 23, 2015
From $205

16 Babbling Brook Inn

3 stars
4.2 / 5 14 reviews

1025 Laurel Street

Babbling brook inn holds over a century of history. With a romantic garden gazebo and a running brook through majestic pine and redwood trees babbling brook inn is a romantic oasis within the...

Great Romantic Getaway
Came here with my wife. Had a great time in nearby Santa Cruz downtown, and boardwalk (walking distance, but driving is better). Good breakfast, you can take it to your room or eat there.
Sep 14, 2014
From $151


3 stars
3.4 / 5 27 reviews

126 Plymouth Street

Best Western Inn is convenient and well equipped for business travelers spending time in Santa Cruz. Located at the crossroads of highways 1 and 17 in a suburban area, this small property offers...

Not very clean
Bad location. Staff was very nice and helpful. Parking was difficult
Jun 12, 2015
From $146

18 Howard Johnson Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

2 stars
3.4 / 5 14 reviews

130 West Cliff Drive

Stay 2, Save 15%

Take the family to this Howard Johnson Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for your next fun-filled vacation. Nearby Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers miles of beautiful beaches, roller coasters and...

From $145

19 Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach Boardwalk East

2 stars
3.7 / 5 19 reviews

338 Riverside Ave

Stay 2, Save 15%

Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach Boardwalk East gets high marks for easy beach side stays in Santa Cruz at a reasonable price. Motel amenities are upgraded to provide guests with a comfortable basic place...

Will stay again
Great place. Nothing fancy but nice, clean and helpful staff. Close enough to beach for an easy walk. Will definetly stay there again.
Jul 14, 2015
From $113

20 Comfort Inn Beach/Boardwalk Area

2 stars
3.1 / 5 9 reviews

314 Riverside Ave.

100% non smoking hotel. Famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk and beaches 1 block. Restaurants and shopping nearby. FREE high speed Internet in all rooms. Guest must be 21 years and older to book room.

Vacation trip
The stay was okay. Started out with my husbands service dog and how they were really adamant about seeing documents, when by law he doesn't have to show them. Loved the fact the boardwalk was in...
Jul 11, 2015