$34 Car Rentals in Santa Cruz, CA

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Santa Cruz is a city with a hippie heritage that’s still evident in the local lifestyle. This laid-back destination calls for a laid-back mode of transport – and there’s no better way to relax than cruising down the leafy streets in a rental car.

Orbitz can help you find a rental car so you’ll be able to easily explore Santa Cruz’s own beautiful beaches, lively boardwalk and varied cultural attractions, as well as the sky-high redwood forests and lush vineyards scattered across the surrounding countryside. Reserve a car in advance and you can have your pick of the best prices from companies including Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Cruz Cars and more.

Santa Cruz and Beyond: Three Destinations by car

Outside of the city, you’ll find some gorgeous driving routes leading to great day trip destinations. Here are just a few options.


Follow Route 1 south for spectacular views of Monterey Bay before ending up in the city of Monterey itself. With a famous aquarium, the chance to go whale watching and plenty of water sports facilities, this coastal city is ideal for a nature-focused trip. Continue south to experience the beauty of the famous Big Sur stretch of coast.

Journey time: Around 45 minutes

Distance: Approximately 43 miles

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Going for a hike in a redwood forest is an unmissable Santa Cruz experience. This is the oldest state park in California, dating from 1902 – but that’s nothing compared to the ages of the giant redwoods here. Some are as much as 2,500 years old, and up to 50 feet in circumference.

Journey time: Around 40 minutes

Distance: Approximately 21 miles


Take one look at the quirky, colorful houses and golden-sand beach of this little coastal town and you’re sure to be enchanted. And because it’s so close to Santa Cruz, you can easily drive here for lunch with a view and get back to the city with most of the afternoon ahead of you.

Journey time: Around 10 minutes

Distance: Approximately 6 miles