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Santa Cruz Travel Guide

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OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
113 member's reviews
62,804 people visited Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is one of California’s most laid back beach towns, and even the students at UC Santa Cruz seem less stressed than their brethren elsewhere. Surfing is popular, as is windsurfing, while Santa Cruz’s position near redwood studded hills makes for some spectacular hiking. Some come for the Beach Boardwalk, others for the bookstores on Pacific Avenue, others for the butterflies in the eucalyptus grove at Natural Bridges. Its relaxed atmosphere and general low-key tourism make Santa Cruz a great place to experience the authentic California lifestyle.
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Tribes: Who likes this place?

Who Likes This Place?

What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 73%
    Local Culture
  • 71%
    Students
  • 66%
    Wellness
  • 66%
    Family Travelers
  • 61%
    Adventure Travelers
  • 61%
    Vegetarian
  • 58%
    Green Travelers
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Member Reviews (113)

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  • Santa Cruz
    Jemma
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Foodies
    4 Mar 31, 2014

    So much life in such a small town; great to visit whether you're a family, couple, group of friends or even on your own. So many restaurants, there's downtown and of course the infamous boardwalk and all the rides right there on the beachfront. Many motels to choose from so why not make a weekend of it?

    Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersLocal CultureLGBT
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  • Santa Cruz
    Robert E
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 7
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Budget Travelers
    • Wellness
    • Students
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Mar 17, 2014

    Relax at the beach, enjoy the out of the box patrons, and hike around in the forest...all in one day. This is a great place to live or visit. Not big in the commercial scene but definitely in love with the surrounding nature. If you get the chance go and see the butterflies when they are migrating.

    Recommended for:Local CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsStudentsTrendsters
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  • Santa Cruz
    Sharon M
    5 Mar 16, 2014

    One of the most traveler friendly coastal spots. Cliffs and beaches not to be missed. Stay at one of several vacation rental homes. Live like a local for a week. Get on your beach cruiser catch a sunset and watch the surfers.

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  • Santa Cruz
    Matthew Crompton
    Member of
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    5 Oct 22, 2013

    "Keep Santa Cruz Weird" reads one bumper sticker, and I couldn't agree more. This hippie / student / beach town has a lovely chilled-out vibe, a cool boardwalk, numerous great beaches, a thriving downtown with tons of great shops and restaurants, and amazing hikes in the coastal redwoods just a bit inland. Classic northern California.

    Recommended for:Local CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsStudentsVegetarian
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  • Santa CruzPro 2014
    Sara Benson
    Member of
    Wellness
    Green Travelers
    Students
    + 1
    • Wellness
    • Green Travelers
    • Students
    • Adventure Travelers
    5 Oct 19, 2013

    I never get tired of swinging by Santa Cruz on my up or down the Central Coast, driving between Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. I could spend all day at Main Beach and the boardwalk, or along West Cliff Drive heading toward Natural Bridges State Beach. Penny Ice Creamery and the Picnic Basket are my favorite cheap eats in town, so far. It's also not too far from Moss Landing, where you can get fresh seafood or go whale watching.

    Recommended for:Family TravelersOutdoor EnthusiastsStudentsWellness
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  • Santa Cruz
    Mimsie Lemar
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 8
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Budget Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Luxury Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Jun 24, 2013

    Santa Cruz where the mountains meet the ocean... So many eco-climates in this town it is amazing. World renown surfing beaches, but there are also beautiful beaches for the beach goer who wants calm waters. You can hike in the redwoods, visit a vineyard, and go boutique shopping all on the same day... Santa Cruz has great restaurants many using organic locally grown produce; it is my favorite food town because it is so fresh and delicious! Santa Cruz is a great town to visit!

    Recommended for:Local CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesWellnessLGBTVegetarianGreen TravelersStudentsBackpackersLuxury Travelers
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  • Santa CruzPro 2014
    Joseph Coureur
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Business Travelers
    + 1
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    5 Mar 20, 2013

    Santa Cruz is a fun little town with beaches and redwoods. The university's mascot if the banana slug, which you'll probably see on a walk in the forest.

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  • Santa CruzPro 2014
    Albert Qian
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Business Travelers
    + 1
    • Local Culture
    • Budget Travelers
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    5 Feb 24, 2013

    Where beaches are the norm for Southern California residents Santa Cruz is where beachgoers opt in Northern California when they want to get away. During the summer the 17 is crowded on it's way down to the city. In the city you can go to the Boardwalk, Marianne's Ice Cream and the numerous beaches. Also take a look and explore to see if you can find the unique quirks about the city.

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  • Santa Cruz
    Margaret Seelie
    5 Feb 16, 2013

    Santa Cruz is the little surf town that made me fall in love with California at the age of fifteen. The boardwalk riddled with carnival rides where the 80s movie The Lost Boys was filmed, and the beaches full of surfers was exactly what I always imagined California would be like. Now I frequent Santa Cruz as a Californian surfer, and I still love it!

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  • Santa CruzPro 2014
    Shaina Rose
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Foodies
    + 5
    • Local Culture
    • Budget Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Green Travelers
    • Students
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Jan 21, 2013

    This city is a wonderful place to visit. Although it is kind of touristy, there are still so many things to see and do that it is worth a day (or two) of a trip! I spent most of my summers here!

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