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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Pedestrian Plaza
“The Boardwalk features more than 40 rides and attractions including two National Historic Landmarks: the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the beautiful 1911 Looff Carousel, plus many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf. Located along a beautiful sandy beach in a friendly beach town, the Boardwalk has the classic setting for days of family fun.”
  • 308 locals recommend
  • 1 Experience
American Restaurant
$$
“Spectacular views of our bay, great food, sometimes live music. Go on a Wednesday and watch the regatta!”
  • 145 locals recommend
Beach
“Very cool beach! In the fall, monarch butterflies are seen in the 1000’s. Great spot for a picnic and beach photos.”
  • 127 locals recommend
Route
“walk, bike, jog, push stroller, skateboard (or drive if you have to) from the wharf to natural bridges state park along the edge of the cliffs that drop down to the bay, watching (or joining!) surfers at the famous steamer lane along the way.”
  • 93 locals recommend
Park
“Great coastal park, with a historic ranch home, hikes, a creek to play in, and trails to the beach.”
  • 102 locals recommend
Museum
“The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is a nonprofit educational institution in Santa Cruz, California, located at the downtown McPherson Center. Its mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections, using art and history to build a stronger, more connected community”
  • 71 locals recommend
Bakery
$$
“Great breakfast, within walking distance. Pastery and coffee or full on breakfast.”
  • 80 locals recommend
Pier
“Take a walk down the Pier and bring your appetite! There are shops, snacks, restaurants, and even free, no license fishing from the pier!”
  • 66 locals recommend
Bar
$
“Both indoor and outdoor seating, higher end pub food. Located in alley with other breweries/wineries ”
  • 65 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“This bar/restaurant is only located about 1.5miles away. A great spot anytime of day. They have a beautiful garden setting in the back. Perfect for breakfast and they have late night live music. Ofteb times they have bands traveling from LA to SF and making a stop in Santa Cruz.”
  • 75 locals recommend
Bakery
$$
“It's a local staple and the pastries are truly eye candy (not for the diet-conscious ;-)”
  • 63 locals recommend
Route
“a walk up and down Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz will show you why many people believe in the slogan - Keep Santa Cruz Weird this is the VW Bug and Tiedye capital of the world. Many homeless but that is part of the local culture.”
  • 54 locals recommend
Restaurant
$$
“One the most popular restaurants in town , run by a very nice local family. You will not be disappointed! Reservations recommended.”
  • 56 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
$$
“Some of the best Mediterranean Afghan Cuisine you'll ever have! But be sure to make reservations!”
  • 57 locals recommend
Café
$$
“It’s a wonderful place to sit down, enjoy fabulous food, good vibes, good people, seriously a local favorite!! ”
  • 45 locals recommend
Café
$$
“The best breakfast. No contest. Be prepared for long waits the later you arrive. My advice is to get there on weekends right at 9:00am. The first eating turn over is happening and you can usually get right in. ”
  • 55 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Pedestrian Plaza
“The Boardwalk features more than 40 rides and attractions including two National Historic Landmarks: the world-famous 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster and the beautiful 1911 Looff Carousel, plus many scream-inducing thrill rides, gentle kiddie rides, casual restaurants, gift shops, games, indoor arcades, and miniature golf. Located along a beautiful sandy beach in a friendly beach town, the Boardwalk has the classic setting for days of family fun.”
  • 308 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“Spectacular views of our bay, great food, sometimes live music. Go on a Wednesday and watch the regatta!”
  • 145 locals recommend
Bar
“Both indoor and outdoor seating, higher end pub food. Located in alley with other breweries/wineries ”
  • 65 locals recommend
Bar
“This bar/restaurant is only located about 1.5miles away. A great spot anytime of day. They have a beautiful garden setting in the back. Perfect for breakfast and they have late night live music. Ofteb times they have bands traveling from LA to SF and making a stop in Santa Cruz.”
  • 75 locals recommend
Restaurant
“One the most popular restaurants in town , run by a very nice local family. You will not be disappointed! Reservations recommended.”
  • 56 locals recommend
Mediterranean Restaurant
“Some of the best Mediterranean Afghan Cuisine you'll ever have! But be sure to make reservations!”
  • 57 locals recommend
Café
“It’s a wonderful place to sit down, enjoy fabulous food, good vibes, good people, seriously a local favorite!! ”
  • 45 locals recommend
Café
“The best breakfast. No contest. Be prepared for long waits the later you arrive. My advice is to get there on weekends right at 9:00am. The first eating turn over is happening and you can usually get right in. ”
  • 55 locals recommend

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