Explore the sun-kissed surf town of Santa Cruz County
18 September 2019
A super-friendly beach town, complete with university, iconic seaside amusement park, legendary boardwalk, gorgeous redwood forested mountains and waves that surfers flock to ride, Santa Cruz County offers the quintessential Californian beach holiday. Located on California’s Central Coast, 65 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey, Santa Cruz County is home to 29 miles of sun-kissed coastline and an extraordinary number of state parks and beaches.
Whether you want to dig your toes into the warm sand and soak up the glorious sunshine, learn to surf like a true Californian, visit one of the thriving wineries or head out to explore one of the rugged State Park trails, you can do all this and so much more besides in spectacular Santa Cruz County.
What to see and do in Santa Cruz County
- Enjoy some retro-style fun at the fair on the Santa Cruz County Beach Boardwalk, which features plenty of colourful rides, games and music. Don’t miss the vintage Giant Dipper and the famous Looff Carousel
- Stop by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Centre, which features a range of dynamic, ocean-related exhibits
- Unfurl over 120 years of surfing history at the Santa Cruz County Surfing Museum, which is housed inside the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse.
- Enjoy a bite to eat or do some shopping at the Santa Cruz County Wharf, which stretches out half a mile into the shimmering waters of the Monterey Bay
- Soak up one of the best views in town on a bluff overlooking Downtown Santa Cruz County, where the last original building of the Santa Cruz County Mission stands
- Explore the performance halls, galleries, arboretum and trails of the sprawling hillside University of California at Santa Cruz County
- Take a nostalgic ride on a vintage steam train through the redwoods in the Santa Cruz County Mountains at Roaring Camp Railroads
- Sample the delicious local wines on a tasting tour at one of the vineyards
- Go wildlife watching and keep an eye out for sea otters, sea lions and dolphins during the summer, whilst in the winter, you’ll be able to spot thousands of Monarch butterflies and some incredible California grey whales
- Get outdoors and hike amongst the towering Redwoods along the scenic trails of Henry Cowell or Big Basin
When is the best time to visit Santa Cruz County?
With fantastic year-round weather, the sun shining 300 days a year and the humidity levels low for a coastal city, there is no best time to visit Santa Cruz County. With a calendar bursting full of fun annual events and festivals, together with a climate that's perfect for enjoying the outdoors all year, Santa Cruz County welcomes visitors all throughout the year. In the summer months, the temperatures are mild, with most of the rainfall occurring between November and April.
If you’re ready to explore stylish Santa Cruz County, contact your local Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits such as full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and even after your trip.