/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

Things to do in Santa Cruz

From classic must-see sights to insider hot spots and local haunts, there are countless things to do in Santa Cruz. How do you decide? Start with our travel guide and get our favorite Santa Cruz attractions and activities—shops, museums, parks, nightclubs, coffee shops, tours, and more.

Our international team of editors and writers handpick the best things to do in Santa Cruz to help travelers discover authentic, local experiences. Whether a hidden boutique with handcrafted products, a popular local festival, a bakery with a cult following, or a picnic-worthy park, Travel + Leisure guides the way, providing information and inspiration. From beaches and bars to cultural attractions and up-and-coming neighborhoods, our list will help you make the most of your romantic getaway, family vacation, or trip with friends. Below find Travel + Leisure’s top picks for what to do in Santa Cruz.

  • Bay Tree Bookstore

    The University of California at Santa Cruz mascot, the banan slug, adorns hats, mugs, t-shirts, and other goodies at the campus store. More
  • Giant Dipper

    Along with a sparkling strand and a gently honky-tonk wharf, Santa Cruz has a boardwalk graced with the Giant Dipper—one of the oldest wooden rolle... More
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Stroll down the old-fashioned strip, chomping on corn dogs and sneaking in an arcade game or two. More
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center

    Stop by this university laboratory to watch jellyfish, hold starfish, and see the 87-foot-long blue whale skeleton. More

Explore things to do in Big Sur + Monterey Bay for more options.

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement


Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace