24 Hours in: Santa Cruz

LIFE

With 29 miles of sun-kissed beaches, Santa Cruz is one of the best towns in Northern California. Overflowing with natural beauty and attractions, if you find yourself in this quintessential California beach town, follow our 24-hour itinerary to make the most of your time in “Surf City.”

7:00 AM – WORKOUT AT TOADAL FITNESS

PHOTO CREDIT: TOADALFITNESS.COM

Get your heart pumping and sweat flowing with a workout at Toadal Fitness. The owners first opened the gym in downtown Santa Cruz in 1996 to great success. Now, Toadal Fitness has eight locations throughout the city, so find the gym closest to you. You’ll enjoy a non-intimidating environment with state-of-the-art equipment. If group classes are more your style, Toadal offers everything from Pilates Reformer to MMA. When you stop by for your free visit, be sure to ask how Toadal Fitness got its name!

8:30 AM – BREAKFAST AT THE WALNUT AVENUE CAFE

The Walnut Ave Café is a local favorite famous for its Shrimp & Tomato Benedict, served with breakfast hash browns. If you don’t like seafood, try the Huevos Mexicanos or French Toast from the Griddle with your choice of grilled bananas & walnuts, vanilla yogurt or whipped cream. Get cozy inside or choose a spot under an umbrella on the terrace.

10:00 AM – DISCOVER THE SANTA CRUZ WHARF

Whether shopping, eating or being active is your thing, the Santa Cruz Wharf is sure to not disappoint. Spot a whale or two from this famous whale-watching spot or walk all the way to the end of the Wharf to visit the sea lions. Or, if you’re up for something more adventurous, grab a kayak or surf board and hit the ocean. Santa Cruz is called “Surf City” for a reason! Check out the best spot to catch a wave here.

NOON – LUNCH AND COFFEE AT STEAMER LANE SUPPLY

After a few hours on the Wharf or in the water, you’ll want to replenish at Steamer Lane Supply. Local organic roasted coffee and food are well worth the visit. And to make things even better, you won’t find plastic of any sort in the shop – expect biodegradable forks, spoons and coffee lids.

1:30 PM – GO ON A ZIP LINE TOUR THROUGH THE REDWOODS

PHOTO CREDIT: MOUNTHERMONADVENTURES.COM

Just 10 minutes outside of Santa Cruz is Mount Hermon. Choose to embark on a Redwood Zip Line Tour or a Sequoia Aerial Adventure that takes you high above the forest floor. Perfect for adventurers of every skill level.

5:30 PM – HAPPY HOUR AT BEER THIRTY BOTTLE SHOP & POUR HOUSE

PHOTO CREDIT: BEER THIRTY

Northern California might be famous for its wine, but Santa Cruz is the epicenter of a major craft beer renaissance. Marquee lights, 200 bottles and 30 beers on tap make this heaven for any beer enthusiast. Enjoy your drink inside this handsome spot or in the dog-friendly beer garden.

7:00 PM – EAT DINNER AT PARADISE BEACH GRILLE

There’s a reason that Paradise Beach Grille is the oldest beach resort in all of California – the panoramic view delivers in every way. The kitchen’s island-inspired menu will make you feel like your vacation is on vacation. They’re famous for their Ahi, Mango and Avocado Tower, presented “poke style” with crispy homemade Chinese Taro chips.

9:00 PM – DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT MOTIV

Santa Cruz is famous for being the nightlife gateway to the San Francisco Bay. Performers, DJs and bands all stop to play incredible shows in Santa  Cruz, and MOTIV is where it happens. Voted the #1 nightclub for the last 3 years, you can count on MOTIV to be the hottest spot for emerging trends, rising artists, fresh eats and an energetic atmosphere like no other.