Chocolatiers of Santa Cruz


A favorite food of many, it’s not hard to imagine why chocolate has long been considered a divine, indulgent treat invoking love, passion and even (gasp) greedy, secretive hoarding. Here in Santa Cruz, we are lucky enough to have our choice of locally made upscale chocolates for every occasion, even if that occasion is just…

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Campgrounds Close to Santa Cruz


Santa Cruz isn’t all surfing, skateboarding and beach parties. Visitors and residents regularly take advantage of numerous campgrounds in the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coast. Reservations are suggested for any type of camping, and sites can fill up quickly in the summer months. Here are a few of our favorites.   This guide…

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Santa Cruz Surf Spots


There’s a reason people call Santa Cruz “surf city”—Santa Cruz’s waves accommodate all levels of surfers, whether they charging big wave spots or just want to get their feet wet. While there are numerous beaches that are great for visitors and beginning surfers, there are also dangerous and local spots that surfers should be aware…

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Guide to Santa Cruz Shops for Mystics

Mystical Santa Cruz

No one needs an oracle to know that Santa Cruz is a magical place, but if you do need tools for divination or spells you don’t have to search far. Santa Cruz has five welcoming witchy shops—more per capita than most cities. The shops serve as museums, classrooms, supply hubs, and most important, community centers.

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Guide to Retreat & Meditation Centers in Santa Cruz


There’s more to Santa Cruz than the Mystery Spot and the Boardwalk with its famed wooden roller coaster and deep-fried Twinkies. Framed by sparkling blue waters, towering redwoods and foggy mountainside, it makes the ideal location for a spiritual retreat. From yoga to Vipassana, the area offers a multitude of ways to get grounded and…

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Restaurants with Patio Dining


Most Santa Cruzans are sun worshippers, and with at least 300 days of sunshine a year, there are plenty of opportunities for devotion. We can’t all get to the beach every day, but we all need to eat, and the experience is more pleasurable if a mountain breeze, briny ocean air or bustle of foot traffic…

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Santa Cruz’s Lively Pop-Up Scene


Get ready to drool. Santa Cruz is now home to a thriving Pop-up restaurant movement. Innovative, burgeoning chefs are experimenting in their craft and making amazing food at locations all around town, including farms and wineries in the surrounding area. Get it while it lasts! A Pop-up is generally a restaurant without a permanent location.…

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Santa Cruz Hotel Cocktail Bars


Almost as prominent as the beach, cocktail bars and lounges pop up inside luxury hotels across Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz hotel cocktail bars are located in settings from the chic to the unique, in modern establishments or historical venues. Hotel cocktail bars offer guests and residents alike a slice of the ultimate Santa Cruzian…

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Santa Cruz County Farmers Markets


Santa Cruzans are spoiled. Not only do we live in one of the most beautiful beach towns on the West Coast, but we’re blessed with sunny days, rich soil and a community of dedicated farmers and artisans. This is never more apparent than at the vibrant farmers markets that pop up almost every day around…

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Santa Cruz Brunch Guide


Brunch, otherwise known as “weekend breakfast” or “hangover cure,” is also the go-to meal for special occasions: Mother’s Day, Easter or your mother’s birthday (moms love brunch). Santa Cruz brunch spots cater to every whim, with options ranging from high-end gourmet to old-school diners serving traditional egg-based breakfast fare. Whether the aim is to prep for…

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Santa Cruz County Beaches


Santa Cruz’s beaches are world-famous, but not all of the best beaches here are well-known outside of the local community. Surfing spots like Pleasure Point and Steamer Lane usually get the most attention, but Santa Cruz’s most gorgeous—and sometimes tucked away—shores offer stunning sunsets, fascinating marine life, and endless family fun.

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Santa Cruz Craft Breweries & Taprooms


Santa Cruz—come for the beach and the redwoods, stay for the beer and the company. In recent years, several breweries and taprooms have been sprouting up all over Santa Cruz County, and we’re certainly not complaining. They each have their own unique style and ambiance, but they do have a couple of things in common:…

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Day Hikes In and Around Santa Cruz


Santa Cruz is known as a beach town, but there are woodland escapes in and around the city that offer a different kind of natural beauty. These day hikes are the perfect way to recharge for an hour or an afternoon. Always remember to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen and layered clothing.

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Places to Watch Sports on TV in Santa Cruz


Rest easy diehard sports fans. Life isn’t just about surfing and hanging out at the beach while pondering the meaning of life around here. Santa Cruz is home to a number of great spots for gathering with friends, knocking back a few cold ones and watching a rousing game on a big screen TV. Many…

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Santa Cruz Mushroom Guide


Porcinis, black trumpets and candy caps, oh my! Mushroom foraging in the Santa Cruz area most likely brings to mind the beautiful fan-shaped yellow chanterelle, but the oak, redwood and mixed pine forests of the area have much, much more to offer in the way of fungus among us. Chef Zachary Mazi of LionFish SupperClub,…

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Family Dining in Santa Cruz


Whether you just want to take the kids out somewhere you’ll receive understanding smiles for their goofy behavior or you’re hungry after some vacation fun, Santa Cruz is a great place for family dining. With reasonable and friendly options ranging from Italian to seafood, burgers and even Hawaiian, don’t ever worry about glares from snooty…

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