Guide to Downtown

Things to Do in Downtown

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Downtown Santa Cruz is packed full of restaurants, shops, bars, live music venues and has a lively street scene featuring an engaging mix of street performers.

The arts are alive downtown with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Felix Kulpa Gallery and other arts spaces.

The historic Veterans Memorial Building reopened in 2013 after extensive renovations and is now the site of community organizations, including those offering classes for veterans and their families.

Popular businesses include Bookshop Santa Cruz and co-working spaces NExtSpace and Cruzioworks. The Kaiser Permanent Arena hosts games by the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors and Santa Cruz Derby Girls.

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Popular Things to Do in Downtown

Arts & Entertainment Venues

Kuumbwa Jazz Center

320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Kuumbwa Jazz has grown from its small beginnings to one of the most highly respected jazz-presenting institutions in the country, attracting artists of national and international renown. We present over 120 concerts per year at our intimate 200-seat venue

American Restaurants

Motiv

1209 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

MOTIV is a club in Santa Cruz, Ca. committed to promoting an inspired culture; emerging trends & talent, art, fresh food & an energetic atmosphere. Voted SC's #1 nightclub for the last three years!.

Bars

The Catalyst Club

1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

The classic club in Santa Cruz. The Catalyst is where you will find the hottest artists for all types of music, local and national.

Asian Fusion

Hula's Island Grill

221 Cathcart Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

The theme here is Hawaii and surf, which means this tiki-themed restaurant serves plenty of grilled ono, mahi mahi and ahi to enjoy while the surf videos run nonstop.

Afghan Restaurants

Laili Restaurant

101B Cooper Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

At Laili, our cuisine is a delicate balance between age-old Silk Road flavors and contemporary culinary excellence. We offer the rich flavors of the Mediterranean, infused with a unique Afghan twist.

American Restaurants

Surfrider Cafe

429 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Surfrider Cafe is located at 429 Front Street in Santa Cruz, CA.  A local favorite for years, you can find great eats, good times, and awesome brews.

Books

Bookshop Santa Cruz

1520 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Bookshop Santa Cruz is a large, general independent bookstore located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, California since 1966.

Caterers

El Palomar Restaurant

1336 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

El Palomar has set a new standard in Mexican Cuisine by combining authentic, homemade recipes from the sunny state of Michoacan in southern Mexico, with the unique abundance of locally grown produce and freshly caught seafood available in the Monterey Bay

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Scenes from Downtown
Three SpiresNatural BridgesClouds, waves, boy, dad shadowSpotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)Surfbird (Aphriza virgata)MagdaPine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus)Stephen Oliver Carly & FrankyAmerican Robin (Turdus migratorius)Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica)