Room 1
*Ages of children at time of trip (for pricing, discounts)

What travelers to Santa Cruz are saying

Great food and by the way, there's a boardwalk. For vegetarians, you must order the veggie corndog at the boardwalk. The store is located right next to the bumper cars. For Thai food, try At Thai Recipes. They just opened in February, but are already getting a strong following because of the friendly service and great food. The place only sits 30 people probably so plan on off-hours if you don't want to wait. We went at 8:15pm and 7:45pm and didn't have to wait at all.
Ron R. Jul 30, 2015
Santa Cruz is a very characteristic town. Great shops, Boardwalk, decent beaches and great restaurants. Perfect place if you're traveling with children.
Allyson Y. Aug 3, 2015
It's a very nice city to go have some fun and enjoy the warm ocean.
Svetlana O. Jul 26, 2015

Hotels in Santa Cruz

The laid-back coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, perched at the north end of Monterey Bay, is home to University of California, Santa Cruz. The area is known for its beaches, plentiful lodging options, natural beauty, and laid-back, counterculture attitude.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park features the Big Dipper, one of the oldest working wooden rollercoasters in the United States. The Boardwalk's Main Beach attracts large crowds throughout the summer; especially for the free concerts and movies offered on Friday nights.

Miles of beaches and coves extend north and south. Some, like Seabright or Natural Bridges, are suitable for swimming and strolling while others, like Cowell or Moran Lake, entice surfers. Steamer Lane, though not a beach, is famous for the way the surf breaks in front of the lighthouse.

Key facts

Travel into Santa Cruz on either Highway 17 over the Santa Cruz Mountains, or via winding, scenic Highway 1 along the Pacific. Greyhound travels to the Metro bus station in downtown, as does the Highway 17 Express, which commutes daily to and from the Caltrain/Amtrak station in San Jose, about 40 miles northwest.

Hints and tips

North of the Boardwalk, the beaches on the open ocean can have large waves and strong currents. Weather tends to be pleasant year-round, typically staying in the 60s and 70s.

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Cheap Santa Cruz Hotels

From $72

1 Bay Front Inn

2 stars
3.5 / 5 4 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

The pet-friendly and comfortable Bay Front Inn is close to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the shopping and night life of Downtown Santa Cruz, while offering affordable accommodations and featuring...

Great front desk employees: terrible management
The two ladies working the front desk made the stay in Santa Cruz incredibly personable and special. However, I had to pay an extra $10.00 after arriving, for the luxury of parking in a 100 full...
Oct 18, 2015
Incompetence abounds here
From the moment we arrived at the Bay Front Inn, things went south. It took us 40 minutes (yes, 40 minutes) to check in, due to the utter incompetence of the desk clerk. He couldn't find...
Mar 16, 2015
From $83

2 Continental Inn

2 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

The Continental Inn is just minutes from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Indulge in the comfort of one of our Deluxe style guestrooms, featuring wireless Internet access, HBO and much more. In the...

business trip
great great great great great great great great great great great
Oct 13, 2015
Great hotel
Clean modern room short walk to downtown Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk
Aug 17, 2015
From $67

3 Americas Best Value Inn

2 stars
2.0 / 5 1 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Save 15% On Your Stay

A pleasant and enjoyable one story Inn centrally located in beautiful and appealing Santa Cruz/ California. Conveniently located only two blocks away from the acclaimed Santa Cruz Beach and...

From $139

4 Casa Blanca Inn on the Beach

3 stars
3.0 / 5 4 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Once a luxurious mansion built in 1916, This Charming Seaside Inn overlooks the beautiful Monterey Bay across from the Main Beach & the Santa Cruz Wharf.A true Mediterranean Villa, this...

Awesome Ladies Trips
Great hotel for pretty good price. The hotel offered us an upgrade to a ocean front view for $35. She let us see both rooms first so we could make our own decision. Hands down the update was well...
Sep 29, 2015
our room was nothing like the pictures, at 400 per nite we would of been more comfortable in the back of my truck, rundown and outdated, smaller then a motel 6, good view of the beach
May 12, 2015
From $59

5 Knights Inn Santa Cruz Beach

2 stars
3.0 / 5 5 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Knights Inn is a mid-city budget hotel in Santa Cruz, ideally located near the beach and within 1.5-miles of the downtown and historical business area. This hotel meets the needs of overnight...

From $67

6 Oceana Inn Santa Cruz

2 stars
3.2 / 5 6 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

The City of Santa Cruz is a fun filled getaway for the whole family. When you stay at the Oceana Inn you are within moments from crystal white sandy beaches, and exciting downtown restaurants,...

Business Trip
I was asked to give my credit card information even though it was not required.
Oct 6, 2015
My kids
Tha hotel was very clean bed linen so dury shower my kid they can sleep in tha hotel .
Sep 9, 2015
From $91

7 Comfort Inn Beach/Boardwalk Area

2 stars
3.2 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

100% non smoking hotel. Famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk and beaches 1 block. Restaurants and shopping nearby. FREE high speed Internet in all rooms. Guest must be 21 years and older to book room.

From $89

8 Ocean Pacific Lodge

2 stars
3.9 / 5 7 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

The Ocean Pacific Lodge offers luxury and convenience in the heart of one of California's most exciting beach resort communities. The Santa Cruz wharf, only two blocks away, offers boating tours,...

Nice location, wonderful office staff
Wonderful office staff! Maids can be a little nicer. Pool and hot tub was great! Unfortunately, room had a bad musky smell.
May 26, 2015
From $152

9 Hotel Paradox

4 stars
4.1 / 5 7 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Book now and save 15%

The new Hotel Paradox in beautiful Santa Cruz, California, is introducing a chic vibe to hotel lodging on the Central Coast. Designed with a fine eye to detail, the boutique Hotel Paradox features...

Awesome hotel
I live in the city so this is my perfect staycation away from home! It's the best hotel by far in Santa Cruz, nice warm pool, great happy hour and spirits selection. The rooms are nicely upgraded...
Aug 4, 2015
Great family overnighter
We just happened to plan a trip t Santa Cruz the same weekend as Wharf to Wharf which explains the lower mark on value Regarding the overall staff. Very friendly, but had to knock them down to a 4...
Jul 31, 2015

10 Surf City Inn & Suites

2 stars
1.0 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Motel with free breakfast, walk to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Along with an indoor pool, this motel has a spa tub and a business center. Free continental breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and...

From $172

11 Babbling Brook Inn

3 stars
4.4 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Babbling brook inn holds over a century of history. With a romantic garden gazebo and a running brook through majestic pine and redwood trees babbling brook inn is a romantic oasis within the...

From $90

12 Ocean Gate Inn

3 stars
2.8 / 5 5 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Whether you are traveling on business or on vacation, we know that you have a choice where you want to stay when you visit Santa Cruz, CA. When you choose to stay with us at Ocean Gate Inn, you...

not good
not friendly.....not clean.....location ......rude front stuff......old and overpriced.......even with a discount.....
Sep 2, 2015
Beach getaway!!
We went to Santa Cruz for 2 nights 3 days. The hotel was much nicer then the pictures portrayed. The staff was very friendly, and helpful. I was given my wifi password at the time of check in....
Aug 11, 2015

13 The Hitching Post Motel

2 stars
3.0 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Welcome to Hitching post Motel Located close to down town Santa Cruz, Beach Boardwalk, Mystery spot,UC Santa Cruz and Capitola Village. We offer quite, cozy and comfortable accommodations. Large...

From $57

14 Motel Santa Cruz

2 stars
3.0 / 5 4 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Central to Santa Cruz, the Motel Santa Cruz is just minutes from the Santa Cruz beach and Boardwalk, the Light House State Beach, Museum of Natural History, the University of California Santa Cruz,...

We had such a pleasant time. ..staff was great, rooms were clean... nice memory
Oct 25, 2015
The cheapest we could find
Well you get what you pay for, though any other area this place should be less than $50/night. Dirty, not a good crowd of people, we had no towels in our room. . .no essentials provided like...
Jun 26, 2015

15 Torch Lite Inn

2 stars
3.0 / 5 2 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

The Torch Lite Inn offers guests a relaxing atmosphere with modern amenities at an affordable price. Our beautifully landscaped 38-unit hotel offers business or traveling families clean and...

16 The Islander Motel

2 stars
3.0 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Clean and Comfortable, two story with twenty-two guest rooms that include, complimentary continental breakfast, Free Local Calls. All rooms have phone with data port, Free Wi-Fi. High-speed...

From $179


3 stars
3.0 / 5 1 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Save 15% On Your Stay

Welcome to the BEST WESTERN PLUS All Suites Inn! We offer the ideal location less than two miles from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and within one mile of the downtown shopping area. Historic...

From $64

18 Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach/Boardwalk West

2 stars
3.6 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Stay 3, Save 20%

AAA Approved, 2 Diamonds, Complimentary SuperStart Breakfast, Wireless High Speed Internet, Outdoor Pool Seasonal, Cable TV w/HBO, CNN, ESPN. Micro/Fridges Available, Jacuzzi Suites Available....

From $103

19 Quality Inn Santa Cruz

2 stars
2.0 / 5 1 reviews

Santa Cruz, California

Walking distance to shops and restaurants. Santa Cruz's famous boardwalk nearby. U of C - Santa Cruz 3 miles. Golf courses within 2 miles. Easy access to all major highways. Must have one adult...

From $111


3 stars
3.4 / 5

Santa Cruz, California

Experience the best of this laid-back beach town while relaxing at the BEST WESTERN Inn, just minutes from the bustling boardwalk, downtown and the perplexing Mystery Spot. This quaint,...