- Our list of the best things to do in Santa Cruz, California, features the top 261 nearby activities — including 100 great attractions with user approval ratings of 90% or more!
- Santa Cruz, CA has a variety of great sights and experiences nearby. Top categories include: Outdoor Places, Food & Drink, Entertainment & Shows, and Amusement.
- The results below include the top 40 things to do within the city of Santa Cruz, CA , followed by 221 popular activities in nearby cities, including Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Watsonville, Capitola, Morgan Hill, Aptos, Gilroy, Campbell, Pacific Grove, San Jose, Marina, Los Altos, Big Sur, Half Moon Bay and Marina del Rey
100% 27 votes
Hwy. 1, six miles north of Davenport, Santa Cruz, CA MoreLess Info
Renowned as a mecca for windsurfing and kiteboarding, Waddell State Beach, is located across from the entrance to Redwood State Park. Pristine sands are surrounded by lushly covered mountains, bring your family and spend a day in the sun.
Santa Cruz Harbor Beach is situated adjacent to the harbor operations and provides an ideal setting for visitors to spread out a towel, and enjoy the fresh ocean breezes. The beach is conveniently located near many shops and eateries.
23 SPECIAL GROUPON DEAL: Up to 46% Off Natural History Museum Membership
1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 MoreLess Info
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History claims its origins began as far back as the late 1800's with a collection of fossils and Indian artifacts. Today, the museum highlights the wildlife, native peoples, geology, and marine life of the Monterey Bay region.
Twin Lakes State Beach is a public beach that provides a number of outdoor amenities for its guests. In addition to swimming in the ocean, visitors also commonly enjoy having picnics in the sand or exploring the nearby nature trails.
All kinds of wildlife are found at Lighthouse Field State Beach including the black swift, monarch butterflies and sea lions. The beach is popular with dog owners and surfers and is even home to a surfing museum.
Designed by the famous golf architect, Alister MacKenzie, Pasatiempo Golf Club is a popular golf club with a very entertaining and equally challenging course. They also have a bar called Hollins House which offers some stunning views of the Monterey Bay.
73% 2441 votes
465 Mystery Spot Road off Branciforte Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95065 MoreLess Info
The Santa Cruz Mystery Spot is a unique attraction that seems to defy the laws of physics, including gravity and liquid motion. The Mystery Spot is open throughout the year and is a wonderful destination for all ages.
In 1986, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum opened inside the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse. It is one of the oldest museums in the world dedicated to surfing, and visitors can see how surfboards progressed from huge paddleboards to modern surfboards, along with surf club patches, surf movie posters, and wetsuits,