Discover a selection of 500 vacation rentals in Santa Cruz that are perfect for your trip. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or even pets, Vrbo vacation homes have the best amenities for hanging out with the people that matter most, including swimming pools and WiFi. Prices start at $149 per night, and houses and cabins are popular options for a stay in Santa Cruz. Either way, you'll find a rental for everyone's needs.
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Top rated rentals — Santa Cruz
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Destination guide

Explore Santa Cruz from vacation home rentals

Santa Cruz once got into a beachy spat with a more southerly town over who could use the label "Surf City USA." And visitors may detect just a slight whiff of '60s hippie culture. In fact, a Santa Cruz vacation rental will position you well for all kinds of fun, whether it's "shooting the curl" at Steamer Lane, a sedate stroll down the half-mile wharf, hitting the amusement park rides on the Beach Boardwalk, soaking up art and history in the museums, or tackling the trails in the region's many parks.

Things to do

Attractions near Santa Cruz vacation homes

It doesn't take a culture-vulture to dig the Surfing Museum at the Mark Abbott Lighthouse and the century of surfing history it chronicles. More studious types can explore a variety of art and history and marine museums, plus the gardens of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. There's shopping, galleries, and nightlife in the downtown area. Stroll along the half-mile-long wharf for a closer look at Monterey Bay's fauna and explore the Beach Boardwalk, whose extensive amusement park offers family-friendly thrill rides and games.

Activities

Things to do near Santa Cruz vacation homes

They didn't get to keep the nickname, but surfing still rules in Santa Cruz, which has 29 miles of sun-soaked shoreline and 11 spots to get amped for the perfect wave—among them Cowells Beach for beginners. A Santa Cruz vacation rental in June is perfect for enjoying the annual Woodies on the Wharf, a parade of pre-1952 wood-sided autos, and the Capitola Rod and Custom Classic Car show. Labor Day is the time for the Capitola Begonia Festival. Special events draw crowds for the Fourth of July, Christmas, and other holidays.

Weather

Local weather for your stay in Santa Cruz vacation rentals

There's nothing gnarly about the climate in Santa Cruz. Summers are dry and predictably sunny for beachgoers for 260 days a year, with temperatures no higher than the 70s. Winters get cooler—in the 40s to 60s—with occasional rain, but not enough put a damper on surfing or hiking. Snow? Never. Oh, there's a bit of fog at night and on summer mornings. Just blame that pesky Monterey Bay. Weather is lovely year-round, but a Santa Cruz vacation rental in winter offers the best wildlife viewing.

Natural features

More wildlife than you can shake a surfboard at

California gray whales put on a show on their winter migration from the Arctic to warm Baja waters, and Monterey cruise boats will take you to see them. Landlubbers head to Natural Bridges State Park to see monarch butterflies taking a breather on their winter travels. Up the coastal highway, elephant seals are busy breeding at Ano Nuevo State Park—they don't mind visitors. Hikers will see birds and other wildlife along Santa Cruz beaches and nearby parks. And a patch of giant sequoias stand at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, just north of the University of California campus.

Beaches

Best beaches near Santa Cruz vacation rentals

The beaches of Santa Cruz are one of its biggest draws. Vacation rentals put you within reach of places like Natural Bridges State Beach, a tranquil beach and viewing spot for shorebirds, migratory whales, and seals, and Santa Cruz Beach, a popular beach with calm waters and a boardwalk with numerous amusements and surf shops. You'll also like Lighthouse Field State Beach, an iconic spot with a lighthouse and pathways for strolls and dog walks.

How to get there

How to get to and around Santa Cruz

The nearest airport is in Watsonville, CA (WVI-Watsonville Municipal), located 13.4 mi (21.6 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you might consider flying into San Jose, CA (RHV-Reid Hillview), which is 27.6 mi (44.5 km) away.

Family friendly

Family fun near Santa Cruz vacation homes

Santa Cruz is an ideal spot for a family trip. Vacation homes can be found near kid-friendly places like Seymour Marine Discovery Center, an interactive marine science museum and aquarium with hands-on exhibits, a touch pool, and a gift shop, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, an expansive museum with hands-on art and history exhibitions. Kids will also like Neptune’s Kingdom, a nautical-themed entertainment center with mini golf, arcade games, and other fun.

How many vacation rentals are available around Santa Cruz?

Our 2021 property listings offer a large selection of 564 vacation rentals around Santa Cruz. From 432 house rentals to 54 cabin rentals, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends.

Explore destinations around Santa Cruz

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