AsyncDestinationUrgency
AsyncDestinationInfographic
AsyncDestinationInfographic
AsyncDestinationInfographic
AsyncDestinationInfographic
AsyncExploreBookEnjoy
AsyncExploreBookEnjoy
AsyncExploreBookEnjoy
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, CA?

Our 2020 property listings offer a large selection of 712 vacation rentals around Santa Cruz. From 385 house rentals to 58 cabin rentals, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Santa Cruz?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Santa Cruz:

  • Eastside Santa Cruz: 253 vacation rentals
  • Westside: 182 vacation rentals
  • Opal Cliffs: 293 vacation rentals
  • Upper Seabright: 117 vacation rentals
  • Beach Hill / Beach Flats: 80 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular point of interests near where I can stay when traveling to Santa Cruz?

Vrbo offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Santa Cruz. From Vrbo travelers, the top most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: 495 vacation rentals
  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center: 853 vacation rentals
  • Wilder Ranch State Park: 808 vacation rentals
  • Santa Cruz Harbor: 862 vacation rentals
  • Mission Santa Cruz: 848 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Santa Cruz listed on Vrbo where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Santa Cruz?

Yes, of course. Vrbo has 385 Houses in Santa Cruz. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Santa Cruz include:

  • Cabins: 58 rentals available
  • Cottages: 58 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 81 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Santa Cruz?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 131 vacation rentals with pool available in Santa Cruz. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

    Explore destinations around Santa Cruz

    Aptos
    756 vacation rentals
    Watsonville
    796 vacation rentals
    San Jose
    1,041 vacation rentals
    Santa Clara
    850 vacation rentals
    Capitola
    673 vacation rentals
    Half Moon Bay
    496 vacation rentals
    Seaside
    827 vacation rentals
    Palo Alto
    711 vacation rentals
    Castroville
    149 vacation rentals
    Menlo Park
    423 vacation rentals
    Mountain View
    806 vacation rentals
    Sunnyvale
    743 vacation rentals
    Cupertino
    780 vacation rentals
    Milpitas
    209 vacation rentals
    Marina
    1,114 vacation rentals
    Felton
    691 vacation rentals
    Redwood City
    623 vacation rentals
    Boulder Creek
    703 vacation rentals
    Morgan Hill
    663 vacation rentals
    Scotts Valley
    653 vacation rentals