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Santa Cruz, California is a top destination for luxury travel. In this post, we explore some of the most beautiful luxury hotels and resorts in Santa Cruz.
Where is Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz, which is Spanish for Holy Cross, is located in the central coast of California, only 75 miles south of San Francisco. Some of the best hotels can be found in Santa Cruz, which features many luxurious hotels, many of which are only a short walk away from the beach.
What is Santa Cruz Known For?
Santa Cruz is one of the best places to visit in California and is known for its surfing culture. With world-famous off-shore breaks and 34 beaches to choose from, Santa Cruz is a surfer’s paradise.
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How Many Beaches are In Santa Cruz?
Believe it or not, there are 34 beaches in Santa Cruz, California, which can seem overwhelming at first, but all the more to come back to explore them all. Each beach is different with varying rules, so make sure to plan ahead for your next trip.
Hotels In Santa Cruz, California
California is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I feel so fortunate to call this place my home. Santa Cruz is a wonderful place to visit and explore all of what central California has to offer.
Below is a list of luxury hotels, inns and resorts you can explore planning your trip to Santa Cruz. I’ve included star ratings as well as the hotel rating to help you choose the perfect place.
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Set in the Santa Cruz mountain range, this luxury 4-star venue is only 3 miles from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and features a year-round outdoor pool. There is a 24-hour concierge service and spacious, luxury guest rooms.
Dogs are allowed, so bring your furry friend to enjoy the resort as well.
Monterey Bay is only a 45-minute drive to enjoy the scenic 17-Mile Drive to add to your list of activities to do.
Hotel Rating: 9/10 Stars: 4
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Located right across the street from the Santa Cruz Wharf and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, this beachfront hotel overlooks Monterey Bay. Complimentary wi-fi and ocean views are featured in most of the en suite rooms.
This luxury hotel offers an outdoor ocean view restaurant that features lunch and dinner options for your convenience.
Explore the Seymour Marine Discovery Center Museum, which is only a short drive away from the hotel. This hotel is a great choice for couples’ and is the perfect romantic getaway for you and your partner.
Hotel Rating: 9.5/10 Stars: 4
Within 30 minutes of Santa Cruz is Depot Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast that is just a 10 minute walk from the beach. This luxurious B&B offers an evening wine reception and a full breakfast for guests in the morning. Each room features spa quality bath salts and bathrobes and has beautifully decorated bathrooms to indulge in rest and relaxation.
Hotel Rating:9.6/10 Stars: 4
Within 30 minutes of Santa Cruz lies the perfect beachside resort. If you love staying in some of the best luxury hotels, this resort is perfect. This luxury beachfront resort features three outdoor swimming pools with two hot tubs to enjoy and unwind. All rooms feature a patio or balcony and are equipped with a kitchen or kitchenette and a fireplace.
You have your choice of a spacious luxury villa, a luxurious studio or suite complete with a dining area. If you’re looking tor a luxury experience, this resort would be perfect.
Enjoy time at the wellness center to get a relaxing massage, or check out the onsite fitness center. Tennis courts are on the property as well as bike rentals to enjoy the surrounding areas.
Hotel Rating: 9.3/10. Stars: 4
Another amazing hotel with just a minutes’ walk away from the beach. This beachfront hotel is situated in a great location and is ideal for a family holiday, corporate event, or weekend escape. The Santa Cruz Dream Inn has a laid back atmosphere, where all guest rooms and suites feature private patios or balconies to enjoy the amazing views of Monterey Bay.
This hotel is the perfect location if you’re looking to be within walking distance to some of the amazing attractions in the area and are looking to stay right off the beach.
Hotel Rating: 9.8/10 Stars: 3
Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, free wifi and an on-site restaurant, this modern hotel is the perfect location if you’re looking for a hotel that’s in the center of it all. Being only a 10 minutes’ drive from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, you can enjoy the beach and then check out Pacific Avenue to explore the boutiques and shops.
if you’d rather stay in and just relax in the hotel, you can enjoy the fitness center, lending library and the fire pits. Sit by the bar and enjoy a drink while watching the sunset in this modern-style hotel.
Hotel Rating: 8.2/10 Stars: 3
Located right off of West Cliff Drive, you can stay in the middle of it all at this 3-story Victorian bed and breakfast home, nestled just a minutes’ walk from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Some of the luxurious amenities include renovated rooms, wine and hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon and breathtaking views.
Located in the Westside Santa Cruz district, staying at this lovely bed and breakfast also means waking up to a delicious breakfast buffet and spending time by the beach.
Hotel Rating: 9.7/10 Stars: 3
Things To Do In Santa Cruz
If you are looking for a weekend escape, an ideal destination to venture off to is the Santa Cruz Wharf Pier, where you can enjoy the ocean waves and see the beautiful sun set.
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum was established in May 1986 and has collections dating back to the earliest years of surfing in Santa Cruz. You can discover photographs, surfboards and interesting artifacts that trace over 100 years of surfing history. You can learn more about the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum here.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
This amazing state park is located in the Santa Cruz mountains and is most famous for the 40-acre grove of old coast redwood trees. The state park has over 40 acres to explore and is known for its hiking and walking trails, horseback riding, picnicking and more. You can enjoy swimming and camping as well.
If you’re looking to explore the ancient redwood trees, you can check out the loop trail to discover some of the oldest trees on the coast.
The largest tree is 277 feet tall and is about 1,500 years old. You can also step inside the Fremont Tree – which is big enough for the entire family! Make sure to bring a flashlight so you can explore the inside of the tree as you step back in time.
Santa Cruz Town Centre
Exploring downtown Santa Cruz is a treat for the whole family. With shops and boutiques surrounding the downtown area, there is plenty to do for everyone. You can explore the restaurants as well and grab a bite to eat after a day of exploring and shopping. There is usually always something happening in Santa Cruz. Don’t forget to check out the Santa Cruz Centre Events page to learn more about what’s happening during your trip.
Natural Bridges State Beach
Thisi 65-acre state park features a natural bridge across a section of the beach. Natural Bridges State Beach is also known as a hotspot to see monarch butterfly migrations. The Monarch Butterfly Preserve is home to up to 150,000 monarch butterflies that migrate from october through early February.
Cowell Beach, or Cowell’s as known by the locals, is a beach located in downtown Santa Cruz. On the other side of the pier is the more popular Santa Cruz Main Beach. Cowell’s has an amazing view of the pier and is known for volleyball with sprawling courts throughout the beach. Surfing is also popular at Cowell’s, so come and hit the waves during your visit.