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Your Perfect Getaway in Santa Cruz, California “Ultimate Santa Cruz Getaway: Whale Watching, Shark Adventures, and Outdoor Thrills with Ocean Safaris”

Ocean Safaris Dolphins Jumping

Plan a day trip, weekend or a week-long vacation

Are you dreaming of a sun-soaked, fun-filled getaway that combines the best of nature, adventure, and relaxation? Look no further than Santa Cruz, California! Nestled along the scenic Central Coast, Santa Cruz offers a delightful blend of stunning beaches, vibrant boardwalks, lush redwood forests, and a charming downtown. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or just a peaceful escape, Santa Cruz has something for everyone. Join us as we dive into the ultimate guide to planning your perfect stay in Santa Cruz!


  1. Outdoor Adventures: From Redwoods to Waves

Santa Cruz offers a plethora of outdoor activities that cater to adventurers of all kinds. Here are some top picks to get your adrenaline pumping:

Whale Watching and Shark Watching with Ocean Safaris

Embark on an unforgettable marine adventure with Ocean Safaris. Their expert-guided tours provide a unique opportunity to witness majestic humpback whales, playful dolphins, and awe-inspiring sharks in their natural habitat. Experience the thrill of seeing these magnificent creatures up close while learning about their behaviors and habitats from a knowledgeable guide. For a heart-pounding experience, join their shark watching tours, where you can observe Great White Sharks from the safety of the boat.

Hiking in the Redwoods

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of towering redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park or Big Basin Redwoods State Park. These parks feature miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. Don’t miss the chance to stand beside the ancient giants and feel the magic of the forest.

Surfing at Steamer Lane

Santa Cruz is a surfer’s paradise, and Steamer Lane is the ultimate surf spot for both beginners and seasoned pros. Rent a board, take a lesson, and ride the legendary waves that have earned Santa Cruz the nickname “Surf City USA.”

Wildlife Photography Tours with Ocean Safaris

For photography enthusiasts, Ocean Safaris offers wildlife photo tours that provide the perfect opportunity to capture stunning images of Monterey Bay’s diverse marine life. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a budding hobbyist, you’ll benefit from the expertise of the guides who know the best spots and times for incredible wildlife encounters. From the breaching whales to the playful sea otters and dramatic coastal landscapes, these tours will help you create breathtaking images and lasting memories of your Santa Cruz adventure.

Roaring Camp Steam Train or Beach Train
Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. or Travel through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, down the scenic San Lorenzo River Gorge, across a 1909 steel truss bridge and through an 1875 tunnel before arriving at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
  1. Beach Bliss: Soak Up the Sun and Surf

Santa Cruz is renowned for its beautiful beaches, each offering a unique vibe and array of activities. Here are some must-visit beaches to add to your itinerary:

Main Beach and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Start your beach adventure at Main Beach, home to the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This historic amusement park boasts thrilling rides, classic arcade games, and delicious treats. Take a ride on the Giant Dipper roller coaster, savor a corn dog or funnel cake, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Capitola Beach

For a more relaxed beach day, head to Capitola Beach. This charming seaside village features colorful beachfront houses, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Rent a paddleboard or kayak, build sandcastles, or simply lounge by the shore and soak in the serene beauty.

Natural Bridges State Beach

Nature lovers will be enchanted by Natural Bridges State Beach, famous for its stunning natural rock arch and seasonal monarch butterfly grove. Explore tide pools teeming with marine life, hike scenic trails, and capture breathtaking photos of the coastal landscape.

  1. Cultural and Culinary Delights

Santa Cruz isn’t just about natural beauty; it’s also a hub of culture and culinary delights. Here are some experiences to savor:

Downtown Santa Cruz

Explore the vibrant downtown area, filled with eclectic shops, art galleries, and street performers. Visit the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, catch a show at the Rio Theatre, and indulge in some retail therapy at local boutiques.

Farmers Markets and Fresh Cuisine

Taste the flavors of Santa Cruz at its bustling farmers markets, where you can find fresh produce, artisanal goods, and local delicacies. Don’t miss dining at popular spots like The Crow’s Nest, Shadowbrook Restaurant, and Verve Coffee Roasters.

Wine Tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains

The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to some of California’s finest wineries. Spend a day touring vineyards, sampling award-winning wines, and enjoying picturesque views of rolling hills and lush vineyards.

  1. Family Fun: Activities for All Ages

Santa Cruz is a fantastic destination for families, offering a wide range of activities that kids and adults will love:

Santa Cruz Harbor

Take a stroll along the Santa Cruz Harbor, where you can spot sea lions basking in the sun, enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, and get on a boat or SUP for a fun day on the water.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center

A short drive from Santa Cruz, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center is a must-visit for families. Explore fascinating exhibits featuring marine life from the bay and beyond, and learn about ocean conservation through interactive displays.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

the Sanctuary Exploration Center! Located just steps away from the ocean and Santa Cruz Wharf, the center features state-of-the art exhibits and interactive displays highlighting the sanctuary and its incredible underwater environment. Visitors can explore the sanctuary’s remarkable marine environment as well as their personal role in protecting one of our nation’s underwater treasures.

  1. Relaxation and Rejuvenation

Sometimes, the best vacation moments are the ones spent unwinding and recharging. Santa Cruz offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and self-care:

Spa and Wellness

Pamper yourself with a visit to a local spa, where you can enjoy massages, facials, and other rejuvenating treatments. Some top choices include Well Within Spa and Chaminade Resort & Spa.

Yoga and Meditation

Join a yoga class on the beach or in a serene studio setting, or if you want a challenge try Goat Yoga at Kinderwood Farms

Sunset Views

End your day with a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Head to West Cliff Drive or Natural Bridges State Beach for some of the best sunset views in Santa Cruz.

Your Perfect Santa Cruz Getaway Awaits

With its diverse range of activities, stunning natural beauty, and welcoming community, Santa Cruz is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural experiences, or family fun, you’ll find it all in this charming coastal town. Start planning your Santa Cruz getaway today and get ready to create unforgettable memories!

Book your tour and your stay, pack your bags, and prepare to fall in love with everything Santa Cruz has to offer. Happy travels!

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From $185

Join us for the best Whale Watching Ocean Safari on Monterey Bay.  See humpback whales, blue whales, dolphins, Sea Lions, Otters and more.  Our vessel “Safari” a 33′ Zodiac is ideal for wildlife viewing and photography, with comfortable seats for each guest.  With a maximum of 6 guests, each guest has a front row seat to adventure.