Having grown up in the city, my list for the best things to do in Santa Cruz could go on and on especially in terms of places to eat! With that said, I tried my best to consolidate my recommendations to fun things to experience in my hometown. This list covers not just the city of Santa Cruz but the county as well, including places like Capitola, Aptos, and Felton. With aroundresidents these days, Santa Cruz County is becoming a bustling medium-sized hotspot in California. Although there has always been plenty of natural beauty around Santa Cruz, there are now more Santa Cruz tourist attractions and places to eat and drink than ever before. One of my favorite aspects of sightseeing in Santa Cruz is that most attractions are completely free because most of them are outdoors.
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Food for thought! Craving carnitas? Have a hankering for some homey hash browns? Or do you want to find a farm-to-table restaurant with cool California vibe and seasonal fare? Not to worry: finding a restaurant in Santa Cruz County for every taste — and taste bud — easy!
No matter your appetite, there is room at the table for everyone in Santa Cruz County.
Bring your love to santa cruz
Enjoy your meal with world class views. Shadowbrook Restaurantlocated in Capitola, welcomes visitors with a descent through lush gardens via cable car. Looking for a place the kids will love?
Head over the to the Picnic Basket. This cozy lunch and breakfast spot dishes up wholesome eats and seasonal scoops from The Penny Ice Creamerywhich is just steps away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This classic Santa Cruz eatery features always fresh seafood, an open-air market stand and stunning views of the Monterey Bay. Dine next to a window and watch the surfers play in the famous Steamer Lane.
The best things to do in santa cruz from someone who grew up in the city! these are my favorite places to eat, visit, and local experiences to have around my hometown.
Head to Downtown Santa Cruz for an array of dining options. Try dining like a local! Our charters are the perfect excursion for everyone, from seasoned sailors to first-time adventurers.
See below for a full list of restaurants in Santa Cruz County! Charlie Hong Kong. Shadowbrook Restaurant.
Avanti Restaurant. California Grill of the Pajaro Valley. Davenport Roadhouse Inn. Gabriella Cafe.
Patio to play: explore top spots for outdoor eats & post-meal adventures
India Joze Restaurant. La Posta.
Laili Restaurant. Las Palmas Taco Bar. Pacific Cookie Company.
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Pacific Thai. Paradise Beach Grille.
Sanderlings Restaurant at Seascape Beach Resort. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.
Santa Cruz Wharf. Stagnaro Bros.
Surf City Sandwich. The Heavenly Roide Cafe. Scotts Valley.
The Hollins House. The Picnic Basket.
The View at Chaminade. Walnut Ave Cafe.