What to do in Santa Cruz, CA

Activities, attractions and tours
Santa Cruz featuring general coastal views, flowers and a beach

Santa Cruz Attractions

They say that the best things come in small packages, and this alluring city is no exception to the rule. From outstanding tourist attractions to exciting excursions, there are loads of things to do in Santa Cruz.

Find out what makes Santa Cruz tick with some of the most popular tours & day trips. Look into our {38 fun activities in Santa Cruz fun activities in Santa Cruz}, and book with confidence knowing that we offer free cancellation and no added fees.

Explore thousands of experiences from activities and attractions to day tours and transfer.

Skip the line- book tickets online in minutes to top attractions with free cancellation on many activities.

Members get extra discounts on thousands of experiences and hotels. Sign up today.

What to do in Santa Cruz

Free Things to Do in Santa Cruz

Leave your purse in the hotel room. It's easy to have a blast in Santa Cruz without spending a cent.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center - See if there are any special exhibits or tours on at this museum.

University of California Santa Cruz - Admire the creativity and design of this impressive example of modernistic architecture.

Williams-Reynolds House - If you're thinking of exploring the history of the area through its landmarks, pencil this one in your to-do list.

Santa Cruz Wharf - Chat to a local resident and discover why many tourists visit this place.

Mission Santa Cruz - Work on your spiritual side or simply soak up the tranquil atmosphere at this sacred site.

Main Beach - Dive into a new book or listen to some music while you're basking in the sun.

Lighthouse Point Park - Relax and let the natural surroundings here soothe your soul.

Lighthouse Point Park - Recharge your mind and body by spending a little time with Mother Nature.

Things to Do in Santa Cruz with Kids

There are lots of incredible experiences in Santa Cruz that the whole gang will love. Here are a few of the top family friendly experiences around.


Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Santa Cruz? Search event tickets to see what's happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!



Read travel guides and advice on visiting Santa Cruz

Frequently asked questions

What to do in Santa Cruz on a sunny day?
Make the most of the good weather (and give your legs a stretch while you’re at it) with some of these fun activities:

What to do in Santa Cruz on a rainy day?
What is Santa Cruz famous for?
Decisions, decisions — there are lots to make in Santa Cruz, such as which of these landmarks to visit first:

  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • Mystery Spot
  • University of California Santa Cruz

What should I not miss in Santa Cruz?
Don’t forget your camera, because this trove of wonders is waiting to be explored:

  • Natural Bridges State Park
  • Main Beach
  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

Are there cheap things to do in Santa Cruz?
What can you do in Santa Cruz for free?
You’ll barely have time to grab your wallet out of your bag with so many great free attractions:

  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • Main Beach
  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Popular places to visit

Explore areas of Santa Cruz

Day trip destinations from Santa Cruz