Traveling to Santa Cruz is easy breezy! However, just like traveling anywhere, there are always good things to know about when visiting that destination. Whether you’re a Californian or visiting from far away, there’s always something new to learn about any city. Check out some of our travel tips for traveling to Santa Cruz!

Best Times to Visit

There isn’t ever a “bad” time to visit Santa Cruz, but if you’re looking for the absolutely best time to visit, Fall (September through November) is always a good time to beat the crowds, and it can be an especially beautiful time to see Santa Cruz. 

Food & Wine

It’s not doubt that California is a mecca for great food and wine – especially in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is home to a wide variety of cuisines for every palate. Seafood is another specialty, with many restaurants offering fresh, locally caught specials each day. Santa Cruz is also home to a bevy of flourishing and unique wineries – many of which are family-owned and operated and offer a unique view of the wine-making process.


Though not mandatory by any means, tipping those in the service industry is widely practiced in the U.S. Servers rely on tips to meet a livable wage and unless you order and pay at the counter, tipping is – for the most part – expected. Some restaurants often include a 15% to 18% service charge for parties of six or more, which takes the place of a tip. As a general rule, it is common to tip 18% to 20% if the service is exceptional. 

Viewing local Wildlife

Santa Cruz County is home to some of the most incredible marine wildlife you will ever see. It is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and thus is protected by U.S. Federal law. Whale watching is best done by taking a Whale Watching tour. 

Beach and Ocean Safety

Santa Cruz is home to some of the most amazing beaches and coastal areas in California. Lifeguards do patrol some beaches; look for trademark viewing towers and note any cautionary signs. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for any potentially dangerous situations.

Do you have any travel tips for Santa Cruz? Tell us your tips in the comments below!

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