Exceptional beaches



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Food and Wine

Gourmet adventures


Natural Beauty

Birdwatcher's delight


Life's a Beach

California dreaming?

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Time for You

Discover Sand Rock's special getaway packages

Luxury spa package


Mountains to oceans, rivers and forests

Kayaking on Elkhorn Slough with the sea otters


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Its a Whale of a Good Time

There’s more whales in the Monterey Bay this season than we can remember! ┬áCome out to Sand Rock Farm and take an ocean adventure with Sanctuary Cruises.
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Local Dining

The Monterey / Aptos / Santa Cruz area is replete with numerous restaurants serving almost every cuisine.

Santa Cruz Country restaurants feature organic and local produce, fresh fish and meat, and a wide variety of flavors — from California fusion, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, and many vegetarian options.

The restaurant options range from an unbelievable sandwich to multi-course dining by candle light. Want to have lunch on the water? Have a romantic getaway? Or just a simple, healthy, and enjoyable meal? Santa Cruz is a great place for restaurants.

Some of our local favorites:

Name Description Town

Distance (minutes)

Theo’s Excellent California cuisine, complete wine list. Beautiful garden. Aptos 10 minutes
Avanti A wonderful casual Italian restaurant with wonderful food featuring local and organic foods. Santa Cruz 25 minutes
Cafe Sparrow A delightful local restaurant featuring a nightly prix fixe special in an intimate space. Aptos 5 minutes
Ambrosia Fabulous Indian cuisine with a wide variety of delectable savory dishes where unique flavors stand out. Aptos 5 minutes
Soif Fabulous wine bar with delectable “small plates” for sharing, fresh, seasonal ingredients, and wonderful wine tasting and wine-pairing recommendations. Santa Cruz 15 minutes
La Posta Outstanding, simple italian food – menu changes regularly, prix fixe family meal on Sundays (from the creators of Soif). Santa Cruz 15 minutes
Caruso’s Friendly and flavorful Tuscan-Italian in a tiny space in Capitola village Capitola 10 minutes
Mobo Excellent “California-style” sushi, outstanding fish, crunchy mac nuts, and creative flair Santa Cruz 15 minutes
Shogun A dynamic sushi bar with traditional cuisine and fresh fish Santa Cruz 15 minutes
Oswald Intimate mediterranian dining with an absolutely first-class menu.
Santa Cruz
15 minutes
Sestri Restaurant and bar featuring a lovely Italian menu in a romantic dining room. Santa Cruz 10 minutes
O Mei Unsurpassed Chinese; remarkable dishes. If you like spicy Chinese, O’Mei is not to be missed. Santa Cruz 25 minutes
Shadowbrook Gorgeous atmosphere, romantic and picture-perfect, ask for the river view in summer, and don’t forget to ride the cable-car to the dining room. Capitola 15 minutes
Sawasdee One of our favorites featuring fresh, well seasoned Thai cuisine Soquel 10 minutes
Palapas With a gorgeous ocean view, indoor or ocean-deck dining and “fresh-mex” menu with fresh seafood, a great local place. Aptos 5 minutes
Crow’s Nest Right on the beach, you feel like you can reach out and touch the sailboats coming out of the Santa Cruz Yacht harbor – features live entertainment Santa Cruz 15 minutes
River Cafe A tiny restaurant with out-of-sight sandwiches, fresh soups, and an amazing assortment of cheeses (to eat in or purchase) along with a selection of gourmet products. Santa Cruz 15 minutes
Parker Lusseau An amazing French pattiserie near the Monterey Bay Acquarium, features fresh baked goods, excellent sandwiches, and high-quality coffee. Monterey 30 minutes