Activities in Santa Cruz

Punch Card for Five All-Day SUP Rentals or $30 for $60 Worth of Surf Gear at Covewater Paddle Surf

Covewater Paddle Surf

Santa Cruz

Choose from a wide selection of sturdy standup paddleboards to take to a beach of your choice on any car; SUP gear, sandals, and sunglasses

$175 $105

View Deal

Three- or Six-Month Lawn-Bowling Club Membership for Two or Four with Pizza at Santa Cruz Bowls Club (Up to 82% Off)

Santa Cruz Bowls Club

Santa Cruz

Members get three or six months of unlimited practice rolling unbalanced bowls toward a target ball with precision

$74 $19

View Deal

One-Hour Standup-Paddleboard Rental or a 90-Minute Standup-Paddleboard Lesson at SUP Shack (Up to 49% Off)

SUP Shack

Eastside

Instructors lead students through basic core-strengthening maneuvers and rent out fast, versatile boards

$20 $11

View Deal

$189 for an Open-Water PADI Certification Course with Scuba-Equipment Rental ($510 Value)

Adventure Sports Unlimited

Central Santa Cruz

Earn PADI open-water certification after instruction in a heated pool and four ocean dives across Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

$510 $189

View Deal

Single or Double Kayak or Standup-Paddleboard Rental at Kayak Connection (Up to 37% Off)

Kayak Connection

Santa Cruz

Standup paddleboards and single and double kayaks let renters explore waterways

$35 $22

View Deal

$65 for a 2.5-Hour Lighthouse and Wharf Tour from Segway Santa Cruz Tours ($115 Value)

Segway Santa Cruz Tours

Segway Santa Cruz

Segway Tours glide along beautiful ocean seascapes past the historical Surf Museum & Lighthouse and back to the Santa Cruz wharf

$115 $65

View Deal

One 45- or 90-Minute Golf Lesson from Former Touring Pro Bob Swinnerton at Santa Cruz Golf Academy (Up to 55% Off)

Santa Cruz Golf Academy

Santa Cruz

Former collegiate and Canadian PGA Tour golfer Bob Swinnerton proffers advice in an indoor studio with swing-analysis technology

$75 $37

View Deal

Select Local Merchants

At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.

Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.

Pacific Ave.
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Every week, The Palomar Ballroom's 80-year-old space reverberates with a DJ's Latin beats and synchronized salsa shimmies. Beneath a baroque chandelier, couples twirl passionately enough for the New York Times to deem this salsa party the "spiciest spot downtown." Owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Jeremy Pilling prizes the supportive atmosphere that allows his students to commingle at these parties, whose themes can also cover Argentine tango and swing.

To lead up to its festivities, The Palomar Ballroom hosts drop-in classes, weekly series, rehearsals for routines, and private lessons for dancers that range from beginner to expert. During these sessions, seasoned instructors stress the social aspects of dance while teaching the techniques, rotating partners often so that they can learn different ways to twirl, dip, and ceremoniously lacerate a rug. Visiting dance champions also lead workshops on their specialties, showcasing advanced steps in cha cha, samba, swing, rumba, and other styles.

1344 Pacific Ave.
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Trudie Ransom knows just how addictive the sensation of standing above the waves can be. After just a few trips out on her board, she not only began training with the standup-paddleboarding master Andy Whitman from Angulo boards, but also opened up SUP Shack. From her experience shadowing Whitman, she decided the best way to introduce people to the sport was with Angulo’s soft, 10-foot boards, which serve as an easy surface to learn on while spending a day on the waves or taking one of the shop’s classes or tours. Classes never contain more than six students, allowing each student to have the one-on-one attention needed to master the art of balancing and maneuvering the board. Once pupils are sure of their strokes, the shop’s instructors lead guided tours that slip out across the rippling blue mirror and past the sights of the harbor or tackle the more advanced paths past sea-lion habitats. Late-evening tours pause as the sun sets over the ocean, filling the sky with color like somebody inciting peacocks to riot.

2214 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Gymnastics Learning Center's experienced instructors engage energized tots with an array of challenging athletic activities that aid children in motor- and social-skill development. KinderGym, JuniorGym, and parent-assisted MiniGym courses teach tots younger than age 6 the fundamentals of muscular movement and how to finally earn their cat's respect. Sixty-minute beginning gymnastics or trampoline classes imbue older pupils with stretching and bouncing basics, and 90-minute intermediate gymnastics or trampoline courses explore more advanced balancing and bounding techniques. Small class sizes ensure that enthusiastic staff can safely escort whippersnappers as they navigate beams, spring from vaults, dangle from rings, or employ the silent treatment on disobedient pommel horses. Customers should check Gymnastics Learning Center's schedule to determine the most appropriate class time and fit.

2608 Chanticleer Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

The team at Tropical Adventures Scuba and Travel teaches classes, repairs equipment, and plans diving trips, all with a focus on building an active scuba community. Seasoned instructors with NAUI and PADI certification lead beginners from the classroom to the ocean, where they meander through kelp forests and master the art of underwater basket weaving. Experts coordinate travel to premier international and local dive sites such as Catalina Island, aiming to make the three to five yearly trips affordable and fun. The crew also recommends new and used gear for purchase or rental, including Oceanic booties, Tusa masks, and radar equipment that helps divers avoid traveling mermaid salesmen.

3615 Portola Dr Ste 3615
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Studio 831's graffiti-clad interior greets guests with an impressive line-up of functional fitness equipment that includes climbing ropes, medicine balls, barbells, and weight machines. The studio's trainers eagerly customize their instructions during the studio's three offered classes. During CrossFit Workouts of the Day, they'll combine Olympic weightlifting with gymnastics and cardio to build routines whose movements are relevant to daily living, and run through staggered stretches, plyometrics, and strength work during X-Train circuit-style programs. For an aerobic workout and a way to condition muscles with low impact, they lead aerobics routines on trampolines in fun and effective Urban Rebound courses. During one-on-one sessions, they'll design entire fitness plans to help clients achieve their goals of looking slimmer.

1010 Fair Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US