Hotel at a Glance: Santa Cruz Dream Inn
This inn is so close to Monterey Bay you can see the water from almost anywhere on the property. The 4-star hotel, which is decorated according to a colorful, 1960s aesthetic, is a scenic starting point for exploring downtown Santa Cruz and the city’s old-fashioned boardwalk. At day’s end, you can take a dip in the outdoor hot tub or warm up around a crackling fire pit.
- Recent recognition: The inn received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and has been voted Best Santa Cruz Hotel by Good Times Weekly readers.
- Room with a view: Each unit has a private balcony or shared patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Cloud-level rooms, located on floors 8–10, have beautiful views of Monterey Bay.
- Savor clam chowder at the inn’s Aquarius Restaurant, where chefs use fresh, organic ingredients to make chinook salmon, veggie wraps, and fish and chips battered with beer from a local brewery.
- Swimming pool and hot tub surrounded by palm trees and bright orange umbrellas
- Walk to downtown Santa Cruz in just five minutes.
Santa Cruz, California: Seaside Town with Free-Spirit Attitude
Located about an hour and a half south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz is an eccentric coastal town on the Monterey Bay’s northern fringe. The downtown street performers frequently transform Pacific Avenue into a stage with dancing, drumming, and historical reenactments of the famed Lincoln-Douglas mud-wrestling matches. The fun continues at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a seaside amusement park home to thrill rides and a carousel from 1911. From the top of the ferris wheel, you can take in bird’s-eye views of surfers catching waves in the Pacific.