Santa Cruz just about bursts with places to stay, including a wide range of brand name hotels that offer the convenience, cleanliness and hospitality that have made them traveler favorites around the world. What separates those listed here from the pack, and from each other, is location.
It's all about location with the Number 1 pick, Howard Johnson Fisherman's Wharf. Howard Johnson is centrally located, yes, an easy ten minute walk or five minute bike ride down town. But it's main draw is its proximity to Santa Cruz's main attraction--the Pacific Ocean. Look out your window and behold the crashing waves and off in the horizon the lip of Monterey. Within one minute you can be at the Beach Boardwalk, which stretches of to the right. Go up the opposite direction at you're at the start of West Cliff Drive, a popular walking path and perhaps the most affordable and convenient way to see the surf.
All but two lodgings here are in Santa Cruz proper. The Number 7 pick, Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley, is a ways away from Santa Cruz proper. However, it offers the most affordable luxury of all the brand name hotels in the area, and secures a spot on the Top 10 because of it. Number 10--Quality Inn & Suites, Santa Cruz Mountains--is located up the winding and wooded Highway 9 and in the heart of Santa Cruz County's more rugged back country. It makes the cut here because it is pet friendly and it's retreat-in-the-wilderness feel offers a relaxing respite after a hard days hiking, kayaking or wine tasting.
There is literally no shortage of affordable and convenient stays in Santa Cruz. The city thrives on tourism and strives to make staying here a pleasurable experience for all visitors. Be wary, however, that rooms fill up quick during the busy summer season, especially on the weekends. Secure your home base as soon as you can to ensure you've got a pillow to lay your head on after exploring Santa Cruz.
130 W Cliff Drive
Affordable, family-friendly hotel just steps from Main Beach and the Boardwalk... read more
325 Pacific Ave
Close to the beach, Boardwalk, pier, and many other Santa Cruz destinations... read more
110 Plymouth St
Further from the beach but further from the noise...
414 Ocean Street
A budget hotel that has many of the stylings and accommodations of a boutique lodging... read more
500 Riverside Ave
Newly renovated hotel close to the heart of downtown Santa Cruz... read more