A Visitor’s Guide to Pleasure Point, California

Pleasure Point is that special kind of iconic beach community. It is a living postcard and reference point for Hollywood’s stereotypical ‘Surf-Town’ movies. As a vacation destination, it quietly pulls beach-seeking tourists to its sunny shores, its colorful surf shops and lovely beach homes, and of course, its incredible surfing. To help with your travel planning, we’ve written a visitor’s guide to Pleasure Point – by locals!

This beachside area on Santa Cruz’s east end is one of the most vibrant surf destinations along the California coast. The laid-back area got its hedonistic moniker from Prohibition-era hijinks, but there is no sneaky lingering attitude anymore. Locals welcome visitors and are open to tourism business.  

If you’re thinking about your next holiday to California, consider taking a vacation rental in Pleasure Point. Regardless of how long you stay, you can enjoy a variety of entertaining activities.

The best time to visit Pleasure Point

Many heat-seeking visitors to California’s coast are often surprised by the reality that the state’s beach towns are cooler than they expected. Pleasure Point is no exception. While the Pacific winds do make the town a little cooler, the warmest months of the year are June through October. However, if you want the most heat units per vacation, visit near the end of June and July.

Visiting any time of the year offers so much to see and do, but the end of June brings with it the Pleasure Point Street Fair. This annual event has something for everyone. With free admission, you can listen to local bands performing surf music, rock, Americana, reggae, and blues. 

You will find more than 100 vendors selling arts and crafts, local services, beverages, and food lots of amazing food. You can try a variety of creative drinks at there is a lively beer garden, too. Toppin git off, the internationally renowned Santa Cruz Boardroom sponsors its annual skateboard contest. You can watch local kids compete and there are special beginner activities for children, too. 

Where to eat

The Street Fair is not the only reason to stay and eat at Pleasure Point. There are some wonderful places all year. The Companion Bakeshop features many baked goods, including their popular avocado toast. You can have delicious espresso drinks at Cat & Cloud, or visit Verve Coffee Roasters at its original location. You can enjoy an absolutely huge breakfast burrito at the Point Market, or choose from a wide selection of burritos at the Chill Out Cafe. If you still have room left try the organic ice cream from the Penny Ice Creamery.

Süda restaurant is proud of its fresh ingredients sourced from local farms, including line-caught fish and hormone-free beef. There is definitely something for everyone with a variety of imaginative cuisine, including vegan and gluten-free options.

Feeling like pizza? Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery offers both conventional and fresh and interesting tastes and textures that are sure to gratify every palate. 

Shopping is fun in Pleasure Point

You can start at two of the area’s surf shops. Whether you are looking for souvenirs or to blend in with the locals, you can stop in at the nearby O’Neill Surf Shop or the Freeline Surf Shop. 

The main street of Pleasure Point, 41st Avenue immerses tourists in the town’s strong surf culture. The bustling avenue is bordered by swinging Golden Medallion trees, aptly named because of their vivid yellow blooms; and colorful boutiques filled with surf shops, beachy home stores, and informal cafes. To add an exclamation to the vibe, this laid-back community has a seemingly stringent clothing code consisting of flip sandals, shorts, and surf tees. 

When strolling down 41st Avenue, be sure to check out Zen Island at 825 41st for locally made jewelry and very stylish apparel and swimwear. 

The Hip and Chick offers a nice selection of organic spa products. Some examples include oils, sugar scrubs, butters, and lotions. You can also buy soy candles. Every product sold at Hip and Chick is handcrafted in the shop. 

The Live Oak Eastside Farmers Market is open on Sundays throughout the entire year. You can enjoy live music with outdoor dining and some tasty espresso. You can also purchase healthy, fresh, organic vegetables and fruits from local vendors. 

For a relaxing stroll and some Instagram opportunities, you will love East Cliff Drive’s waterfront promenade. Its scenic trail overlooks Monterey Bay. You can mingle with surfers, skaters, and others who appreciate the scenic beauty and lovely weather. 

Relax and Unwind in Pleasure Point

As California is known for its healthy lifestyle, you won’t be surprised to learn there are quite a few spas and wellness destinations in the area. The Pink Salt Spa is one delightful example. Your luxurious experience starts with a glass of champagne. You can have your eyelashes done, have a facial, have a wax, or a variety of massage services. The Spa offers skincare products that you can buy and take home. They are open Monday through Saturday without an appointment. You will, however, need to make an appointment if you want to visit on Sunday. 

Parlor At The Point specializes in hair. It is not an ordinary hair salon. Whether you simply want a new look or want your hair to be healthy and beautiful, it starts with a personal consultation. They also offer specialty services, such as makeup applications and hair extensions. 

Pleasure Point Surfing Culture

When people hear the name “Santa Cruz,” they usually think about surfing. Whether you want to watch surfers from the beach, enjoy the culture, or try it yourself, you will definitely not be disappointed. 

Similar to other exceptional surf spots, Pleasure Point has a variety of sections, peaks, and types of waves. It is equally appropriate for beginners and advanced surfers. There is surfing at Pleasure Point throughout the year, but the winter swells are especially exciting. It is not surprising this area has produced numerous world-class surfers. 

A Pleasure Point vacation is one you will always remember. Come and see why it’s popularity is rising and why the hype is worth it.