Are you looking for the perfect senior-friendly vacation in California? Look no further than the seaside gem Santa Cruz. South of San Francisco, this lovely laid-back city has a vibrant arts scene, beautiful beaches, a quieter pace, and lots of things to offer for seniors of all ages.
For those that like to explore, you can find plenty of activities to keep busy in Santa Cruz, from exploring the historic downtown area to taking a leisurely stroll along the Boardwalk. There are also numerous parks and public gardens to enjoy, making it a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation. And for those who enjoy staying active, there are no shortage of nearby golf courses and hiking trails to explore. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Santa Cruz is a popular choice for seniors looking for a fun and friendly vacation destination.
When to go
The best time to visit Santa Cruz is from April to October. The weather is usually mild and sunny during this time, making it ideal for spending time outdoors. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, then consider visiting during the shoulder months of March and November.
What to do
For those who enjoy spending time outdoors, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, as well as golf courses and parks. History buffs will appreciate the abundance of museums and historic sites, while foodies will be spoilt for choice with the many excellent restaurants in the area. Whatever your interests, Santa Cruz has something to offer everyone.
Where to go
There are many great places to visit in Santa Cruz. Some of the most popular places include:
- The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – This world-famous seaside amusement park is a must-see. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day of fun in the sun or watch shows and play bowling indoors.
- Downtown Santa Cruz – This is a unique place to explore the city’s shops, restaurants, and cafes. There are also plenty of art galleries and museums to visit.
- Seacliff State Beach – This beautiful beach is perfect for a relaxing day of swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
- Natural Bridges State Beach – This state beach is known for its stunning rock formations, tide pools, and Monarch Butterfly colonies.
- Big Basin Redwoods State Park – This is the oldest state park in California and is home to some of the tallest trees in the world. It’s a nice place for seniors to hike, picnic, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Where to eat
Santa Cruz is known for its wide variety of dining options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual cafes. However, not all restaurants are created equal when it comes to senior discounts. Here are some of the best places to eat in Santa Cruz if you’re looking for a great meal at a great price:
Santa Cruz Diner is a traditional New Jersey-style restaurant, serving up hearty breakfast, steaks, burgers and more at reasonable prices. Senior discounts are available on all regular menu items.
For something a little lighter, try Café Limelight. This tucked-away bistro offers an extensive menu of salads, sandwiches, and pastas, all at discounted prices for seniors.
Finally, no visit to Santa Cruz would be complete without stopping by Oswald Restaurant. This upscale eatery offers a wide array of seafood and pasta dishes. The wonderful food and atmosphere make Oswald a great choice for those looking for a luxurious dining experience.
Where to stay
Seabright Beach, Pleasure Point, and Capitola are all great areas to stay when traveling to Santa Cruz. Seabright Beach is centrally located, making it easy to get around and explore all that Santa Cruz has to offer. Pleasure Point is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere. There are some great restaurants and cafes in the area, as well as some nice shops and boutiques. Capitola is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more upscale vacation.
Here’s our top 4 picks of senior-friendly vacation rental in Santa Cruz:
1. Seabright Serenity
Just steps from the beach and harbor, this two bedroom, one bathroom ground floor unit is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the serenity. With a fully equipped kitchen and a spacious living area, Seabright Serenity has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
2. Pleasure Point Cottage
Pleasure Point Cottage is a two-bedroom, one bathroom vacation rental that is perfect for a small group of 4. And we also welcome your dog! Your furry friend will have a fenced yard to run around while you are enjoying a cup of tea or coffee outside. This cozy cottage is just blocks from the beach and has all the amenities you need for a relaxing stay.
3. Seashell Sanctuary
Seashell Sanctuary is located in the center of Capitola, close to the picturesque pier, lovely boutiques, and popular restaurants. This vacation rental can sleep up to 6 people and includes one designated parking space, a washer and dryer. It also has an outdoor gas grill on a large outdoor patio area for the whole group to congregate.
4. Sunny Cove Cottage
Sunny Cove Cottage is a charming 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom vacation rental located just a short walk from Sunny Cove and 2 other premiere beaches in Santa Cruz. With a large, lovely yard to unwind in after a busy day at the beach at the backyard patio of this beautifully remodeled home.
So, if you’re looking for a fun and relaxed senior-friendly vacation destination, Santa Cruz is a great option. With its beautiful beaches, historic downtown area, and a variety of activities, this seaside city has something to offer everyone.
Start planning your trip today!
3 commonly asked questions by senior travelers:
The fastest and most direct way to reach Santa Cruz from San Francisco is to drive. The distance is approximately 70 miles and takes the best part of 80 minutes with moderate traffic.
Santa Cruz is known for its soft, sandy beaches, redwood forests, and mild climate.
Yes, Santa Cruz is the perfect place for a senior road trip. With its beautiful beaches, scenic views, and many easy hikes, it has something for everyone. And best of all, it’s only a short drive from San Francisco.