Places to stay in Santa Cruz
Central Coast

12 Top Places To Stay In Santa Cruz On The Central Coast

Planning a trip to the Central California Coast and looking for the best places to stay in Santa Cruz? Our post has you covered!

Santa Cruz is an amazing travel destination just a short drive south of San Jose. It’s a mid-sized city that is the perfect beach getaway for exploring the beauty of the coast and the amazing redwood hikes near Santa Cruz.

Many visitors stop by Santa Cruz while traveling the Pacific Coast Highway. Others come here to escape the summer heat and enjoy a few days in a lively and vibrant community near the beach.

A few of the top things to do in Santa Cruz include spending time at the Beach Boardwalk, visiting the Natural Bridges State Beach, and hiking amongst giant redwood trees at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Whatever brings you to this eclectic beach town, these best places to stay in Santa Cruz will ensure you have a great time!

Some of the links used in this blog may be affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I earn a small commission when you book through these links for which I am very thankful!

12 Best Places To Stay In Santa Cruz:

1. Beach Street Inn and Suites

Photos by Beach Street Inn and Suites

Beach Street Inn and Suites is considered to be one of the best hotels in Santa Cruz thanks to its location overlooking Main Beach. Some of the top local attractions such as the Boardwalk and Pier are just a short walk from the hotel.

The bookings come with ocean or pool views and kitchen basics like a microwave, and a fridge. Complimentary coffee and cocoa bar are offered in the lobby to start your day off right!

You’re sure to fall in love with the beach-style décor and the outdoor area that features a heated pool, hot tub, and fire pit. All in all, Beach Street Inn and Suites is a wonderful place to stay on a family vacation or a romantic getaway for two.

2. Dream Inn Santa Cruz

Photos by Dream Inn Santa Cruz

Retro and beach vibes await you at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz, a surf-inspired hotel in Santa Cruz. This amazing four-star hotel is filled with stylish, modern décor located just steps from the beach.

Guests at the Dream Inn are treated to Keurig coffee machines, mini-fridges, bathrobes, and private balconies or patios in the rooms. The hotel is brimming with even more luxurious amenities!

From the beachfront swimming pool and hot tub to the onsite Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge, there is plenty to keep you occupied during your stay. You’ll also appreciate that this hotel is located right at the center of Santa Cruz near the Boardwalk Amusement Park.

3. Fern River Resort


Fern River Resort is the perfect place to stay for those looking to enjoy a bit of solitude in a serene redwood forest near Santa Cruz.

The Fern River Resort is nestled in a wooded property off Highway 9 that connects many historic logging towns and the surrounding Redwood State Parks. The hotel is situated at the edge of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park offering easy access to many of its trails.

The cabins at Fern River Resort come equipped with all the comforts of home and are filled with thoughtful touches for a cozy experience. All around the property, you can enjoy stunning views of towering redwood trees, the San Lorenzo River, and lush, well-kept gardens.

Read More: Staying At The Fern River Resort In Felton

4. Hyatt Place Santa Cruz

Photos by Hyatt Place Santa Cruz

Hyatt Place Santa Cruz boasts modern and comfortable accommodations close to the beach. Guests can book standard or ADA King & Queen rooms or a more spacious King Suite.

In the hotel’s common spaces, you can enjoy an outdoor pool with lounge chairs, a hot tub, and a sun terrace. Complimentary continental or American breakfast is offered in the mornings to start your day off right!

Hyatt Place Santa Cruz also offers valet parking and electric vehicle charging stations for the ultimate convenience.

5. West Cliff Inn, A Four Sisters Inn

Photos by West Cliff Inn

This Bed and Breakfast is housed in a beautiful Victorian building perched on a bluff across from Cowell’s Beach. The Santa Cruz Wharf and Boardwalk are just a short walk from the West Cliff Inn as well.

Previous guests highly rate this charming B&B for their outstanding breakfast and complimentary afternoon wine & cheese. Throughout the hotel, white, blue, and soft yellow colors create a relaxed, beach-inspired atmosphere. In the rooms, you’ll find cozy fireplaces and comfortable beds awaiting you.

Nearby Santa Cruz restaurants and shops can easily be reached by foot or bike, available to guests for rental.

6. Hilton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley

Photos by Hilton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley

The Hilton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley is a great hotel choice for those who are looking to visit both the beach and the redwoods. Located in Scott’s Valley, this hotel is a short drive from the Santa Cruz coast, The Mystery Spot, and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Hilton Santa Cruz Scotts Valley has amazing amenities including a tree-lined outdoor pool and a fitness center. The property is surrounded by lush forests and the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains.

Each of the spacious rooms comes equipped with a microwave, a fridge, and a coffee maker. For convenience, there is an onsite café serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And this hotel is even pet-friendly!

7. Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages

Photos by Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages

Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages is a charming boutique hotel situated in the quiet Sunny Cove beach by Santa Cruz. At this Inn, guests can book a room in the main house or stay in a cottage that comes with a full kitchen including a stove, fridge, and microwave. Some cottages also have private patios with outdoor seating and BBQ grills.

At Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages, complimentary Continental breakfast is offered in the mornings. This beachfront Inn offers relaxing outdoor seating where you sit back and enjoy the day with a cup of coffee in hand.

Local coffee shops, markets, and restaurants are just a short walk from the Inn. This is a great place to stay for couples, families, and smaller groups of up to 6 people.

8. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Cruz

Photos by La Quinta Inn & Suites

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Santa Cruz offers modern rooms paired with fantastic views just a short walk from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the Wharf.

For room options, you can choose between modernly decorated Queen and King rooms or more spacious Suites, some of which feature ocean views. In the hotel’s common areas, you can enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool, get a workout at the fitness center or relax on the sun deck.

Start the morning off by enjoying a free American breakfast serving a variety of items including waffles and fruit. Private parking is offered on-site as well!

9. Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

The Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort is an ideal place to stay for those who want to camp and visit the redwood parks on the Central Coast.

This RV park’s accommodation choices include RV sites, tent pavilions, and dry tent campsites. The RV sites come with full hookups including electric, water, sewer, and cable TV.

Here guests have the opportunity to unwind and relax in spacious campsites surrounded by majestic redwood trees while also enjoying comfortable amenities such as restrooms, hot showers, a Clubhouse, and private access to the nearby river. Overall, this is a great RV resort to pick for family vacations and outdoor group trips!

Read More: Review Of Camping At The Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort

10. Hampton Inn Santa Cruz West

Photos by Hampton Inn Santa Cruz West

Hampton Inn Santa Cruz West is a modern, new hotel located in the west part of Santa Cruz, just a short drive from beaches, local attractions, and redwood parks.

Each room at the Hampton Inn comes with a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and a desk if you need to catch up on work while traveling. In the morning enjoy a fabulous Continental breakfast that comes with eggs, sausage, potatoes, and other delicious options.

Fitness room and laundry facilities are offered on-site for convenience. This hotel is also pet friendly for those traveling with their furry four-legged friends!

11. Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

Photos by Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

This four-star hotel is filled with stylish, modern décor inspired by Santa Cruz redwoods and nature. Hotel Paradox is equipped with 170 spacious guest rooms and suites for a comfortable stay.

Throughout the hotel beautiful art, wooden accents, and modern furniture will amaze you. Outside you’ll find a wonderful outdoor pool area with cabana lounges, a bar, a hot tub, a fire pit, and poolside dining – it doesn’t get better than this!

The friendly staff and concierge services will make your stay enjoyable and can help you find local activities to do in the area. If you’re up for exploring Santa Cruz, bikes can be rented from the hotel.

12. Rio Vista Inn & Suites Santa Cruz

Photos by Rio Vista Inn & Suites

This four-star hotel combines historic Victorian charm with modern, renovated rooms for a relaxing stay on the Santa Cruz coast.

Rio Vista Inn & Suites Santa Cruz offers 12 luxury suites that are updated but come with some of the original Victorian features including hardwood floors and beautiful glass windows. Guests especially appreciate the complimentary beverages including water, coffee, sodas, and tea.

This unique hotel is family-run and is located just a short walk from the nearby beaches and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. If you’re looking for a unique experience in Santa Cruz, this place is for you!

Looking for more things to do around Santa Cruz? Be sure to check out these posts next:

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