Verve: Some of our favorite coffee in general, and by far the best coffee shop in Santa Cruz. There are multiple locations, most of which have outdoor seating. (@vervecoffee)

  • Bobby’s pick: Drip coffee
  • Alli’s pick: Iced almond milk latte

Surf: Beginners can start at Cowell’s, but experienced surfers should head to Pleasure Point or Steamer Lane. It’s an iconic spot!


Zameen On The Point: We are still dreaming about our meal at Zameen. If you love Mediterranean food, this is a MUST. Very fresh, healthy, and large portions. Make sure you get the parmesan fries. (@zameencuisine)

  • Bobby’s pick: Gyros Salad

  • Alli’s pick: Veggie Bowl

Aptos Street BBQ: This place is a local favorite - and for good reason. Their BBQ is the REAL DEAL, and if you’re lucky you’ll catch some live music! (Every day of the week for 6-8pm!) (@aptosstbbq)

  • Bobby’s pick: Smoked Tri-Tip meal

  • Alli’s pick: Smoked Chicken meal

The Penny Ice Creamery: We’re suckers for artisan made ice cream. The Penny makes all of their flavors in-house with the freshest ingredients… and it’s bomb. Their Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip almost made Alli cry! (@thepennyicecreamery)


Front and Cooper: Delicious craft cocktails, wine, and local artisanal beer… Front and Cooper has it all. Oh, and it’s really hip and Instagramable too. Win/Win. (@frontandcooper)

  • Bobby’s pick: The Twisted Old Fashion

  • Alli’s pick: The GINTONIC #8

515 Kitchen & Cocktails: Grab a seat at the upstairs bar, order some truffle fries and “The Forbidden Highlands” cocktail. A little on the pricey side - but you’ll understand why it’s the highest rated cocktail bar around! (@515santacruz)


Dream Inn: The surf vibes are strong, an outdoor pool steps from the sand, and every room has an ocean view. Oh, and you’re right on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. It doesn’t get any better! (Besides the fact that dogs aren’t allowed.) (@dreaminn_santacruz)

Kampgrounds of America: This isn’t just a picturesque spot to pitch your tent, the KOA in Santa Cruz rents super cute Airstreams, deluxe cabins, and more! “Glamp” in style - and steps from the beach! (@kampgroundsofamerica)


Pet Friendly: Santa Cruz is EXTREMELY pet friendly. We brought Sally with us everywhere, and she was welcome wherever places had patios/outdoor seating! Dogs are allowed on the beach if they’re on leash. Bring your pooch! (Unless you’re staying at Dream Inn!)