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Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz

4.2
#3 of 39 in Things to do in Santa Cruz
Check out the sea lions that hang out underneath Santa Cruz Wharf, cast a fishing line into the water, and dine on local seafood. Whale-watching and fishing expeditions depart from here too, and you can rent a kayak to get out on the water under your own power. If you arrive in late afternoon, bring your camera and wait for the sun to set behind the lighthouse. Plan your Santa Cruz Wharf visit and explore what else you can see and do in Santa Cruz using our Santa Cruz travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
970 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    My son had a great time catching anchovies, and everyone enjoyed the antics of the sea lions. Lots of nice shops and restaurants too.  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    What more is there to say? A lot. One the left hand side, about the middle, there is a place were the sea lions hang out and it is fun to watch them roll into the water. Sometimes you can even go down...  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    There are some retail shops and restaurants (we didn't eat there), other than that it's just regular pier like all the others. A good place to hang out with your lover and romancing the ocean horizon,...  more »
Google
  • June 30, 2017
    I got to fish in the Pacific for the first time from the wharf. Bait is reasonably priced and the people are all friendly. The scenery is very nice and the sea lions offer additional amusement. There are restaurants and shops all along the wharf for those that aren't content to simply stare into the ocean as I am.
  • May 29, 2017
    Nice place to visit! Had great sea food for a late lunch and nice stroll on the pier. Entertaining sea lions. Great little shop's and places to eat. Plan to come back for sure.
  • June 20, 2017
    Great views of the boardwalk, or the Santa Cruz Lighthouse at sunset. And some good seafood restaurants, and occasionally live entertainment. Not to mention events - like 'Woody's on the Wharf'.. Fun place. And Fishing / Boating are options as well.
  • June 22, 2017
    Sea lions, otters and seagulls plus good places to eat and fun shops to browse. We ate at Stagnaros at the end of the wharf and it was so yummmy. John had the biggest order of fried calamari we'd ever seen, my fish and chips was so flake and moist I ate every bite of fish, the breading was light and crisp and piping hot. Th e popcorn shrimp were lightly breaded and also piping hot. Jim had the fish tacos and they were great, just a hint of heat and very filling. Jess had a burger and ate every bite. Plus yummy little sourdough rolls great clam chowder and perfect house salads.
  • April 16, 2017
    Nice view of the beach. Awesome place to fish and look at sea lions. You are not allowed to smoke, nor to take flash photography of animals. You have a vast selection of restaurants and shops. The food however across the warfare does feel repetitive. Santa Cruz offers more than just the wharf and beach. They have a downtown too. However if you go for the wharf make sure you have a jacket saved, it gets chilly as it gets dark. Even during the summer you can be cold at night.

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Where to stay in Santa Cruz

Most of the accommodations in Santa Cruz occupy a place near the beach and boardwalk. Inns and bed and breakfasts make up most of the selection here, but you'll also find a few motels and hotels sprinkled in. You might consider staying in one of the inns or bed and breakfasts located inside some of the Victorian houses downtown, which lies just to the north. A number of budget motels line both San Lorenzo Boulevard, which is just across Carbonara Creek from the main tourist area by the beach, and Ocean Street a little farther north.
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