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Santa Cruz Wharf, Santa Cruz

4.2
#1 of 7 in Sightseeing in Santa Cruz
Pier / Boardwalk Tourist Spot
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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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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4.5
  • Great views of the Bay, Boardwalk, surfing, sea life. If you don't go to the wharf you've missed out on local shopping...check out the stores that have items from local artists! Watch and listen to th...  more »
  • It was great to walk on the Wharf and see all the shops and restaurants. The Sea Lions are another attraction and it was good to be able to see them especially at the end of the Wharf.  more »
  • It's nice - touristy. Compare to Monterey, Santa Monica,... it's nice when you're there. Splash is a fun restaurant with a rotating platform, some shops - so if you're there, it's good for a stroll or...  more »
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.