There's nothing better than a walk on the beach after a day of tasting amazing craft brews and delicious wine, and Santa Cruz, CA is the perfect place for a vino, beer and beach crawl. So, grab your flip flops and drink responsibly on this boozy tour.
Seabright Brewery serves up a menu of really solid beers and elevated pub grub with a dose of attitude. Their Sacrilicious Ale adds a hit of hops to a malty red ale for a unique taste, and their Blue IPA is a local favorite. Plus, their French fries and burgers are the stuff of legend, and both can come with various toppings and sauces. Sit inside and enjoy the cool atmosphere and TVs, or enjoy the ocean breeze on the patio outside. Plus, it's an easy walk to Seabright Beach from the brewery, so you can work off your beer and burger with a scenic stroll.
After that, make your way to Sunny Cove Beach. The name really says it all: it's a small, off-the-beaten path patch of coast that's located in between two cliffs, making it feel even more like a hidden gem. It's warm and sandy, with crystal clear water. Plus, it's pet friendly and you can set up a campfire at night!
Santa Cruz, CA
Really taste the essence of Santa Cruz at New Bohemia Brewing. A wide variety of beers with an eye for the perfect balance of flavors and aromas, whimsical vibes and names for their brews, a dedication to sustainability, and modern industrial space with bar and upstairs patio in addition to their state-of-the-art brewing and lagering system make this more of an experience than a casual trip to the bar.
British-style beers and beachy vibes don't seem like something that would go naturally together, but, like hops and malt, they work together to create something special: the locally-beloved East Cliff Brewing Company. A roster of ales, stouts, and porters and a menu of bar food featuring burgers, fish and chips, and more mean you could easily spend all night in this airy space, drinking and carousing with the locals.
Seabright State Beach is in a prime location between Santa Cruz's harbor and boardwalk. There's plenty of sandy shore for spreading out, fire pits for campfires, and stellar sunsets. What more could you need from a beach?
If you're looking for a beach with a little more action, then head to Santa Cruz's Main Beach. Home to the epic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Main Beach is always bustling with activity and features plenty to see and do. Roller coasters, volleyball courts, games, food, and more make this an exciting place to spend an afternoon.
If beer isn't quite your taste, then fear not! Santa Cruz has some pretty great wineries as well, like Storrs Winery & Vineyards. The tasting room, in an urban setting, offers samples of their wide variety of vinos at a reasonable price. They're known for their chardonnay, but make tons of red wines as well, so there's something to please every palate.
Santa Cruz Ale Works is a homey kind of place that started off as a homebrewing operating between friends. From there, it's grown into a respected brewery and deli. Even though they started with the beer, they put just as much love into their food offerings, hand-pickling veggies, smoking meats in-house, and crafting sauces from scratch. Wash down a sandwich with an oatmeal stout, a hefe, or an IPA!
Coves, bluffs, and shallow caves to explore make Davenport Beach an adventure, and the ample parking and secluded location make a trip here super convenient. Plus, if you keep your eyes on the huge waves, you might see seals and dolphins!
What's better than a tasty, local, organic beer? Drinking a tasty, local, organic beer in a beer garden! Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing's beers are all certified organic, and they offer a pretty wide variety: seven year-round brews plus a handful of more experimental seasonal offerings for the adventurous. Order a flight an enjoy it in the outdoor beer garden or in their bright taproom. Plus, they bring in food from Kelly's French Bakery every day from noon to 7pm. Go for the Polish sausage or fish tacos!
There's no better way to end a day at the beach than at one of Santa Cruz's best breweries. And, since Santa Cruz has tons of beautiful beaches and loads of epic places to get a craft beer, you can easily spend days here soaking in as much sun, surf, and suds as possible!
Santa Cruz is a classic California beach town, birthplace of U.S. surfing and home to a seaside amusement park. With 14 state parks and beaches, redwood forests, wildlife viewing, boutique wineries and microbreweries, farm-to-table fare, and a vintage steam train, there’s something for everyone.