Santa Cruz Information


The average daily temperature in August is around 76°F (about 25°C).  Nighttime and early morning lows can reach down to 54°F (about 12°C).  Chances of precipitation are low.  Check the current local forecast here.

While Santa Cruz can get a taste of hot weather during the summer and early fall, really hot days are rare.  On average, the city sees just five days a year over 90°F (about 32°C).  Your suitcase should be packed with warm-weather clothing like short-sleeve shirts, shorts, and sandals. You’ll also want to bring along a light sweater or jacket, for cooler mornings and evenings. 


The official currency in Santa Cruz is the US Dollar.  Click here for currency conversion.

Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the United States, and ATMs are readily available.  Be aware that there may be a fee for ATM cash withdrawls, and possible foreign transaction fees on credit card usage.  Ensure you inform your bank before travelling abroad.  It is advisable to exchange some cash before travelling to the United States. 


Electricity in the United States is 120 Volts at the standard frequency of 60 Hertz. The standard power sockets in the United States are Type A and B.  If you travel with a device that does not accept 120 Volts at 60 Hertz, you will need to bring a voltage converter with you.  You may also need a plug adapter if your appliance's plug has a different shape.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Boasting fun amusement rides and fun-filled activities, great places to eat, and a spectacular beach setting, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been the beating heart of the seaside city for more than 100 years. Founded in 1907, the Boardwalk stretches along a beautiful sandy beach alongside the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The seaside amusement park features exhilarating rides and heart-stopping adventures, including two rides which are National Historic Landmarks - the Looff Carousel and the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster.

Santa Cruz Wharf
More than 2,000 feet in length, the wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water vessels. Nowadays, the pier is used for recreational fishing and tourism. Visitors enjoy strolling the pier, taking in the serene views of the bay, and shopping at the boutiques. With several excellent fish restaurants, it's a great place to enjoy a fresh seafood meal. Sea lions make their home here year-round, and a viewing area allows visitors a good look at them resting on the pier structure. The wharf also has water sport shops that rent fishing gear, boats, and kayaks. 

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Exploration Center
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and just steps away from the Santa Cruz Wharf, the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Exploration Center celebrates the spectacular Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Featuring an array of engaging interactive and multi-media exhibits, the center aims to not only enable visitors to explore the sanctuary's remarkable marine environment, but also to educate them on the importance of marine conservation. Main exhibits include an attractive Intertidal Touch Pool, where visitors can touch and feel different animals of the sea.

Natural Bridges State Beach
The remarkable sea arch that graces this beach was formed from the fractures in mudstone cliffs. With its iconic natural beauty, the small protected sandy beach is an excellent place for relaxation and birdwatching. Further along, the beach has tide pools that are home to sea stars, small crabs, sea anemones, and other ocean creatures. Visitors may take advantage of the park's docent-led tours of the Monarch Grove, nature trails, and tide pools.

Mystery Spot
This surprising site needs to be seen to be believed. Just outside Santa Cruz, the Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly that makes visitors question the laws of physics. In a circular area of the redwood forest that is 46 meters in diameter, the normal effects of gravity do not apply. Objects and people appear to be tilted even when attempting to stand up straight. The effect is utterly puzzling, and no scientific theory has been able to explain the Mystery Spot since it was discovered in 1939.

U.C. Santa Cruz Arboretum
Overlooking Monterey Bay, the U.C. Santa Cruz Arboretum stands on an ancient marine terrace in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This exceptional site on the university campus is a vast outdoor classroom for scientific study as well as a destination for gardeners and nature lovers. The 145-acre site provides different microclimates, soil types, and topography, which allow for an incredible botanical diversity. Special features of the Arboretum include the Australian Rock Garden, a fragrant Eucalyptus Grove, the shady Redwood Grove, the Aroma Garden filled with aromatic plants, and a ¼-mile-long Hummingbird Trail that offers a chance to see pink-throated Anna's hummingbirds.

Visit the Santa Cruz visitors' website for more information on traveling to Santa Cruz, California.