Summer dreamin’ in Santa Cruz
70 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey, Santa Cruz County is home to sandy beaches, redwood-covered mountains and laid-back coastal towns.
Passing through Santa Cruz en route to Carmel, we stayed the night at Dream Inn to discover what the city has to offer.
The only hotel on the beachfront in Santa Cruz, Dream Inn is a one-of-a-kind, local landmark on the historic Beach Boardwalk. Inspired by the vibrant surf and swim culture of Santa Cruz, the hotel is bright, lively and within walking distance of, well, just about everything.
Spend the morning on Main Beach before heading Downtown to explore Santa Cruz’s eclectic array of stores, eateries, antique shops and trendy coffee shops. We paid a visit to Walnut Avenue Cafe for a quintessentially Californian breakfast.
Though colourful, it’s not the retro-chic shutters or geometric wallpaper that will catch your eye on arrival at Dream Inn but the expansive ocean view from the private balcony that will.
During our visit to Dream Inn, we made the most of our jet-lag by watching the sunrise from our private balcony, hot Verve Coffee in hand. The highlight? All 165 guest rooms have ocean views so that no one misses out.
Be sure to escape your room to make the most of the Dream Inn’s other amenities including a newly renovated pool area, heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.
THE FOOD + DRINK
Named after the legendary surfer, wetsuit inventor, marine advocate, and Santa Cruz native, Jack O’Neill, the Jack O’Neill Lounge & Restaurant is a jewel in the crown of Santa Cruz’s beach boardwalk.
With 360 degree views of the Pacific, we dined on fresh, Californian coastal cuisine inspired by regional ingredients with a dynamite view of the setting sun. Opt for the Monterey Bay Ceviche as we did and enjoy freshly caught seafood done right.
Don’t miss out on O’Neill’s menu of Signature Drinks either. Sweet as sugar, they made for the perfect toast to another day driving the PCH.