If you picture Santa Cruz as a classic California beach town, you’re right. But your fun only begins at the beach. You can visit over 14 state parks, go wine tasting, spend an afternoon in the museum, or shop at the farmer’s markets. You also have an array of outdoor activities that await you. You can go hiking, surfing, or mountain biking.
You can relax in this land of sun, sand, and redwood-covered mountains and enjoy the laid-back vibe. Or, you can plan a day packed with adventures. No matter what your ideal travel vacation is, Santa Cruz has something to offer to you.
Read this detailed guide to find out about the must-visits of Santa Cruz and activities you must try.
We value your safety. Take the precautionary measures briefed in this article. Read the information on insurance plans to make an informed visitors medical insurance or travel insurance purchase.
Santa Cruz Visitors Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
In the USA, citizens either get health insurance from their employer, or they have to purchase it themselves. As a tourist, you will fall into the second category. Healthcare costs in the US are the highest in the world, so you must have insurance coverage in place if you get sick or injured in the United States. If you don’t have it, you could get stuck with a bill that is greater than your life savings.
Do I need visitors medical insurance for Santa Cruz?
The United States only requires visitors on a J visa to have health insurance. As a tourist, this requirement will not apply to you. However, this does not mean you can go without insurance.
In the US, a single trip to the hospital can cost thousands. A minor surgery can cost tens of thousands. Major treatment can reach well beyond $100,000. Can you afford to pay that out of your own pocket? Most people cannot. Therefore, the small investment in visitors medical insurance is well worth it.
Why buy visitors medical insurance for Santa Cruz?
Facing a medical emergency abroad can be very stressful. Your personal health and financial stability are both at risk. In Santa Cruz, hospitals will not accept your domestic medical insurance. You will have to pay the entire amount out of your pocket. Medical expenses are very high and can leave a huge dent in your bank account.
Whether you are young and healthy, or hosting older relatives coming to visit you in the USA, purchasing visitors insurance is one of the most important components of visiting the United States.
Santa Cruz Trip Cancellation Insurance - FAQs
Emergencies like a death or illness in the family, and other obligations can force you to cancel your trip. In such a scenario, you risk losing all your prepaid expenses, like travel fare and accommodation costs. Trip cancellation insurance can cover such risks and reimburse your expenses if the trip must be cancelled for a covered reason.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Santa Cruz?
Cancelling a trip unexpectedly is not uncommon, and can happen to you. A number of personal emergencies can arise such as health issues, a death in the family, a natural disaster, or pandemic restrictions can make a long-planned trip impossible.
If any of these occur, you risk losing your travel and accommodation expenses, which are generally pre-paid and non-refundable. Trip cancellation insurance can cover such risks and reimburse you for your expenses if the cancellation is for a covered reason.
What can be covered under trip cancellation insurance for Santa Cruz?
In addition, travel insurance can provide ancillary benefits such as lost passport replacement, emergency cash transfer, and more. Look at the benefits of any plan you’re considering carefully before making a purchase. This way, you’ll have a full understanding of what can be covered, and what cannot.
Things To Do for Travelers in Santa Cruz
Enjoy a day out at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
The Boardwalk might look familiar to you. That’s because this admission-free amusement park has been the backdrop of many cinema scenes. Enjoy over 40 rides and attractions on the beach. Get on the world-famous Giant Dipper roller coaster and the historic 1911 Looff Carousel. Replenish yourself with refreshments like kettle corn, saltwater taffy, and the famous deep-fried Twinkies.
Escape the city at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Take a walk through this 40-acre grove of towering redwoods. You can actually step inside a hollowed-out tree. Reconnect with nature through hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, or camping. Before you leave, take a dip in the natural swimming pool hidden beneath the trees at the Garden of Eden.
Spend an afternoon at the Local Farmers’ Market
Explore the five different farmers’ markets in the city. Purchase the best of the region’s produce. You can also enjoy music, or even show off your own talents. You can book a slot at the information booth and play at the Downtown market for up to 30 minutes.
Learn the history of surfing at Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
If you’re in Santa Cruz, you have to learn what it’s most famous for — surfing. Learn the 100-year history of surfing in Santa Cruz and the mainland USA for free. You can also watch the surfers at Steamer Lane. Before leaving the museum, catch the sunset.
Walk down Pacific Avenue
Pacific Avenue makes up most of the downtown area. Take a walk through the beating heart of our city. Spend your afternoon at one of the many locally-owned boutiques and coffee shops. If you are out for brunch, make sure to check out Zachary’s. Try their original “Mike’s Mess”, unique sourdough pancakes.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Santa Cruz
Safety near the beach
You may encounter homeless people who will pester you for cash, but they are usually harmless. If you’re visiting the beach at night, be careful by the piers. People underneath may badger you for money.
Beware of car theft
You do not likely have to worry about encountering serious crime during your trip. However, car theft is a common problem. Park in well-lit areas, and purchase theft insurance for your vehicle. In case you're a victim of car theft, notify the local authorities by calling 911.
Etiquettes and laws
No sanctioned fireworks events are held in Santa Cruz County due to the threat of fire. You cannot put on a display of fireworks. All fireworks are illegal and you can be fined.
Keep the beaches and parks clean. Take home what you bring with you. Do not overflow bins, as they can spill onto the beach, which can be carried out to the ocean.
In 2018, California legalized the use or sale of cannabis to anyone 21 and older. If you’re over 21, you can consume marijuana for medical or recreational use. You can smoke, vape, and eat cannabis-infused products in private. However, do not indulge in other drugs. You can be arrested and imprisoned or charged with a fine.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. At night, do not walk alone, especially near the beach. Even with company, travel along sidewalks in lighted areas. If you’re traveling with children, bring their recent photos to help identify them in case you get separated.
Before You Travel to Santa Cruz - Do This
Here are some suggestions to have a smooth-sailing trip