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The Santa Cruz Dream Inn 4.0

Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, California

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Review Summary

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  • Direct beach access and amazing views of Monterey Bay
  • Great location within walking distance of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the wharf
  • Retro theme throughout the hotel
  • All rooms have private balconies overlooking the water
  • Modern room amenities, including iHome docks, flat-screen TVs and Keurig one-cup coffeemakers
  • Small business center features two new iMac computers
  • Free Wi-Fi


  • Room furnishings are a tad bland
  • Daily self-parking fee
  • No spa or fitness center

Bottom Line

This cute, stylish boutique hotel fuses modern services and retro- and surfing-inspired decor. The colorful lobby features a bright, geometric carpet and a curved pull-apart couch, flanked by a yellow-framed photograph of surfers on the beach. The rooms are contemporary (if a bit bland), and all feature private balconies with views of the bay, wharf, and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, as well as iHome docks, flat-screen TVs, and Keurig coffeemakers. Small but modern bathrooms feature bright orange and yellow tiles, and either shower/tub combos or walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads. The restaurant, Aquarius, serves seafood in a casual space with ocean views, and amenities include a small pool and Jacuzzi (but no spa or fitness center).

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Right on the beach in Santa Cruz, and close to restaurants and shopping on the wharf

Map of The Santa Cruz Dream Inn

Santa Cruz is a bayside community on Monterey Bay's north end, and is home to an eclectic mix of hippies, surfers, students and music junkies. It's a veritable playground for water lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can rent electric or pedal-powered bikes from Electric Sierra Cycles to Cruise West Cliff Drive, or saunter through the vintage waterfront boardwalk, which has some of the coast's oldest rides (not to mention an annual Clam Chowder Cook Off). Venture Quest offers sea-cave and whale-watching excursions, while Stagnaro's offers year-round fishing off the wharf. Santa Cruz Surfing Museum in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse provides information on the city's rich surfing history.

When day fades to night, visitors can head to Catalyst or Moe's Alley for some live music, or wander over to Blue Lagoon for late-night dancing and billiards.

  • 49-minute drive from San Jose International Airport
  • 52-minute drive from Monterey Peninsula Airport
  • 1-minute walk to the nearest bus stop
  • 7-minute walk to shops and dining on Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf
  • 8-minute walk to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
  • 12-minute walk to Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway-Boardwalk
  • 13-minute walk to Lighthouse Field State Beach
  • 14-minute walk to Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
  • 4-minute drive to The Nickelodeon Theater
  • 4-minute drive to Del Mar Theater
  • 5-minute drive to Neary Lagoon Park
  • 5-minute drive to San Lorenzo Park Plaza Shopping Center and Cooper Street Plaza Shopping Center
  • 6-minute drive to Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
  • 52-minute drive to Monterey

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175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, California 95060, United States

Room Types

  • Delux King or Queen
  • Executive King or Queen
  • Suites

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