Travel Blog


Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter

With everything from stylish beach cottages to roomy digs for the extended family, Santa Cruz County vacation rentals are fun to shop. It’s like being on your own episode of “House Hunters.” With a dreamy collection of homes and expert staff who know the region, local rental agencies can help you ID the perfect abode. To help kick-start your search, we’ve rounded up 15 properties that we’d be happy to call our home-away-from-home.

Photo courtesy of Beach House Rentals

Couple’s Retreat

Not all getaways need to involve your Aunt Jackie. For those times when you want to sneak away for a weekend with your bestie or S.O., these places provide a welcome retreat.

  • Situated in a colorful, historic charmer in heart of Capitola Village, this fetching one-bedroom hideaway features clean, modern interiors overlooking the action below. Bonus: Apply the Bed & Breakfast option and have breakfast or lunch delivered to your door by a local eatery.
  • Steps from Rio del Mar beach-and the famed concrete ship S.S. Palo Alto-this recently remodeled one-bedroom features a huge patio perched above the Monterey Bay.
  • Set within blooming gardens a short stroll to Main Beach and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, these cute, vintage beach cottages exude classic beach town vibes-including a suddenly cool-again, original neon sign.

Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter

Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter


Dazzle your family-and your followers-with these easy-on-the-eyes homes with heaps of style.

  • A tropical paradise features a magical garden courtyard brimming with palms, hot tub, fire pit, and plush cabana that feels staged for a West Elm photo shoot.
  • This La Selva Beach stunner dials up the wow factor with three levels of sleek, contemporary furnishings and glimmering ocean views. Which is to say, you’ll fill your phone with pics of the inside and out.
  • Modern surf shack steps from the Pleasure Point’s famed swell sports clean, light-filled interiors with chic, boho furnishings.

Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter

Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter

Nature Escape

Psst, if you haven’t heard, Santa Cruz abounds with natural splendor with 29 miles of coastline backed by lush redwood groves.

  • Embrace outdoor living at this exceptional Seacliff home on an expansive, three-level deck outfitted with daybed, gas fire pit, and inspiring vistas of the lush Borregas Creek Open Space.
  • Steps from the sand, this spacious Aptos property features ocean vistas, palm-lined garden-with hot tub-and outdoor deck enveloped by the coastal surroundings.
  • At this blufftop perch, you can enjoy direct beach access to local surfing fave Santa Maria Beach-if and when you can tear yourself away from the deck with unobstructed ocean vistas.

Photo courtesy of Surf City Rentals

Photo courtesy of Beach House Rentals


When Fido needs a vacation, too, these homes are ready to welcome the furry, four-legged members of your family.

  • At this property one block from Manresa State Beach, you’ll love strolling a wildflower-lined path through beautiful meadows to a private eucalyptus-shaded picnic area. Your pup-who is welcome in the house-will love the two dog houses on the roomy, concrete-surfaced dog run, or scampering about two acres of fully fenced meadowland.
  • The quaint homes that line the Soquel Creek waterfront thoroughfare in Capitola include this pup-friendly condo with shared BBQ area fronting the creek.
  • Grill up mini burgers for Spot at this quintessential beach cottage with two decks that feature dramatic views of Main Beach, the San Lorenzo River, and the thrill rides of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Photo courtesy of Bailey Properties

Family Reunion

Gather the fam for fun new memories in these spacious homes.

  • No need to roshambo for who gets the better room at this beachfront four-bedroom villa-like mansion with two masters each with full bathrooms, as well as huge grand room and professional chef’s kitchen.
  • Check out this five-bedroom beach house in Capitola Village, which sleeps ten lucky guests who will enjoy walking to Capitola Beach before ending the day with a backyard BBQ.
  • Situated next to the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, this roomy Seabright home sleeps ten with scenic hot tub-equipped deck overlooking the bobbing sailboats of Santa Cruz Harbor. Kids will love climbing aboard the three boat-like beds in the shiplap lined bunk room.

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