Hotels + Resorts with Amazing Ocean Views

Never lose sight of the shore by staying at these spectacularly located hotels and resorts with ocean views in Santa Cruz County! Spend your days at the beach, grab a bite at one of these scenic eateries, and rest your head at one of Santa Cruz County’s waterfront accommodations. Situated along the coastal Monterey Bay, we’ve gathered the best options for a place to stay with breathtaking views of the sand and shore! 

175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz 

Every room at Dream Inn has an ocean view | Photo courtesy of Dream Inn Santa Cruz

In the center of all the beachfront action sits The Dream Inn, a landmark hotel that is prominently situated overlooking Cowell Beach. Providing front-row views of the Santa Cruz Wharf and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, each of the Dream Inn’s 165 rooms look out over the ocean. Head to the hotel’s Jack O’Neill Restaurant for dinner and drinks in a place that embodies the spirit of surf culture in Santa Cruz while boasting amazing seascape views. As the sun sets on your beachside Santa Cruz day, you can drift off to the gentle sound of the waves just by opening up the door to your balcony. With its beachfront pool deck just steps from the shore and bright retro-chic beach interiors that make a splash of their own, you’re sure to have fun in the sun at the Dream Inn!  

1500 Wharf Rd, Capitola 

Iconic rainbow-hued cottages of Capitola Venetian Hotel | Photo by Caryn Hewlett

The charming, rainbow-hued cottages of the Capitola Venetian Hotel place you right on the sands of Capitola Beach, for a true oceanfront experience! The iconic boutique hotel evokes the feel of an Italian vacation while situated as close as you can get to the California coast without actually being in the water. Stroll along the vibrantly-hued lane between the cottages as you make your way to an ocean-view room, where you’ll discover creature comforts such as luxurious beds and in-cottage kitchens. Some cottages boast a warm fireplace to curl up by as you look out to the bay. Stroll along the bridge to the quaint Capitola Village, which is speckled with colorful shops and restaurants that capture the essence of beach town living. The Capitola Venetian’s Mediterranean-style beachfront cottages create a swoon-worthy destination for your next coastal escape!

1 Seascape Resort Dr, Aptos 

Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos | Photo by Jenn Day

Stepping into Seascape Beach Resort feels like walking into a vacation. The secluded property welcomes guests with stunning vistas of the Monterey Bay while providing full-service resort amenities, like three pools heated year-round and a nearby golf course. Seascape’s luxurious suites and beachfront villas, each with its own fireplace and private deck featuring seaside views, are perched along the dramatically scenic coastal bluffs. Indulge in an award-winning meal at Sanderling’s, where the cuisine is amplified by the views at one of the most scenic patios in town. For a relaxing retreat, take advantage of Seascape’s in-suite spa services. You’ll be rejuvenated and ready to zip around the resort by golf cart, which will shuttle you and your family down to the sandy beach, where you can end the day with a beach bonfire complete with s’mores!

105 Shell Rd, Watsonville 

Pajaro Dunes Resort views | Photo by Jenn Day

Positioned along the sea grass-covered dunes covering a stunning expanse of coastline in southern Santa Cruz County, Pajaro Dunes Resort’s 120 coastal vacation rentals provide a tranquil coastal retreat. Just steps from the ocean, Pajaro Dunes offers accommodations that range from 2-4 bedroom condominiums to expansive 3-story beach houses, perfect for families and groups looking for a seaside escape. The beachside homes are equipped with fireplaces, outdoor decks, and full kitchens. With a host of onsite activities, such as walking along the expansive shoreline, playing beach volleyball, and enjoying a game at the tennis and basketball courts, many guests find that the oceanfront property provides enough to fill their days. Those looking to discover more of what the community has to offer can venture out to the countryside of Corralitos or grab a bite at the buzzworthy Watsonville Hangar before heading back for Pajaro’s most popular beach activity: s’mores!

201 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz 

The Sea & Sand Inn’s deck overlooks Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz Wharf and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk | Photo by Caryn Hewlett

Perched on the cliffs above Santa Cruz’s Cowell Beach, the picturesque Sea & Sand Inn sports an ocean view from every room. Settle into one of the Sea & Sand’s spacious-yet-cozy accommodations, each decked out with a fireplace, with options to splurge for luxurious amenities like soaking tubs and private decks with hot tubs. Enjoy complimentary refreshments, such as wine and cheese in the early evening, on the hotel’s waterfront deck. Sip and nibble on the offerings while taking in the views from this serene spot! The Sea & Sand’s central location on West Cliff Drive places you in a prime location for exploring: head to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the historic wharf for a classic Santa Cruz beach day, try a buzzworthy bite on the Westside, or discover more of what makes Santa Cruz such an awe-inspiring place to visit!

125 Beach St, Santa Cruz 

Beach Street Inn & Suites Boardwalk oceanfront views | Photo by Garrick Ramirez

Just steps from the sand, the Beach Street Inn & Suites supplies knock-out views of the ocean at all hours of the day. Nestled directly across the street from Main Beach, the property is just a candy apple’s throw from both the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Santa Cruz Wharf. This cozy coastal-style inn provides a quintessential beach town experience, where you can grill to your heart’s content on the BBQ-lined deck before taking a dip in the year-round heated pool, all while soaking in views of the sand and waves. Pop downstairs to snag some delectable local fare from The Picnic Basket, an onsite artisanal eatery. For a real beachside treat, splurge on an Oceanview Suite, where you can relax on your massive sun deck as you gaze at the sparkling blue waters of Monterey Bay.

5000 Cliff Drive, Capitola 

Capitola Beach Suites mermaid mural | Photo by Caryn Hewlett

Ideally located in a seaside village, every one of the Capitola Beach Suites’ terraced rooms provides spectacular ocean views! A magnificent, multi-level mural of a mermaid welcomes you to this boutique hotel: a cozy, tranquil retreat by the shore. Each suite comes decked out with quaint coastal cottage decor, fully-equipped kitchens, spacious seating areas, and an ocean view, making this your beach home away from home. Just beyond your door awaits Hooper Beach and Capitola Beach, where you can lounge along the sandy shore before strolling along the charming Esplanade of Capitola Village. Check out some of the local shops and restaurants, many of which have oceanfront views of their own. When the day is through, settle into the Capitola Beach Suites’ rooftop terrace, which is the perfect spot to kick back, relax, and enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the bay waters! 

401 Johans Beach Dr, Santa Cruz 

Ocean Echo Inn is just steps from Sunny Cove Beach | Photo by Garrick Ramirez

Live like a local at Ocean Echo, a Santa Cruz hidden gem that’s tucked away on a side street overlooking gorgeous Sunny Cove Beach. This former ranch is now a charming series of guest rooms and cottages, with a large shared deck, shaded picnic tables, and BBQ grills. Swoon over their top-floor room, which offers a large private balcony and an Instagram-worthy view of the cove’s crashing waves. The Inn is an ideal spot for families — and their pooches — since most multi-room suites and cottages include kitchens and BBQs. The property is within walking distance to a number of eateries as well as the festive Live Oak Farmers’ Market. A cool perk to staying here: you can arrange to be picked up in a vintage 1950 Dodge taxi to be whisked off for a romantic evening at Shadowbrook Restaurant.

620 El Salto Dr, Capitola 

Monarch Cove Inn’s bay views | Photo by Caryn Hewlett

Nestled on a coastal bluff overlooking Monterey Bay, this tranquil bed-and-breakfast established in a Victorian-era mansion is sure to delight! The Monarch Cove Inn is home to cliffside gardens, panoramic vistas, and a Monarch butterfly sanctuary, tucked away in a protected eucalyptus grove. Built in 1895, the historic estate greets guests with vintage charm paired with modern amenities, as well as daily breakfast delivered to your door. Take advantage of your location on Depot Hill and walk along the scenic bayfront trail that leads you to nearby New Brighton Beach. While this peaceful hideaway feels secluded, you’re only a ten-minute walk to the lively and bustling Capitola Village!

MAREA SOL (Opening soon: mid-late spring 2023)
301 Beach St, Santa Cruz 

Situated mere steps from the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and sandy shores beyond is the Marea Sol, a Spanish-style resort with incomparable ocean views! Marea Sol’s distinctive exterior, with its whitewashed walls and terracotta tile rooftop, welcome you to the classic-meets-modern boutique hotel. The sleek and spacious interiors create an atmosphere that feels luxurious, yet still California casual. Head up to the rooftop deck for a 360° vantage point, where you can check out sweeping vistas that include iconic Santa Cruz landmarks, the redwood-lined Santa Cruz Mountains, and the magnificent Monterey Bay!