Settle into a local beach vacation rental, and you’ll see why Santa Cruz residents are so cheery. Beach days and waterfront sunsets are daily activities, flip-flops and boardshorts define the dress code, and kitchens and backyard BBQs abound with fresh ingredients from our many farmers markets. Offering more than a place to stay, the following rental homes lend a taste of Santa Cruz’s enviable coastal lifestyle.
Stylish Surf Shack
Perched on coastal bluffs between the surf breaks of Pleasure Point and Capitola Beach, this relaxed oceanfront home redefines the modern surf shack. Have yet to catch your first wave? The chic interiors, picture view windows, and landscaped yard overlooking Monterey Bay will make you want to linger long enough to learn.
Dubbed House 55, this sleek beach retreat feels not too unlike the uber-stylish abodes where James Bond or The Incredibles might hide out for the weekend. Plunked directly on the sands of Pajaro Dunes, the magazine-worthy structure sports mid-century modern furnishings, an interior courtyard with a blazing fire pit, and floor-to-ceiling ocean views throughout.
This attractive home across from the bustling Santa Cruz Harbor oozes luxury yacht vibes. With marble finishes and brass fittings, the shipshape three-story property features a crow’s nest-style master, built-in bunks for the kiddos, and, for those looking to cast a line across the street, a commercial-style fish cleaning station in the two-car garage.
Steps from the Sand
You can’t get any closer to the beach than at this covetable 3-bedroom beach home set within the famous Venetian homes of Capitola Village. While exteriors of the rainbow-colored cottages have become an Instagram fave, the interior of this freshly renovated rental is just as photogenic. Enjoy front-row views of Soquel Creek and Monterey Bay, modern furnishings, and the sands of Capitola Beach immediately out your front door.
While many vacation rentals require a week minimum, this modern 1-bedroom offers a convenient weekend escape for two. Situated directly across from Capitola Beach, this cozy beach home features soothing coastal-inspired interiors, ocean views, and a sunny private deck overlooking bustling Capitola Village.
Leave the tots and teens behind at this seaside bolthole situated along the sandy shores of Pajaro Dunes. Decked with tasteful beach decor, the modern beach condo is outfitted with a sleek kitchen, warming fireplace, and oceanfront vistas from every room.
Steps from the dazzling oceanfront promenade of West Cliff Drive, this 4-bedroom home with oceans views and rooftop deck immerses guests in the Westside’s natural splendor and many hip happenings. Stroll to Natural Bridges State Beach or the many breweries and boutiques surrounding Swift Street Courtyard. Cap the day with a soak in the hot tub and snuggled up around the warming outdoor fireplaces.
Gather the family at this stunning 5-bedroom, 3-story rental situated steps from the sand in the charming beach community of Rio del Mar. Adorned with cheery beach decor, the spacious home features updated interiors with two living rooms overlooking the water, private decks on each floor, and a rooftop deck with sweeping views of the region.
Updated January 2021