Nestled around Santa Cruz County are a variety of seaside towns to visit: filled with delicious eateries, handcrafted drinks, and spectacular scenery, each of these places embodies the unique flare of the community that calls that neighborhood home. Perched on the bluffs overlooking beautiful Monterey Bay is the charming neighborhood of Seacliff, a down-to-earth slice of local Santa Cruz County living. With its historic state beach that has sweeping views of the bay and the delightfully small-town feel of its main street, Seacliff is just the spot to soak in the beachside bliss!
Spectacular, expansive vistas of the shimmering sea await at Seacliff State Beach. Stroll along the mile-long stretch of sandy shoreline, where shaded picnic areas and a paved promenade make this a great spot for beachfront relaxation. A notable feature of Seacliff Beach is the historic SS Palo Alto: a historic concrete tanker built during WWI. Now dubbed “The Cement Ship,” this unique piece of Aptos history has now become a local icon, as well as a marine haven for sea life and migratory birds. From atop the bluffs, stop to take in unparalleled views of the Cement Ship and the vast blue waters of Monterey Bay stretching to the horizon. Sunset chasers, rejoice: Seacliff provides an exceptional viewpoint to watch the sun go down and paint the sky with vibrant color!
Eats + Sweets
Greeting you as you enter Seacliff is the Sno-White Drive-In, a Seacliff mainstay that has been serving up old-fashioned diner classics since the 1950s. With every order of hamburger and french fries, Sno-White is dishing up a trip down memory lane. Don’t miss out on dessert: their vanilla-chocolate-swirl soft-serve cone is a must-have. This nostalgic sweet treat has been on the Sno-White menu since the beginning of it all!
The vibrant red cottage across the street is home to a true Santa Cruz icon: Marianne’s Ice Cream. Churned in nearby Santa Cruz, Marianne’s hand-crafted ice cream and novelties are a must-try! The delightful smell of waffle cones and ice cream wafts from its doors, drawing you inside to discover the 105 flavors that have kept this local institution satisfying sweet tooths since 1947! Have a taste of Marianne’s signature flavor – 1020 – this decadent caramel ice cream is robed in a fudge swirl and stuffed with Oreo cookies. No matter which flavor you choose, each delectable scoop at Marianne’s will leave you eagerly anticipating your next visit!
For those looking for something more savory, there are a variety of local eateries to explore in the heart of Seacliff. For a casual bite, grab your morning cup of joe and breakfast or a midday sandwich from Castelli’s Café & Deli to take along for a beachside picnic. Snag a slice at Pizza 1, powered by local favorite Pizza My Heart, which has a variety of pies named after regional spots, like the Watsonville Apple and the Manresa. A local family-run institution is Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant, where you can enjoy freshly made traditional Mexican fare in a welcoming, vibrant setting.
Situated in the heart of Aptos is the boutique hotel, Seacliff Inn, a coastal-cool haven where visitors can relax after a full day of exploring. Retreat to your room, where a plush bed and luxurious amenities await! Unwind as you take in the garden views from your room’s patio, luxuriate in the 300-threadcount sheets, take a dip in the pool, which is heated year-round, and hop into the hot tub for a satisfying soak. Pro tip: You can order food and drinks to be delivered poolside from the on-site restaurant and bar, Sevy’s.
Discover the locally-sourced, contemporary California menu at Sevy’s Bar + Kitchen. From breakfast to late night eats, there’s something to please every palate! A must-have are the Sevy’s Fritters: these fried beignet croissant-donuts, covered in cinnamon sugar and served with a side of melted chocolate, are a truly decadent treat. Take a seat on Sevy’s outdoor patio overlooking the koi pond for a serene meal, or head inside to the mural-adorned dining room for a lively evening. Grab a craft cocktail and enjoy the energy of the restaurant’s nightlife, especially during the weekends, when bands take to the stage to perform for the crowd!
With its sweet treats, cozy accommodations, and stretching shoreline, you won’t want to miss the beachside bliss of Seacliff!