The combination of tranquil redwood forests and soothing California coastline almost commands that you slow down and smell the clean ocean air, but sometimes we all need a little help to relax and unwind. From massages and facials to sunset strolls on the sand, Santa Cruz offers a variety of therapeutic remedies for the body and soul.


Spread along miles of pristine California coastline, the Pajaro Dunes Resort promises a weekend of calm and serenity. Escape the distractions and stresses of home in a luxurious shoreline vacation rental just steps from the sand. Feel a weight lift off your shoulders as you decide whether to spend the day combing the beach, reading from your ocean-view deck, or exploring the wildlife at Elkhorn Slough. You’ll find yourself slowing down to the pace of nature during your stay at this secluded retreat along the Monterey Bay.


Please, don’t get up. At Seascape Beach Resort you can enjoy breakfast in bed and then receive your choice of relaxing In-Suite Spa Treatments, from a full body massage to a warm shell treatment, in the comfort and privacy of your own room. Let the sounds of the ocean and the warm crackling of the fireplace lull you into the deepest state of relaxation. End your perfect day with a bonfire on the beach (s’mores included) or just stay in and enjoy the sunset from your private ocean-view balcony.


The only oceanfront hotel in the city of Santa Cruz, the Dream Inn offers Monterey Bay sunrises and sunsets from your own private balcony and oceanfront dining at the Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge. Take advantage of a pool and hot tub (and bar) overlooking Cowell Beach and the Santa Cruz Wharf, plus fire pits to keep the crisp ocean breeze at bay. The sounds of the surf reach every retro-chic room and immediately melt the tension away. Fall asleep to the sounds of the surf and greet the day with only one ambition: relax.


Set on 200 quiet acres with breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay, the Chaminade Resort & Spa has everything you need for a full day of pampering and relaxation. Loosen up your muscles with a full body massage and invigorate your skin with a facial or exfoliating body treatment. Enjoy miles of scenic hiking trails through the surrounding forest and a fitness center complete with heated pool, hot tubs, steam room, and sauna. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dine at the The View at Chaminade. Linger over your tasty meal by the warmth of a fire overlooking acres of trees stretching down to the twinkling lights of Santa Cruz and the sparkling blue of the ocean below.


This urban retreat combines modern architecture with the calming aesthetics of the forest for an unexpected experience just across the river from downtown Santa Cruz. The Hotel Paradox has a calming effect as soon as you enter the building, mixing innovative decor with natural elements. A reclaimed eucalyptus tree functions as the front desk and the soothing image of a shady redwood grove decorates the back wall. The rooms are clean and cozy but the real relaxation happens poolside. Sip craft cocktails in a private poolside cabana, nap on luxurious daybeds in between dips in the heated pool, and when the sun starts to set, warm up in the hot tub or claim a couch by the fire pit and relax under the stars.


And for those living locally or not staying at a property with spa-like amenities, book a relaxing and restorative treatment at Yōso Wellness Spa. Located in Downtown Santa Cruz, Yōso Wellness is a green certified business taking a holistic approach with “True Care from Skin to Soul” through facials, massage, acupuncture, oncology esthetics, eco-friendly nail services, lash extensions, waxing, and more! Their friendly and knowledgeable staff takes extreme care in their customers and the treatments and products they offer. And also Downtown, Tea House Spa and Well Within Spa are wonderful options for a spa day! Private hot tub rooms, saunas, and massages are offered at these long-standing retreats in the heart of Santa Cruz.

Updated Fall 2022

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