Travel Blog

April 10, 2018

Spring to: the Dream Inn Santa Cruz

All Photos by Garrick Ramirez

Since the surf-crazed 1960s, the Dream Inn hotel has delighted visitors with its beachfront setting and immediate proximity to iconic local attractions such as the Santa Cruz Wharf and Beach Boardwalk-both clearly visible from each of the property’s guest rooms. Now, the sunny property welcomes guests with a spiffy new renovation of its 165 rooms, pool deck, and lobby. Enter our spring vacation giveaway, and you can experience it for yourself with a free two-night stay at the Dream Inn!


Every inch of the Dream Inn-from guest rooms to pool deck to restaurant and lounge-is geared to maximize its spectacular waterfront vistas. If there’s a ho-hum view somewhere on the property, we have yet to see it (we can’t swear to this, but we suspect even the janitorial closet rocks a killer view). Now, thanks to a recent $8 million refresh, the interiors are just as easy on the eyes. The property’s cheery, retro-mod motif got a stylish upgrade with new guest rooms that feature modern furnishings, surfboard-inspired tables, and Instagram-worthy geometric wallpaper. Downstairs, a new lounge-like lobby is bedecked with surfboards, a vintage juke, and a mobile coffee cart brewing up espresso drinks from local fave, Verve Coffee Roasters.


The Dream Inn’s remodel also included a refresh of the waterfront pool deck with additional seating, fire pits, and a modern surf shack-like pool bar. Throughout spring break and summer 2018, the popular pool deck transforms into a non-stop pool party. Nab some tacos from the street taco bar (daily, 12-4pm), get inked by an airbrush tattoo artist (Fridays, 1:30pm-3pm), and customize a mimosa to sip while enjoying front row views of the mellow waves and frolicking kids at Cowell Beach (Saturday & Sunday, 10am-12pm). Note: activities are scheduled from March 19 – April 8, 2018 and will resume on June 1, 2018.


The Dream Inn will also help you take the party on the road. New for 2018, the hotel’s lobby is the departure point for a new weekend brewery tour from our pals at Brew Cruz. For $45 a person, you can get a taste of Santa Cruz’s vibrant craft brew scene via a gleaming 1964 split-window VW bus (note the clock which is always set to 5 o’clock). After touring four local breweries, you’ll be welcomed back to the Dream Inn with happy hour prices at the Jack O’Neill Lounge.


The Let’s Cruz Customizable Vacation Getaway is in full swing this spring! Enter to win a Grand Prize of a two-night stay at the beachfront Dream Inn Santa Cruz, four tickets to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, four passes to Roaring Camp Railroads, plus four additional activities chosen from a list of uniquely Santa Cruz activities, including kayaking, beer or wine tasting, zip-lining through the redwoods, spa treatments, e-bike rental, and more!

The contest began March 1, 2018 and runs through May 31, 2018. You can enter here! In addition to the Grand Prize, there’ll also be additional Boardwalk and Roaring Camp ticket giveaways, plus a few mini vacation contests on the Visit Santa Cruz Facebook page, some of which include overnight stays at other properties-so be sure to follow!