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Featured Attractions
History
Culture
Nature
Water activities
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
Downtown Santa Cruz
Mission Santa Cruz
Natural Bridges State Park 
Chardonnay II Sailing
Santa Cruz Surf Museum
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 
Santa Cruz Beaches
University of California, Santa Cruz 
The Mystery Spot 
Año Nuevo State Park 
Roaring Camp Railroad
Mount Herman Redwood Canopy Tours
Capitola Village
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
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Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

In addition to fascinating exhibitions, events, and programs focused on contemporary art and local history, the Museum hosts vibrant community events on the first and third Friday evenings of each month as well as seasonal family festivals and educational seminars.

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Downtown Santa Cruz

Ask a hundred different people for their favorite part of downtown Santa Cruz and you’re likely to get a thousand different answers. From the unique and eclectic shops and restaurants to a cutting-edge music scene, family friendly activities and a year-round schedule of events, there’s truly an attraction for everybody and way more than one for most! 

Mission Santa Cruz

Established by Padre Lasuen on September 25, 1791, Mission la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz was the 12th of the 21 California religious outposts. In addition to the beautifully restored adobe church, the adjacent museum showcases a fascinating collection of historic vestments, vessels and candlesticks.

Natural Bridges State Park 

The park, with its iconic natural rock bridge, is ideal for watching shore and ocean birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters cavorting in the shallow waters. At low tide, tide pools are filled with sea stars, crabs, sea anemones, and other ocean life. From mid-October to late January, the park’s canyons and eucalyptus groves draw thousands of beautiful Monarch Butterflies. 

Chardonnay II Sailing

Step aboard the Chardonnay II sailboat for a majestic journey up the Santa Cruz coastline. Charters range from sunset and afternoon tours to champagne cruises, wine tasting tours and more.  

Santa Cruz Surf Museum

Located in the historic Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, the museum celebrates over 100 years of surfing in Santa Cruz. In addition to antique redwood plank surfboards and early edition wetsuits, visitors will enjoy stunning views of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay. 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been the go-to attraction in Santa Cruz for more than 100 years. The Boardwalk is one of the only beachfront amusement parks in the country, and is home to famous rides like the Giant Dipper roller coaster and 1911 Looff Carousel. Join generations of Santa Cruz locals and visitors by creating your own lasting memories of vacation fun at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

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Santa Cruz Beaches

Situated on the Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, California is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the Central Coast. Whether you're interested in surfing, beachcombing, wildlife watching, sunbathing or simply relaxing at the beach, you're sure to discover the perfect Santa Cruz beach to fulfill your pursuits. A number of popular Santa Cruz beaches are located close to the Hotel Paradox.

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University of California, Santa Cruz 

Less than five miles from Hotel Paradox, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus overlooks Monterey Bay from a stunning hilltop location tucked amid towering redwood forests. UCSC is highly lauded for its liberal arts curriculum and is part of the California public university system. Research bodies represented on the UCSC campus include: Institute of Marine Sciences, Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, and the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research.

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The Mystery Spot 

The Mystery Spot is a circular area in the redwood forests where the effects of physics, gravity, perception and height do not appear to behave normally. Discovered in 1939, the area is the subject of much speculation as to the cause of this scientific anomaly, with explanations ranging from extra-terrestrial activity to geological irregularities. Demonstration tours lasting 45 minutes are given throughout the day. There is also a nearby hiking trail and a gift shop.

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Año Nuevo State Park 

Located north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1, Año Nuevo State Park is the world's largest mainland breeding ground for northern elephant seals. While seals can be seen year-round at Año Nuevo, the best time for viewing is during breeding season from mid-December to the end of March. You are required to reserve a guided tour to visit the park during breeding season. Pets, umbrellas and baby strollers are not permitted on the guided tours due to safety concerns.

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Roaring Camp Railroad

With steam engines dating back to the 1890s, the Roaring Camp Railroad offers a fascinating way to step back in time and a spectacular experience in nature. Choose from two exciting routes to travel: the Redwood Forest Steam Train, which heads through redwoods to Bear Mountain, or the Santa Cruz Beach Train to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Come Christmas time, kids won't want to miss the Candy Cane Train!

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Mount Herman Redwood Canopy Tours

Mount Hermon Redwood Canopy Tours offer guided tours through the Redwood Forest using zip lines and bridges at heights of up to 150 feet from the ground. Each tour lasts two hours and includes two suspension bridges and six zip lines. Two certified tour guides lead groups of up to eight visitors through the beautiful coastal redwood forest. During the zip line tour, the guides share the history of the area and their knowledge of the forests. Kids 10 years old and over only.

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Capitola Village

Capitola Village is an upscale historic seaside resort on the coast in Santa Cruz County, just six miles south of Santa Cruz. The quaint resort town offers visitors a wide range of shopping, dining and beach activities. The weather in Capitola is unusually pleasant and it is the oldest beach resort on the Pacific Coast. Check out the Capitola Wharf for beautiful sunset views

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a state park featuring over 18,000 acres of redwood trees, spectacular waterfalls, campsites, and over 80 miles of hiking trails. Established in 1902, it is California's oldest state park. Visitors can hike through lush redwood forest and experience wildlife such as deer, coyote, bobcats, mountain lions and various species of birds. There are four different campgrounds in the park, and a total of 146 campsites.

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Finding my solace in history
Learning about local culture
Connecting with nature
Water Activites

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Engage Your Sense of Discovery

Located in the heart of Santa Cruz, Hotel Paradox offers a gateway to a diverse range of interests, activities and experiences. Our team of locals has their fingers on the neighborhood pulse, and we’re happy to share some of our favorites, from the usual guidebook highlights to the true insider spots. Come escape the ordinary and embrace adventure!

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