Downtown Active Listings

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Downtown Santa Cruz

Downtown Santa Cruz has just about every type of local entertainment you could ask for. You can pick from tons of places to eat, multiple concert and entertainment venues, or take stroll down Pacific Avenue for shopping or just people watching. A good cup of coffee is easy to find at one of the many cafes, and you can catch a movie at one of the theaters.

There’s entertainment at every turn, from live musical performances at Kuumbwa and The Catalyst, not to mention local sports at Kaiser Permanente Arena, including our own pro basketball team, the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium also hosts events, concerts, and local high school sports, as well as being home to the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. There’s a terrific farmers market held every Wednesday at Cedar St. and Lincoln St. that features plenty of vendors as well as prepared food for sale.

Downtown Santa Cruz Attractions

pacific garden mall

Pacific Garden Mall

Pacific Avenue commonly referred to as the Pacific Garden Mall is the heart of Downtown Santa Cruz. Home to unique restaurants, locally owned stores, hip bars, the Catalyst, the Museum of Art and History and movie theaters it is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

You can’t talk about the attractions of downtown Santa Cruz without mention the Beach Boardwalk, our own seaside amusement park. Aside from the rides and carnival snack foods, there’s also an arcade, miniature golf, and a free summer concert series. The Boardwalk is home to two rides that have the designation of being a National Historic Landmark, the Giant Dipper and the Looff Carousel. The Giant Dipper is one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world that’s still in operation, having been first built in 1924. The Looff Carousel is an old fashioned merry-go-round which first opened in 1911.

santa cruz beach boardwalk
santa cruz wharf

Santa Cruz Wharf

Neighboring the Boardwalk is the Santa Cruz Wharf with plenty of entertainment and restaurants in its own right. You can enjoy anything from fine dining to kayak and boat rentals, or just take a walk to the end of the wharf and visit the sea lions.

Downtown Santa Cruz Events

first friday santa cruz

First Friday

First Friday is a community event that takes place throughout the county on the first Friday of each month. The events are spread out over different businesses in each part of town with the Museum of Art & History at the center of the downtown First Friday scene. All the events are free and typically center around some form of art or interesting creative endeavor, often with food and drinks available. It’s one of the signature recurring events in downtown Santa Cruz and the MAH may be the best venue in the county to enjoy the festivities.

Events, Fairs, Festivals

Though there are events throughout the county, downtown Santa Cruz is definitely the hub for local events. Many of the favorite local events repeat annually, bringing people to the downtown area from all over the county.

woodies on the wharf - santa cruz

Downtown Neighborhood Map

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