Santa Cruz, California
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Santa Cruz, California Day Trips

San Francisco: Monterey and Carmel Tour

1. San Francisco: Monterey and Carmel Tour

Begin your tour by traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1. Head to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. At your first rest stop in Davenport, you will have a chance to take a selfie with the whole Pacific as your backdrop.  At Monterey, you will have 2 hours on your own to explore. You can visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, rent a kayak or paddleboard, hike along the coast, or take a bike to roam. You can also stroll among the quaint boutiques and art shops along the historic Cannery Row. Grab a seafood lunch at Old Fisherman’s Wharf.  Enjoy another eyeful of Pacific beauty along the scenic 17-Mile Drive through Del Monte Forest and take photographs of the hardy Lone Cyprus Tree. This famous road winds its way by magnificent homes and the spectacular coastline, between the greens and tees of world famous golf courses, and among the last remaining forest of a rare species of the Monterey Cypress.  Your scenic drive finishes at Pebble Beach Village. Upon arrival in the enchanted town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, you can explore the boutique shops on Ocean Avenue and be dazzled by the white sandy beach. If there is time, you can visit the historic Carmel Mission. Then, it will be time to head back to San Francisco. 

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Monterey: 24-Hour or 48-hour Motorcycle Rental

2. Monterey: 24-Hour or 48-hour Motorcycle Rental

Rent a motorcycle to explore California’s Big Sur in an unforgettable way. Begin your adventure in the Monterey area after your motorcycle delivery to your local hotel.  Head out on your adventure to explore Cali’s diverse landscapes, whether you choose 24-hour or 48-hour hire. Ride a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400abs, selected for its ease of operation by novices and more experienced riders alike. Appreciate the Pacific Coast as you hit the road, or head inland to explore the canyons and mountainous terrain. Enjoy the freedom to choose what you see. Even meet fellow motorcyclists on the way.

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From Los Gatos: The Corralitos Wine Trail Tour

3. From Los Gatos: The Corralitos Wine Trail Tour

Begin your wine adventure in Los Gatos, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area and the foothills of the stunning Santa Cruz Mountains. Drive down to Santa Cruz’s southern coastal end and experience the beautiful Corralitos Wine Trail. From there, visit 4 wineries and taste different wine varietals from world-renowned vineyards. Explore the local, family run wineries that produce some of the best wines in the region. Along the way, enjoy refreshments in the vehicle to keep you hydrated and fueled up for more wine tasting. Savor a local picnic lunch at a scenic vista at one of the wineries on the tour. Then continue on for more wine tasting, relishing in the company of professional winery staff to serve and pour you their best wines. Finish your wine adventure having learned about the wine making process and having tasted a diverse swathe of wines along the way.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Cruz, California

Want to discover all there is to do in Santa Cruz, California? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santa Cruz, California

Excellent tour, covered all the major spots along California coast from Santa Cruz to Monterey to Carmel by the sea with important stops along the coast with appropriate time to take photos. Our your guide Doug and river Jason were pretty amazing and Doug has a thorough knowledge and passion and he was did an excellent job explaining all the important history on the tour. 17 Mile drive and pebble Beach were pretty amazing and beautiful. In Carmel, if you do not plan to shop, consider walking to the beach, it's a 0.5 mile walk slightly tedious walk (considering all the elevations) from the bus stop but it's worth it. In Monterey, aquarium will always be sold out when you arrive unless you dont book it prior, so 2 he is a little long, but considering it in life's lunch stop too, it totally makes sense. Apart from cannery row, consider taking a walk across lovers point trail in Pacific Grove which is just next to cannery row, it's pretty scenic.

We were pleasantly surprised with how nice everything was for the price. Quality coach bus, well planned tour, knowledgeable driver, beautiful sites. It was absolutely the highlight of our visit to the Bay area. Patrick the driver was amazing!

Very good guide, aquarium was a high lite, asgolfer enjoyed the scenic

We booked with different tour. But ended up with another one Very confusing with out notice to us plus took extra time and travel Fortunately our guide was great and made up for some of it Carmel stop was a waste of time

Excellent tour. Great photo opportunities during the ride. Plenty of time at each stop. The tour guide was very nice and a lot of fun

I have learned a lot about San fransisco and the other towns around. Very interesting.