Hosting an event in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz offers a vibrant and unique atmosphere for hosting a corporate event. With its laid-back beach town vibe, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, it sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. The city is known for its iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a historic amusement park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Popular neighborhoods like Downtown, Westside, and Seabright offer a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and Cocoanut Grove are large venues that can accommodate corporate gatherings. The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds also offer ample space for events. Located in the heart of downtown, the Santa Cruz Conference Center is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and event venues, making it convenient and accessible for attendees.

Explore venues in Santa Cruz

City guide to Santa Cruz

What is the timezone in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz is in the Pacific Time Zone (PT).

What is the best time of year to visit Santa Cruz?

The best time of year to plan an event in Santa Cruz is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for outdoor activities such as beach parties, picnics, and team building exercises. Additionally, many of the local attractions, such as the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the many state parks and beaches, are in full swing during this time and offer a wide range of options for attendees to explore. However, it is important to note that this is also peak tourist season, so it may be more difficult and expensive to secure accommodations and venues.

What are the best ways of getting around in Santa Cruz?

The best way to get around Santa Cruz would depend on what you are looking to do. If you are arriving by air, the most convenient way to get to the city center is by taking a taxi or renting a car. Public transportation options include the Santa Cruz Metro bus system and the Santa Cruz trolley, which runs along the beachfront and downtown areas. During peak times, traffic delays can be expected, especially on Highway 1 and in the downtown area. However, if you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time, you should be able to navigate the city with ease.

What are some notable landmarks in Santa Cruz?

  1. Beach Boardwalk
    Experience the fun and excitement of the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy thrilling rides, classic carnival games, and delicious fair food. Don't forget to take a stroll on the sandy beach and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.

  2. Mystery Spot
    Step into the fascinating world of gravity-defying illusions at the Mystery Spot. Witness mind-boggling phenomena such as water flowing uphill and people standing at impossible angles. This unique attraction is sure to amaze and confuse even the most skeptical of visitors.

  3. Santa Cruz Wharf
    Explore the historic Santa Cruz Wharf, the longest wooden pier on the West Coast. Enjoy panoramic views of the coastline, visit charming shops and restaurants, and even try your hand at fishing. Don't miss the chance to spot sea lions and other marine life from this picturesque spot.

  4. Natural Bridges State Beach
    Discover the breathtaking beauty of Natural Bridges State Beach. Marvel at the natural rock formations that create picturesque arches along the shoreline. Take a leisurely walk on the sandy beach or explore the tide pools teeming with fascinating marine life.

How is the seasonal weather in Santa Cruz?

The weather in Santa Cruz varies throughout the year. In spring, expect mild temperatures and occasional showers. Summer brings warm and sunny days, ideal for outdoor events. Fall is generally pleasant with cooler temperatures. Winter can be cooler and occasionally rainy. Consider these factors when planning corporate events in Santa Cruz.

What are significant annual events in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz is a vibrant city that hosts a variety of annual cultural events and business conferences. From the lively Santa Cruz Music Festival and the inspiring Santa Cruz Film Festival to the prestigious Santa Cruz Business Expo, there is something for every corporate event planner. These events provide excellent opportunities for networking, showcasing new products, and gaining insights from industry leaders. Santa Cruz is the perfect destination to combine business and pleasure.

Event Inspiration


Discover neighborhoods in Santa Cruz

Westside Santa Cruz

The Westside Santa Cruz neighborhood in Santa Cruz is a vibrant and historic area that offers a delightful mix of coastal charm and urban energy. Steeped in history, this neighborhood was once home to the lumber industry and boasts many well-preserved Victorian houses. Today, it is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, with a laid-back and friendly vibe. With its stunning ocean views, West Cliff Drive is a must-see landmark, perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. The neighborhood is also known for its excellent dining options, such as the renowned Lillian's Italian Kitchen and the cozy Bantam Restaurant. Regular events like the Westside Farmers Market add to the local flair, offering fresh produce and artisanal goods. Explore the area's unique attributes, such as the iconic Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and the vibrant Pacific Garden Mall.

VENUES in Westside Santa Cruz


Located in Santa Cruz, California, the Seabright neighborhood offers a vibrant mix of history, charm, and excitement. With its roots tracing back to the mid-1800s, this neighborhood boasts a unique coastal atmosphere that event planners will appreciate. Seabright is home to several distinctive landmarks, such as the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Museum of Art and History. It also hosts regular events like the Seabright State Beach bonfires and the popular Seabright Brewery Fest. With a wide array of quirky shops, local restaurants like the Seabright Social and Brady's Yacht Club, and a lively community, Seabright is the ideal destination for corporate events.

VENUES in Seabright


The Eastside neighborhood of Santa Cruz boasts a vibrant history, eclectic vibe, and an array of unique attributes. Known for its artistic culture, this neighborhood is home to the iconic Tannery Arts Center, an expansive creative hub hosting various galleries, exhibitions, and performances. Visitors can soak in the bohemian atmosphere while exploring the diverse range of boutiques, cafes, and eateries along Soquel Avenue. Regular events like the Eastside Art Walk showcase local talent, while the vibrant Live Oak Farmers Market offers a delightful culinary experience. Embrace the creative energy of the Eastside for your next corporate event!

VENUES in Eastside


Capitola, a charming neighborhood in Santa Cruz, is a perfect blend of history and vibrancy. Steeped in a rich past, this coastal gem offers a laid-back yet lively atmosphere. Stroll along Capitola Village, where colorful Mediterranean-style buildings house unique boutiques and galleries like Capitola Mercantile and Village Mouse Boutique. The historic Capitola Venetian Hotel, perched along the beach, is a landmark of the area. Experience regular events like the Capitola Art & Wine Festival, where local businesses such as Capitola Wine Bar and Shadowbrook Restaurant showcase their finest offerings. With stunning views and a friendly community, Capitola is a truly unique destination.

VENUES in Capitola

Live Oak

The Live Oak neighborhood of Santa Cruz is a vibrant and eclectic community that offers a perfect blend of history, nature, and entertainment. With its roots dating back to the 1800s, Live Oak has transformed into a bustling neighborhood with a laid-back beach vibe. Landmarks like Pleasure Point Park and the Santa Cruz Harbor are must-see attractions, while regular events like the Live Oak Art & Wine Festival and the weekly Sunday farmers market offer a taste of local culture. Unique attributes include the iconic surf breaks at Pleasure Point and the renowned Penny Ice Creamery, making Live Oak an ideal destination for corporate events and team-building activities.

VENUES in Live Oak

Explore vendors in Santa Cruz

FAQs when planning an event in Santa Cruz

What type of corporate team building events are popular in Santa Cruz?

Some popular corporate team-building events in Santa Cruz include beach clean-up initiatives, group surf lessons, and kayaking adventures. Companies can also participate in a team-building ropes course at Mount Hermon. Another unique option is taking a group hike through the redwood forests in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Additionally, companies can participate in cooking classes at local restaurants or wineries. Santa Cruz offers a variety of outdoor and indoor team-building options that emphasize teamwork and cooperation.

What type of cuisine should I expect in Santa Cruz?

In Santa Cruz, a business traveler can expect a diverse culinary scene that reflects the city's vibrant coastal culture. From fresh seafood and farm-to-table dining experiences to international flavors and fusion cuisine, Santa Cruz offers an enticing mix of options. Be sure to savor the local specialties such as seafood tacos, artisanal pizzas, and organic vegetarian dishes that showcase the region's emphasis on sustainability and freshness.

What attractions and activities are available for corporate event attendees in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz offers a wide range of attractions and activities for corporate event attendees. They can explore the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, enjoy outdoor adventures like hiking in the redwoods or surfing at the famous Steamer Lane, or unwind with a wine tasting experience at the local wineries. Additionally, they can indulge in fresh seafood at the Santa Cruz Wharf or take a scenic coastal drive along the Pacific Coast Highway.