Welcome Families!

We are excited to have you visit our community of Santa Cruz, California. There are many fun and rewarding destinations for your family vacation. We’ve shared our favorites below.

But please consider visiting the Shrine of St. Joseph on your visit! We are very close to popular spots in Santa Cruz.  Join us for daily Mass or Confession, explore our gardens, or sit down and enjoy coffee in treats at Shrine Coffee.  Plus we have easy parking, and bike racks.

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Santa Cruz Wharf

The Warf is a great destination to have a dinner date night with your spouse, grab an ice cream treat after a long beach day with your family, or even renting a boat for a day spent at sea! You can even say hi to the sea lions at the very end of the Wharf!

Visit the Santa Cruz Warf!

Beach Boardwalk

There is a multitude of activities that you can do at the Beach Boardwalk! There are rollercoasters, arcade games, mini-golf, and so much more all while you hear the calming waves of the ocean and feel the cool ocean breeze!

Visit the Beach Boardwalk!

Sky Glider

To access the sky glider, you have to be inside the Beach Boardwalk. It runs along the outskirts of the Beach Boardwalk and along the beginnings of the sandy beach! You get to see the overview of the wonderful Santa Cruz!

Surfer Statue

This is an iconic statue in Santa Cruz. It’s a statue “To Honor Surfing” to honor all the surfers of the past, present, and future. So, go ahead and take a picture with that awesome surfer!

Visit the Surfer Statue!

Surfing Museum

Learn about the history of surfing when you visit the Surfing Museum along the coast! You may spot many different types of surfboards throughout the museum!

Visit the Surfing Museum!

Natural Bridges State Beach

This is a California State Park. You can see the natural bridge shape that was cause by by rushing waves hitting up against the rock over time. If you visit during low tide, you will see some tidepools with sea stars, shore crabs, and sea anemones! I wonder what you could find when you visit!

Visit the Natural Bridges State Beach!

Walton Lighthouse

The Walton Lighthouse is built upon a man-made jetty (Those stack of rocks that slowly go to the ocean). It’s a beautiful place to feel the ocean breeze on your face, listen to the waves crash and if you visit in the evening, watch the colors in the sky change as the sun goes down.

Visit the Walton Lighthouse!

Neary Lagoon Park

If you are looking for a scenic walk during your visit to Santa Cruz, then this is the place for you! The Neary Lagoon is a Wildlife Refuge for multiple animals. They also have a pollinator garden, two playgrounds, greenbelt trails, BBQ pits and so many other fun activities to explore!

Visit the Neary Lagoon Park!

Seymour Marine Discovery Center

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is a place both adults and children will enjoy! Enjoy looking at our multiple aquariums exhibits! There are also some hands on exhibits where you can interact with the animals! You may even be able to touch a shark!

Visit the Seymour Marine Discovery Center!

Museum of Natural History

At the Museum of Natural History, there are many hands-on exhibits you can explore! You can learn about the Native Californias, the natural wildlife in the area, geology and fossils of Santa Cruz! There is also an indoor tidepool where you can have hands-on discovery!

Visit the Museum of Natural History!

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

At the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, they have lots of learning displays on sea life, a film, and interactive exhibits for hands-on learning! Learn how the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center is helping to keep the ocean a clean and beautiful place!

Visit the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center!

Visit the Catholic Missions of Central California

If you find yourself in Santa Cruz, you must venture out on a pilgrimage through all of the closest Spanish Missions! We are blessed that our Shrine of St. Joseph is so near to a handful of missions. Although the Shrine of St. Joseph isn’t a mission, we highly recommend that you make us one of your stops along your pilgrimage.

Visit Other Catholic Destination