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Looking for an Airbnb in Santa Cruz? These spots make for epic vacation homes, whether you’re headed to this beach town for a short or long trip.

These lovely vacation houses cater to all budgets and are spread between downtown and the Redwoods, allowing you to wander to the beach, explore the city or soak up the natural beauty of Northern California.

No matter what you’re headed to Santa Cruz for, these Airbnbs, VRBO and vacation rentals are a welcome treat to make the most of your stay in this sunny paradise. 

Editor’s Note: Please note that Airbnb recently made changes to their program so in this article, we are including links to other options like VRBO or Booking.com which have much lower booking fees.

Quick Answer: Best Airbnb in Santa Cruz, California

Our PicksAirbnbBook Here
Best Overall Vacation Home in Santa CruzCozy Home Close to Beach | Entire Home (2BR, 2B)
santa cruz VRBO
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Best Budget Vacation Home in Santa CruzCozy and Private Beach Bungalow | Entire Home (1BR, 1B)
santa cruz VRBO
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Best Luxury Vacation Home in Santa CruzFabulous Family Home | Entire Home (3BR, 3B)
santa cruz VRBO
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Best Vacation Home in Santa Cruz for CouplesCharming and Colorful Cabin | Entire Home (1BR, 1B)
santa cruz vrbo
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Best Vacation Home in Santa Cruz for GroupsHarborview Deck Steps to Seabright Beach | Entire Home (4BR, 4B)
santa cruz harbor view vrbo
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14 Best Airbnbs, Vacation Homes, & VRBO in Santa Cruz

To make your hunt easier, we’ve taken the time to round up the 14 best Airbnbs, VRBO and vacation homes in Santa Cruz for a relaxing getaway. 

Cozy and Private Beach Bungalow

santa cruz VRBO

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (1BR, 1B)

Location: Twin Lakes

Price: $

If you’re headed to Santa Cruz to surf, it hardly gets better than this sweet guest house. It’s tucked away in Twin Lakes, but just a quick walk to the beach, harbor, and parks. 

This awesome space has a little lounge, arm chair next to a wood stove, dining area and a full kitchen. The bedroom has a charming beach theme to really get you in the Santa Cruz spirit. 

But the best part of this vacation home is all the outdoor space. There’s a place to eat under the shade of an umbrella, a hammock to kick back in, and a hot tub that makes this the ultimate vacation pad.

Why We Love It: Lovely beach house with a hot tub. 

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Glamping in an Airstream

Glamping in an Airstream

Images courtesy of Airbnb

Quick Info

Type: Campervan (1BR, 1B)

Location: Across from DeLaveaga Park

Superhost: Yes

Price: $

Looking for a one of a kind Airbnb in Santa Cruz? This Airstream is a special way to enjoy some peace and quiet without being too far from the city. During this stay, you’ll feel as if you’re in the middle of the forest while only being a ten minute drive from Downtown. 

This Airstream definitely has an upscale vibe to it with wooden interiors, a comfortable bed and even a little lounge area. If you feel like cooking, the caravan has all you’ll need to whip up meals, and even two smart TVs, WiFi and a small heater to top things off.

You’ll be delighted to know that this Santa Cruz Airbnb has an indoor bathroom (complete with a hot shower), tons of windows and a private outdoor area with furniture and a grill. 

Why We Love It: High end Airstream with luxury amenities. 

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Cozy Home Close to Beach 

santa cruz VRBO

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (2BR, 2B)

Location: Near Ocean View Park

Price: $

Conveniently located between downtown and the Seabright Neighborhood, this vacation rental in Santa Cruz is within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in the city, along with the beach, harbor, and all of the sights.

This bright stay is perfect for a quiet getaway, with warm wooden floors, lots of lounge furniture, and heaps of natural light. The airy living room is great for curling up with a good book and the fully stocked kitchen makes cooking a breeze. When it comes time to eat, take your pick between the indoor dining table or the furnished patio.

The two sea-themed bedrooms are an ideal place to rest your head after a long day of exploring and spa-like bathrooms are a lovely finish to this charming stay.

Why We Love It: Bright vacation rental with a homey feel to it.

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Read More: Biking Santa Cruz: Your Ultimate Guide

Beautiful and Peaceful Retreat in the Redwoods

santa cruz vacation home

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (1BR, 1B)

Location: Next to West Glenwood Preserve

Price: $

This modern barn stay in Santa Cruz is a cushy place for a relaxing getaway. It’s in the Redwoods area of the city, only a 15 minute drive to the ocean. If you feel like getting some exercise, this vacation rental is surrounded by hiking trails, so take your pick!

Alluring and inviting, this VRBO in Santa Cruz has all the comforts of home. There’s a spacious living room with two couches and a kitchenette with a dining table. At the end of the day, the ultra comfy bed will be screaming “flop into me”, so prepare yourself for a good night’s rest. 

When you’re ready to enjoy the glorious California weather, sit outside by the fire pit or sip a glass of wine under the sky-high trees.

Why We Love It: Sunny guest house near hiking trails with a large backyard.

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Soquel Glamping Nestled in the Woods

Soquel Glamping Nestled in the Woods

Images courtesy of Airbnb

Quick Info

Type: Safari Tent (1BR, 1B)

Location: Soquel

Superhost: Yes

Price: $

If you’re hoping to enjoy some good old California wilderness, this Airbnb near Santa Cruz offers a wooded glamping experience in close proximity to the city and beaches. 

You’ll be able to sleep under the stars in this high end safari tent without sacrificing the comforts of home. Instead of sleeping bags on the ground, here you get a super plush bed and armchair, along with practical furniture and fun decor to round out space. 

Also included is your own outhouse, along with a fire pit for s’mores, a BBQ grill, and a top notch deck area for soaking in the view. 

Why We Love It: Glamping near the city with plenty of amenities.

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Seabright Serenity

santa cruz vacation rental

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (2BR, 1B)

Location: Murray Street in Seabright

Price: $$

A luxe beach themed getaway, this VRBO in Santa Cruz is great for surfers and city goers alike. It’s located a couple blocks from the beach and is surrounded by plenty of eating and drinking options. 

The home is posh yet comfortable, with a large, bright living room, well appointed kitchen and tasteful decor throughout the space.

The master bedroom has a queen size bed and the Jack and Jill bathroom leads to the second bedroom with two twin beds. 

Outside you’ll find a sitting area, that is, if you can ever pull yourself away from this heavenly space!

Why We Love It: Upscale beach house with an amazing location.

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Romantic Retreat

santa cruz VRBO

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (1BR, 1B)

Location: Pleasure Point

Price: $$

Sitting a block form the ocean in Pleasure Point, this Santa Cruz vacation home is an exceptional spot for a romantic getaway. Not only is it set in one of the most picturesque parts of the city, but this VRBO has unmatched amenities for the trip of a lifetime.

The space has a sweet little main room with a rocking chair, work desk and small dining table. On this level, you’ll also find a very well equipped kitchen and full bathroom. Climb the stairs to the lofted bedroom which is full of skylights for stargazing in bed.

In between hanging at the beach and exploring town, be sure to make use of the backyard which has a hammock and cedar wood hot tub for the ultimate relaxing vacation. 

Why We Love It: Cozy little home with a lofted bedroom and luxury outdoor area. 

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Surfview Chalet

santa cruz VRBO

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (2BR, 2B)

Location: Moran Lake Beach

Price: $$

For a light and bright stay near the beach, this VRBO in Santa Cruz will surely do the trick. Sitting right next to Moran Beach, this stay is near hot spots like Sunny Cove, Pleasure Point and 38th Ave Beach, where you can find the best surfing in town regardless of skill level.

This home has huge windows to let in plenty of sunlight, as well as an open plan living and dining area with vaulted ceilings and skylights to further accentuate the bright environment. Off the living room is a gourmet kitchen with bar seats and everything you need for whipping up meals for the entire family. 

There are two master suites, making this a perfect stay for two couples, and the romantic atmosphere certainly makes this a great place to reconnect and get away.   

Finally, there’s a picturesque deck with lounge chairs and views of the water, positioned to soak in a Santa Cruz sunset. 

Why We Love It: Gorgeous home with tons of natural light by the water. 

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Cabana with Hot Tub

santa cruz vacation rental

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (2BR, 1B)

Location: Downtown

Price: $$

Cute and quaint with a zen ambiance, this vacation rental in Santa Cruz is a well decorated slice of heaven. Sitting smack in the center of Downtown, this stay is just a ten minute walk to the beach, making it an epic pad if you’re hoping to tan or surf in addition to exploring the city.

As soon as you walk inside, you’re met with a living room that exudes style and comfort with a gas fireplace and vintage Santa Cruz posters. The kitchen is fully stocked and the bedrooms are comfortable. 

However, the real draw to this place is the outdoor patio which is an entertaining oasis for evenings in. You’ll find a grill with outdoor seating, a hammock, Tiki bar, and even a hot tub! Plus, there are bikes, beach chairs, and even beach cruises to borrow.

Yes, heaven exists and it’s sitting in Santa Cruz.

Why We Love It: Cute place with unmatched amenities. 

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Inviting Retreat Near Monterey Bay

santa cruz vacation home

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (1BR, 1B)

Location: Next to the Boardwalk

Price: $$$

Stay at a glorious retreat in Santa Cruz, just a short walk away from downtown and right next to the famed Boardwalk. 

The space is meticulously styled with captivating furnishings and simple decor throughout the home. Take the living room, for example, with a green couch to kick back on or a recliner if that’s your style. After settling in, throw a movie on the mounted flatscreen. 

The spacious kitchen allows you to cook with ease, and the elegant bedroom offers a peaceful night’s sleep, with access to outside. 

Finally, the bathroom features a clawfoot tub for soaking, and the beach bungalow has plenty of space to catch some rays outside. 

Why We Love It: Authentic beach bungalow with an elegant interior. 

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Fabulous Family Home

santa cruz VRBO

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (3BR, 3B)

Location: Near Mitchell’s Cove Beach

Price: $$$

A high end stays for a family or group, this Santa Cruz VRBO is a top of the line escape near the ocean. Sitting a few blocks from Mitchell’s Cove Beach, you’ll be able to explore the area on foot, while being a quick ride from downtown.

This house is pretty much straight off of Pinterest, with the trendiest furniture and decor, from macrame hanging on thew alls to the abundance of plants throughout the space. You’re sure to get some choice Instas while staying here!

But the home is practical, too, with a chef’s kitchen, wood stove and three intricately put together bedrooms – there’s even one that’s extra kid friendly.

Your family and friends will be talking about this stay forever, especially when they see the backyard, complete with tons of furniture to lounge around on and the biggest hot tub I’ve ever seen.

You definitely don’t want to miss out on booking this stay.

Why We Love It: Extra fashionable home with trendy interiors and a sprawling backyard with a hot tub. 

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Harborview Deck Steps to Seabright Beach

santa cruz harbor view vrbo

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (4BR, 4B)

Location: Seabright

Price: $$$

This stunningly elegant home is a stellar homebase for exploring Santa Cruz. Tucked away in Seabright two blocks from the beach, this cottage is within walking distance of plenty of eateries, cafes and of course, miles and miles of golden sand.

The bright living room features soaring ceilings, wood shingles, beach house furniture, and an attached sunroom. The kitchen is equally cheery with bright yellow walls, floor to ceiling windows and all the fixings for meal prep.  

You’ll want to call dibs on the master bedroom, with vaulted ceilings and an ensuite bathroom with a clawfoot tub. But no stress if you wind up in the other rooms, which are all charming in their own right.

To truly set this home apart, there’s a tremendous deck which overlooks the harbor, with a table for dining al fresco. There’s also a hot tub to enjoy for the duration of your stay!

Why We Love It: Super light beach home with gorgeous interiors and luxury outdoor space. 

View on VRBO

Charming and Colorful Cabin

santa cruz vrbo

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (1BR, 1B)

Location: Mt Hermon

Price: $$$

Live out your nature dreams at this stunning cabin in the woods just outside of Santa Cruz. Rather than ocean views, you’ll be treated to sights of lush greenery and towering trees as far as the eye can see. 

This stay is amazing for serene vacations and is a true treat for the eyes. It’s teeming with brightly colored furniture and accents, only adding warmth to the already inviting space.

Settle down in the living room in front of the wood stove, or grab a book and head to the glass encased sunroom for a good reading session. As the sun goes down and it’s time to retire, the interesting bedroom may keep you awake a few more hours with knick knacks to admire and even a school-style world map on the wall.

There’s plenty of lounge furniture to enjoy the patio and deck, and even a fire pit for s’mores.

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Endless Summer

santa cruz vacation home

Images courtesy of VRBO

Quick Info

Type: Entire Home (4BR, 3.5B)

Location: Pleasure Point Beachfront

Price: $$$

Spend your vacation staring out over the ocean with this vacation rental in Santa Cruz. Sitting directly in front of Pleasure Point, you have unmatched access to some of the best surfing in the area and the best home base to enjoy it from.

This huge modern house is absolutely dreamy with a mixture of wood and white that really feeds into the beach theme. Matched with a keen eye for design and welcomed amenities, this Santa Cruz VRBO is the best pick around. 

There’s not one, but two master suites at this stay (one even has a wet bar and a private entrance), and two more bedrooms to accommodate additional guests and kiddos.

The kitchen is something out of a showroom (though fully functional and well stocked), and the bright living room under vaulted ceilings will have you wishing you could stay here forever.

Last but not least, make good use of the deck with lounge furniture and a grill, the beach equipment and surfboards provided.

Why We Love It: Lavish house on the beach with an eye for design. 

View on VRBO

Things to Do in Santa Cruz

If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Cruz, check out this local experience for a hands-on activity led by people who call the area home.

Travel Must: At the risk of sounding like your parents, make sure you get travel insurance before hitting the road. Trust us, it’s one of those things you don’t want to leave home without. We recommend either World Nomads or Safety Wing, depending on the type of traveler you are.


Check Out These Guides to Airbnbs in the US

If you’re planning to travel within the US, check out our Airbnb guides for more of our top Airbnb picks!

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