Despite its bohemian reputation, there’s plenty of money flowing through Santa Cruz. For plush accommodations, consider staying at the Pleasure Point Inn (23665 E. Cliff Dr., 831/475-4657, www.pleasurepointinn.com, $275–325). This small, exclusive inn boasts a rooftop deck with a hot tub, an expansive common living room with views out over the ocean, and four luxurious guest rooms.
Each room has wood floors, a gas fireplace, a private deck or patio, a private bathroom, and all sorts of posh amenities. Expect to find a TV, phone, and Internet access in your room. A continental breakfast is laid out each morning, giving you just the right start to the day.
All rooms also boast views out over the ocean—the inn does indeed sit on that Pleasure Point, so you can sit and watch the surfers as you drink your morning coffee.
Or if you prefer to be a part of the action, ask about setting up surfing lessons through the inn and Club Ed when you reserve your room.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition