With laid-back beaches, hiking and biking trails, and mesmerizing coastal scenery, Santa Cruz is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature. Visitors can explore the city’s exquisite natural beauty at national parks, explore countless historic sites, and dine on scrumptious seafood. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to be met with pleasant weather and endless opportunities for adventure.
If you’re planning a trip and searching for that perfect vacation rental, you’ve come to the right place. The following list of the best Airbnbs in Santa Cruz features some of the city’s most impressive rentals, each with their own unique offerings and comfortable modern amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi. All of the rentals are also presided over by an experienced superhost, and some even boast Airbnb Plus status. In case you’re unfamiliar with Airbnb, superhosts are hosts with a proven track record of providing exceptional hospitality while Airbnb Plus is an exclusive status reserved for stylish rentals that have been verified through in-person inspection.
Related: 15 Best Airbnbs in California, USA
Beautiful Apartment Near the Harbor
First on our list is a peaceful Airbnb in Santa Cruz nestled on a charming tree-lined street near the ocean.
This lovely Airbnb is the perfect place for small groups and families to relax by the shore with all of the comforts of home. The stunning living area is marked by marine-themed artwork and a unique stained-glass window on the front door. With elegant furnishings, high-end amenities, and a ton of natural light, this luxurious home offers guests a cheerful and relaxing stay. Up to four guests can sleep comfortably in the two-bedroom apartment, which features two comfy queen-size beds and one sparkling-clean full bathroom. There is also a separate full kitchen with granite countertops, and guests have access to a spacious and private patio with outdoor seating, a dining table, and an outdoor heater. Additional amenities include a washer and dryer and a brand-new grill.
The homey rental boasts an ideal location that allows you to easily walk to restaurants, nightlife, shopping, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and hiking trails.
Redwood Forest Guesthouse
Enjoy a relaxing retreat surrounded by nature with this one-of-a-kind rental house in Santa Cruz.
Ideal for a solo traveler or a couple, the cozy cottage comes with one bright bedroom with a queen-size bed with a memory foam mattress. There is also a light-filled living room with a Smart TV, a cozy indoor fireplace, and a large glass door leading onto a charming porch. Feel free to make yourself at home in the state-of-the-art full kitchen or enjoy a meal in the adjacent dining room. There is one private full bathroom in the home, which comes with a unique claw-foot tub.
Although the guesthouse feels remote, it is only minutes away from the vibrant attractions of downtown Santa Cruz. The beach is also nearby, as is DeLaveaga Park and the popular tourist attraction known as the Mystery Spot.
Historic Spanish-Style Home
This gorgeous guest suite comes with a charming patio garden and offers a completely private stay with its own entrance.
Inside, you’ll find a warm and welcoming Spanish-style design with a cozy indoor fireplace, antique accents, and colorful artwork. One or two guests can stay in the one-bedroom home which offers a cozy queen-size bed and a private full bathroom. There is also an adorable living area with a Smart TV, a cozy sectional sofa, and a desk, and the fully remodeled kitchenette comes with an induction cooktop and a coffee bar with complimentary snacks. There is also a charming patio area that is filled with leafy green trees and offers guests a small glimpse of the ocean.
Set in a quiet neighborhood, this lovely Santa Cruz Airbnb is surrounded by many beautiful homes and popular attractions such as beaches, pubs, and restaurants.
Charming Downtown Apartment
Rent a house in Santa Cruz that boasts a delightful atmosphere and an ideal location with this alluring guest suite near downtown attractions.
Vaulted ceilings, bright white finishes, and wood accents give the elegant interior a cozy feel, and the lovely living area is livened by pastel accents and equipped with a Smart TV. There is one bedroom with a queen-size bed and one full bathroom, making the space best suited for solo travelers and couples. The full kitchen is a convenient feature for longer stays, and the rental comes with a private patio with outdoor seating and a relaxing hammock.
The neighborhood is popular among students and artists, and the home is located just 10-minutes away from the beach.
Private Westside Studio Apartment
For a clean and compact studio apartment with a desirable location, check out this cozy abode near Mitchell’s Cove Beach.
The beautifully appointed interior is characterized by homey décor and warm redwood details, and the space is furnished with one queen-size bed in a cozy sleeping alcove. There is also a well-equipped kitchenette with granite countertops and a stove, and the spacious living area is furnished with soft sofas and a convenient workspace. The rental also comes with one full bathroom stocked with plush towels and complimentary toiletries. Large windows throughout the apartment reveal the stunning natural scenery that covers the property, and guests have access to a vibrant garden area filled with green trees and gorgeous flowers.
This convenient Santa Cruz Airbnb is just a few blocks away from the beach and the scenic West Cliff Drive, and there are plenty of restaurants, pubs, and boutiques in the neighborhood.
Quiet Cottage With a Private Backyard
If you’re interested in a tranquil beach house for rent in Santa Cruz, look no further than this private westside cottage.
The cozy guesthouse is detached from the main home on the property and comes with its own entrance and private surrounding space. Inside, you’ll find a comfortable queen-size bed and a sofa bed for two. There is also a private bathroom with a walk-in shower and a washer and dryer, and guests have access to a full kitchen stocked with complimentary coffee and cooking supplies. High ceilings and gorgeous pieces of artwork bring the spacious living area to life, and glass doors lead out to your private backyard surrounded by greenery. There is also a Smart TV available for indoor entertainment, and baby gear will be provided for guests traveling with children.
Nestled on a quaint and quiet street, this lovely Airbnb in Santa Cruz is just a 10-minute walk away from the restaurants, movies, and nightlife venues of downtown.
Timeless Coastal Carriage House
For a unique stay in one of the best Airbnb rentals in Santa Cruz, check out this stunning carriage house surrounded by gardens.
The Victorian-style guesthouse is completely private and nestled on an incredible property filled with manicured lawns, gorgeous flowers, and romantic archways. Inside, you’ll find one bedroom with a queen-size bed and one pristine full bathroom. There is also a sunny sitting area with a cozy sofa and a Smart TV, and the entire home is furnished with antique wooden pieces and elegant artwork. The home comes with a lovely full kitchen and a small dining area, and guests have access to a private shaded parking spot.
Nestled along a historic train route, this unique house rental in Santa Cruz is just blocks away from the city’s fun food and nightlife scene. There are also plenty of beaches and hiking trails just a short drive away.
Private Guest Suite in a Historic Neighborhood
Perfect for solo travelers and couples, this light-filled vacation home for rent in Santa Cruz offers guests a private retreat close to all of the best attractions.
Furnished with a luxurious king-size bed and a cozy little loveseat, the studio space is small but well equipped with everything you might need for a comfy stay. There is a separate kitchenette and a private full bathroom, and additional amenities include a TV, a dishwasher, and complimentary breakfast items. The rental also comes with a private patio with comfy outdoor seating and a shaded dining area.
This tranquil Santa Cruz Airbnb is nestled in a central neighborhood within walking distance of the city’s best points of interest. Guests can stroll downtown and check out the restaurants, bakeries, and breweries or take a quick walk to the beach for a taste of the sandy shores and sea breeze.
Sunny Cottage in Seabright
If you’re looking for a spacious beach house in Santa Cruz fit for a family, check out this lovely Seabright cottage.
Perfect for a group of four guests, the two-bedroom home comes furnished with two double beds. There is also a lively living area complete with comfy sofas, a warm indoor fireplace, and an extra sofa bed. In the full kitchen, you’ll find a fantastic selection of updated appliances and cooking supplies as well as a cozy dining nook next to a bright window. The rental comes with one private full bathroom, and additional amenities include a TV, a dishwasher, and complimentary breakfast items. Glass doors in the living room open up to reveal the romantic private patio, where you’ll find lush green plants and a lovely outdoor dining table.
Seabright is a peaceful residential neighborhood known to be one of the best in Santa Cruz. The area is quiet and friendly but is still just a stone’s throw away from beaches, restaurants, and fabulous nightlife venues.
Luxurious Beach Cottage
This modern beach cottage is another beautiful Airbnb in Santa Cruz nestled in the heart of the highly desirable Seabright neighborhood.
Recently remodeled, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom rental looks brand new. Oak hardwood floors, high-end mattresses, and heated bathroom floors are just a few of the luxurious features that make this a truly one-of-a-kind stay. The spacious bedroom is furnished with a king-size bed, and the pristine full bathroom features a unique claw-foot tub. There is also a convenient separate office with a futon available for an additional guest. The updated kitchen is decked out in state-of-the-art appliances, and outdoor space includes a private backyard and a charming front porch. Additional amenities like an in-unit washer and dryer and included beach gear make this a great choice for any length of stay.
Conveniently, the beach is located just two blocks away, and there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Fairytale Cottage Near the Shore
Another luxurious rental by the beach, this historic cottage is one of the best Santa Cruz Airbnbs for families and groups of friends.
The 1900s home has been tastefully renovated to offer a comfortable and modern stay with a gorgeous interior that retains its Old World charm. Five guests can stay in the two-bedroom home, which is furnished with a luxurious king-size bed, one double bed, and one single bed. There is also a large living area with a stunning blue sectional sofa, a Smart TV, and a cozy indoor fireplace, and the apartment comes with a fabulous full kitchen with brand-new, stainless-steel appliances. Glass doors in the kitchen lead into the stunning backyard, which features an incredible selection of luscious plants, a cozy firepit area, and a luxurious hot tub. When you’re not enjoying the fabulous on-site facilities, walk just a block and a half to the beach and enjoy the included paddleboards, cruiser bikes, and boogie boards.
Nestled between the beach and downtown attractions, this convenient Airbnb boasts one of the best possible locations. The beautiful seaside town of Capitola, where you’ll find fantastic shopping and dining opportunities, is also nearby.
Spacious Home Near the Beach
For those interested in a spacious rental close to the ocean, this three-bedroom Airbnb is one of the best vacation rentals in Santa Cruz for large groups and families.
The airy interior can accommodate up to six guests with one king-size bed, one double bed, and two single beds. Large windows surround the home and bring the stunning surrounding scenery indoors. In the beautifully appointed living area, you’ll find tranquil blue furnishings and tasteful décor, and sliding glass doors connect the space with the massive back garden. The rental also features one private full bathroom and an open full kitchen with stainless-steel appliances. Bikes, beach chairs, and boogie boards are included with the rental, and additional amenities include a dishwasher and a washer and dryer.
Tucked away in the Pleasure Point beach neighborhood, this gorgeous Airbnb is just steps away from several beaches, surf shops, waterfront restaurants, and fun boardwalk rides.
Beachy Couples Getaway
Experience coastal living at its finest with this loft-style Airbnb in Santa Cruz, perfect for a solo adventure or a romantic couples getaway.
The spacious interior features a lofted bedroom area with charming wood-planked ceilings, a queen-size bed, and glass doors that lead onto a private porch. The loft also comes with a private full bathroom and a large closet where you can store your belongings. On the main floor of the home, you’ll find a cheerful living space with pastel accents, soaring high ceilings, and a cozy indoor fireplace. There is also a full kitchen with updated appliances, a breakfast table, and a small dining area. Guests have private access to the entire house, two decks, and a lovely backyard, and the rental has a large driveway and a private garage available for parking. The rental also comes with beach gear and an in-unit washer and dryer.
This convenient rental is perfect for guests looking to explore Santa Cruz on foot, as the beach, the boardwalk, and downtown are all just a short walk away.
Cozy Pleasure Point Beach House
This charming cottage in Pleasure Point is the perfect short-term rental in Santa Cruz for families, and it even allows pets at no additional charge.
The beautiful bungalow is surrounded by lush green grass and palm trees, and the rental comes with a private and charming front porch. Inside, you’ll find a gorgeous open-concept design featuring a tranquil living room with a Smart TV, a top-of-the-line full kitchen with a large breakfast bar, and a spacious formal dining area. With two bedrooms with queen-size beds, a living room sofa bed, and one full bathroom, the bungalow can sleep up to six guests. There is a large laundry closet off of the kitchen, and the bathroom is stocked with plush towels and complimentary toiletries. Step into the spacious backyard and enjoy a meal around the patio table or warm up by the firepit. There is also a large grassy area where your dog can play, and there is an outdoor shower with hot water for rinsing off after a day at the beach.
With ample opportunities for surfing, biking, shopping, dining, and just lounging on the beach, Pleasure Point is one of the best neighborhoods in Santa Cruz.
Oceanview Beach House in Pleasant Point
Wrapping up our list is an incredible Santa Cruz Airbnb with a massive interior, sweeping ocean views, and luxurious hotel-style amenities.
Up to eight guests can stay in the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, which comes furnished with three queen-size beds and one sofa bed. The entire interior is elegant and bright, with stunning wood-planked ceilings, exposed stone details, and subtle marine-themed décor. Panoramic windows and spacious decks make it easy to enjoy the incredible ocean views, and the rental comes with a beautiful full kitchen and a formal dining room. It’s tough to beat the amenities offered with this five-star stay, including a relaxing hot tub, a cedar sauna, a ping-pong table, and a basketball arcade game. The rental also comes with plenty of beach gear and water sport accessories like surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, and a sea kayak. Right in front of the home, you’ll find a dedicated oceanfront bike path with beach access along its length.
Nestled along the idyllic shores of Pleasant Point, this beautiful house rental also boasts an unbeatable location.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy cottage surrounded by trees or a modern apartment near the beach, you can’t go wrong with a stay in one of the best Airbnbs in Santa Cruz.