Shopping Santa Cruz

Shopping in Santa Cruz is exactly what you might expect.
From hip boutique clothing stores to quirky thrift shops, the stores in Santa Cruz are full of character and charm. Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz is the heart of the local shopping scene, but it isn't the only place to find those one of a kind stores worth making a trip from out of town to visit.
The Capitola Village is a favorite of tourists, partially for its beach and restaurants, but also for the shopping. The Swift Street Courtyard over on the Westside is a relatively new hot spot for shopping, dining and wine tasting. Pleasure Point is also full of one of a kind local stores ranging from surf shops to boutiques to second hand stores.

Capitola Mall: Big Box Convenience & Local Flavor

Capitola Mall SignMany Santa Cruzans take pride in doing everything local — we eat local, we drink local, and we shop local.

For that reason, the Capitola Mall might seem glaringly out of place on first look.

It’s true that the Capitola Mall does have many of the hallmarks of stereotypical suburban claptrap: teenybopper clothing stores, chain restaurants, anonymous flagship stores like Kohls and Sears, the As Seen on TV store, and greasy food court fare.

But this mall also has a few things that make it unique and Santa Cruz-oriented.

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Better than Black Friday. More Fun Than Cyber Monday: It’s Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday Santa CruzFirst there was Black Friday – the day when the holiday shopping season officially kicks off as big box retailers slash prices and entice crazed crowds of deal seekers.

Then came Cyber Monday, because online retailers were jealous of all the fun the big box stores were having on Black Friday.

But did you know that there is now a 3rd shopping holiday the weekend after Thanksgiving?  Yep, and this one is perfectly suited for Santa Cruz.

Small Business Saturday was created a few years back by American Express, in their effort to support small business owners.  Positioned between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day to promote the benefits of shopping locally.

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Support Local Businesses by Thinking Local First

Think Local First Santa CruzSanta Cruzans love their local businesses.  They love supporting them, they love talking about them, and they especially love talking about how much they support them.

That being said, local businesses don’t always feel secure, even in a place like Santa Cruz. Which is why, in 2007, half a dozen small businesses owners banded together to form Think Local First Santa Cruz (TLF).

“Many small towns in the US are becoming corporatized,” said co-chair Peter Beckman of the initial decision to form TLF.  “We wanted to avoid this development.”

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