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.

Santa Cruz Antique Faire

Santa Cruz Antique FaireIf your idea of sophisticated is slightly scuffed, if you prefer dusty over designer, and if you know vintage is about more than just wine, then the monthly Antique Faire in downtown Santa Cruz is for you.

If you’ve ever been antiquing, you know that not all antique shops are the same.

Some focus on furniture, some focus on clothes, some focus on memorabilia, and some are a hodgepodge of whatever the proprietors come across.  Some feature only those antiques of the finest condition and charge a bundle, while others walk that line between being vintage and thrift.

What’s great about the Santa Cruz Antique Faire is that there’s a little bit of everything, all crammed together on Lincoln St.  Think of it as a sort of monthly pop-up mall where everything’s super old, and indulge accordingly.

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Bookshop Santa Cruz: A Local Institution

Bookshop Santa CruzAncient Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero once said, “a room without books is like a body without a soul.”

If that quote is to be held as true, then Bookshop Santa Cruz has more soul than just about anywhere else in Northern California.

The forty-five year-old bookstore, which has long been owned by the local Coonerty family (Neal and his son Ryan have both served terms as mayor of the city), is known both locally and beyond as the premiere place to find a book on nearly any subject, while being aided by a friendly, knowledgeable staff.  The New York Times even once praised it as “one of California’s great independent bookstores and a local cultural landmark.”

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Get Fresh Produce from Dirty Girls and Happy Boys at Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets

Happy Boy Farms at Santa Cruz Farmers Market

For a relatively small town, Santa Cruz and its surrounding areas have some outstanding farmers’ markets.

This is likely due to the abundance of farms nearby, and the local artisanal spirit.

Here’s a guide to seven weekly farmers’ markets in the area, as well as some of the most popular local vendors.

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