7 Best Places to Shop in Santa Cruz, CA

Joe Prather May 7, 2024

Santa Cruz, Calif., is renowned for its stunning coastline, vibrant culture, and laid-back charm.  Beyond the beaches and surf breaks, however, lies a delightful scene for those seeking a luxurious shopping experience. This guide unveils the best places to indulge in shopping in Santa Cruz, with a focus on high-end boutiques, designer brands, and unique finds.

Pacific Avenue

Downtown Santa Cruz's beating heart, Pacific Avenue, offers a treasure trove of luxury shopping experiences. This vibrant pedestrian mall is lined with upscale boutiques showcasing a diverse range of designer clothing, jewelry, and homewares. Expect to find established brands alongside locally owned stores, ensuring a unique and personalized shopping experience.
  • Stripe: A chic boutique known for its stylish clothing, accessories, and home decor items. Stripe offers a curated selection of contemporary apparel, unique jewelry, and eclectic home goods, making it a must-visit for fashion-forward shoppers.
  • Urban Outfitters: A popular chain store offering a mix of trendy apparel, vintage finds, and quirky home goods. Urban Outfitters is known for its eclectic selection of clothing, accessories, and gifts, making it a go-to destination for fashion-savvy shoppers.
  • Bookshop Santa Cruz: A beloved local bookstore serving the community for over 50 years. Bookshop Santa Cruz offers an extensive selection of books, gifts, and literary events for book lovers of all ages. Whether you're searching for the latest bestseller or a rare collectible, you can find it here.
  • Pacific Trading Company: A quirky gift shop specializing in unique and eclectic items worldwide. Pacific Trading Company offers diverse gifts, including handmade jewelry, home decor, and novelty items. Browse the shelves for souvenirs, trinkets, and treasures you won't find anywhere else.
  • O'Neill Surf Shop: A legendary surf shop offering a wide range of surf apparel, accessories, and equipment. O'Neill Surf Shop is a mecca for surf enthusiasts, with a diverse selection of clothing, wetsuits, and surfboards from top brands. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or starting, you'll find everything you need to hit the waves in style.
  • Sockshop & Shoe Company: A unique boutique specializing in socks, shoes, and accessories for men, women, and children. Sockshop & Shoe Company offers a wide range of stylish and comfortable footwear, from sandals and sneakers to boots and heels. Plus, their extensive selection of socks in fun patterns and colors makes them a favorite destination for fashionistas of all ages.

Santa Cruz Farmers Markets

For a unique shopping experience that celebrates the local community and its artisans, don't miss the Santa Cruz Farmers Markets. Held weekly at various locations throughout the city, the markets feature a vibrant array of fresh produce, handmade crafts, artisanal foods, and more. Stroll through the market stalls to sample delicious treats, chat with local artisans, and pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs to remember your time in Santa Cruz.

Midtown Santa Cruz

Midtown Santa Cruz is a thriving shopping destination known for its diverse mix of shops, boutiques, and eateries. Explore the neighborhood's bustling streets to discover hidden gems like Cameron Marks, a boutique specializing in stylish home decor, furniture, and accessories. Next door and across the street, you’ll find MJA Vineyards Westside Tasting Room and Rexford Winery, respectively.

Westside Santa Cruz

The Westside of Santa Cruz is home to a thriving shopping district that caters to a diverse range of tastes and preferences. Here, you'll find a mix of upscale boutiques, vintage stores, and specialty shops, offering something for everyone. Westside Santa Cruz is perhaps best known for the Farmer’s Market West Side, a bustling hub of local vendors selling fresh produce, gourmet foods, and artisanal goods.

The Santa Cruz Wharf

While strolling along the iconic Santa Cruz Wharf, browse the unique shops housed in historic buildings. Find handcrafted jewelry, locally made art, and high-end beachwear, all with a breathtaking ocean backdrop. Nearby, the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is home to various shops, arcades, and eateries. Explore the boardwalk's colorful storefronts to find souvenirs, beachwear, and gifts for friends and family back home. Treat yourself to a sweet treat from Marini's Candies, or pick up a surf-inspired souvenir from one of the many surf shops lining the boardwalk.

Capitola Village

Just a short drive from downtown Santa Cruz lies Capitola Village, a charming seaside community known for its picturesque views and quaint shops. Explore the colorful streets lined with boutique stores, art galleries, and specialty shops, where you'll find everything from handmade jewelry and artisanal chocolates to surf-inspired apparel and beach accessories. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, stopping to browse the shops and soak in the laid-back coastal vibe.

Pleasure Point

Nestled along the scenic coastline, Pleasure Point is a hidden gem for shopping enthusiasts seeking unique finds and locally made treasures. Explore the neighborhood's charming boutiques, art galleries, and surf shops, where you'll discover a diverse array of goods crafted by talented local artisans. From handcrafted jewelry and ceramics to vintage clothing and surf-inspired decor, Pleasure Point offers a laid-back shopping experience with a distinct Santa Cruz vibe.

Considering a move to Santa Cruz?

If experiencing this luxurious lifestyle daily piques your interest, consider making Santa Cruz your home. Joe Prather, a highly experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional, can guide you through finding your perfect property in Santa Cruz. With his deep understanding of the local market and commitment to exceptional service, Joe can help you realize your dream of living in Santa Cruz.

Contact Joe today and unlock the door to a life filled with luxury, stunning scenery, and the vibrant spirit of Santa Cruz.

Browse Our Recent

Blog Posts

Connect with joe

We strive to educate and empower our neighbors and clients in making one of their biggest investments, purchasing or selling a home.