Santa Cruz is a picturesque coastal city noted for its relaxed setting, lovely shores, and distinct seawall. Here’s why many tourists choose to go from San Jose to Santa Cruz. It has various scenic beaches, such as Panther Beach Santa Cruz. Surfers flock to the city for its steady waves and surf culture. Just north are the redwood woods, which provide hiking trails. You may visit an amusement park with thrilling rides and vintage games. Wander among the stores, cafes, and street artists. Likewise, Santa Cruz has a pleasant coastal climate, with chilly summers compared to San Jose’s warmer setting.

Distance fom San Jose to Santa Cruz

The distance from San Jose to Santa Cruz is about 32.8 miles to 36.4 miles, 43 minutes to 47 minutes, respectively. You can select the form of travel that best matches your tastes and budget. Remember to travel safely, visit several fresh lakes, and read all the rules for various transport modes.

  • By bus

You can travel easily by bus to Santa Cruz. Take a bus from Diridon Station in San Jose. It will let you reach the Water & Ocean in Santa Cruz. The travel takes around an hour. Also, it will cost between $2 and $7. This trip is relatively cost-effective.

  • By car

You can ride your vehicle to reach Santa Cruz. To do so, drive along Highway 17 for the 31.5-mile trip between these two cities. The straightforward trip takes around 39 minutes. Along the way, click snaps of spectacular vistas.

Travel to Santa Cruz
Travel to Santa Cruz
  • By train

Amtrak is the sole rail route that connects San Jose and Santa Cruz. In addition, there is only one train each day. So, you must organize your trip around its restricted access. Conversely, you only spend a little bit of time weighing various options. The journey takes 8 hours and 13 minutes and costs a median of $287 from Amtrak.

  • By taxi

Choose a cab ride for a convenient and direct journey between San Jose and Santa Cruz. The cab fee for the 31.5-mile travel runs typically between $110 and $140. This transport mode is quite costly to choose from. However, it still depends on your preference.

Quick Stops from San Jose to Santa Cruz

There are several brief stops if you’re traveling from San Jose towards Santa Cruz. These places are worth seeing and will take you on an exciting but incredible journey.

1- Palo Alto

Palo Alto is the epicenter of creativity. The storied mix of academies and a thriving digital sector has circled the globe as an artistic haven for visitors and some of the world’s largest technical firms. However, the city boasts lots of activities for both outdoor and cultural fans. To the west, the hills provide redwood tours and hiking paths.

Palo Alto
Palo Alto

Similarly, downtown has many gathering venues for citizens. It has a weekly morning farmers market that takes place every year. Its park has a lot of coastal scrub and prairies where native daisies bloom in the spring, adding color to the environs. Avenue connects town to campus. It is dotted with eateries, stores, and a theatre reflecting Hollywood’s golden era.

2- Levi’s Stadium

The players play in Levi’s Stadium, built in the heart of the state. The arena, with a capacity of 68,500, is among the world’s cleanest structures. It has a Gold LEED certification for ecology. Aside from sports, Levi’s Stadium features international soccer matches, college football, and events.

Further, it is a good stadium with a convenient location and enough parking. Also, it is feasible to travel by tram. Entrance is effortless, and it is simple to discover where to go. Several service stations offer a range of foods and drinks. Thus, you can go to a concert, enjoy the aura, or relax with your friends.

3- Del Valle Regional Park

Del Valle Regional Park is a vast natural reserve. It offers a variety of leisure activities like exploring, camping, boating, and fishing. The park has clean paths and shores around a massive lake with easy boat launch. Apart from all this, the park has horse facilities and is easily accessible to locals and visitors with disabilities.

Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park

Moreover, the fantastic vistas await as you climb the slope to see the lake. However, after around 30 minutes, you will be treated to this gorgeous lake. The ideal time to visit is the summer. There are extremely few parking places, and many people park on the street. Remember to arrive early and park only in approved areas.

4- SAP Center at San Jose

The SAP Centre is a massive indoor area. It serves as the home of the hockey club. It was also used for huge concerts and events like Disney on Ice. The arena is always packed with energy. It makes it ideal for those searching for a fantastic experience during the journey.

In addition, the center. ‘s facility appears to be clean. Apart from this, the staff ensures that all activities run well. There are several parking choices near the SAP center as well. Hence, the acoustics in the main hall are ideal for these events. There is again a gift shop inside the center for you to buy and support the ongoing saving efforts by the park.

5- Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum holds one of Northern’s most extensive Egyptian artifacts. The museum houses artwork from pre-dynastic ancient times. It includes Egypt’s early Islamic era and an exact copy of the 18th dynasty’s Rosicrucian Harmony Garden. This museum is not crowded.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

Further, this is an incredible museum to click snaps. If you only have time to visit Egypt shortly and want to learn more about the ancient Egyptians, this is the place you ought to see. The staff covers a lot of amazing collections in a well-planned area. It is easy to spend a day. The outdoor gardens are lovely. Thus, ticket rates are reasonable and worth it.

6- Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is a gigantic statue built by Sara Winchester in 1800. It is claimed to be cursed by the souls of people killed by Winchester guns. Also, it has multiple odd features meant to confound ghosts. The tour guides are friendly. You can go on the additional trip after the initial tour.

Likewise, it will make the whole experience even better. This location offers a variety of activities. It includes a gift store, a shooting range, and a home tour. Remember that you may witness paranormal activity while at the house. Hence, these supernatural events are possible and only suitable for certain people.

7- Natural Bridges

The Beach at Natural Bridges is considered the most exciting state park on the eastern coast and worth a visit. This 65-acre California state place has it all. It has a clean beach with white sand pointing to a bridge-like bent rock sticking above the water. A serene pine and tree grove serves as a picnic place. The best of all is a Monarch Butterfly grove.

Natural Bridges Visitor Center
Natural Bridges

Additionally, it is one of three Monarch Sanctuaries in California where these feathered beauties migrate during the winter. Moore Creek flows through the park, creating fresh wetlands and a salt marsh home to numerous species, including egrets. Also, it has a lovely visitor center worth visiting if you want to learn more about marine life protection around the central coast, whale migration, and Majesty Butterfly passage and survival.

Final Thoughts

There are places worth visiting in the USA for the first time while traveling from San Jose to Santa Cruz. There are several easy transport choices for getting to Santa Cruz. You may take a bus, cab, or drive from San Jose. The bus travel takes an hour. Besides, taxis are available for direct trips, although driving allows flexibility. You can go to the beaches, water sports or hiking trails. Every traveler has an option, whether to save money, go quickly, or relax.

FAQs on San Jose to Santa Cruz

What are a few of the highlights in Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz is a lovely seaside city with great, untouched beauty and active culture. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk features thrill rides and seaside vistas. Enjoy sunsets at Natural Bridges State Park. West Cliff Drive offers views of the Pacific Ocean, and Mystery Spot is a unique gravitational oddity.

When are the trains more packed to Santa Cruz?

Friday is often the week’s busiest day, with travelers riding trains to Santa Cruz. Ticket prices are also higher on Fridays than on other days. If you want to have a more prominent seat on the train and save some money, look into travel alternatives on Fridays instead.

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