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As if its enviable setting between the Monterey Bay and redwood-blanketed Santa Cruz Mountains wasn’t enough, the small city of Santa Cruz also boasts 300 days of sunshine and 29 miles of sandy shore. Check into any local hotel and you’ll likely be lured outdoors with sparkling pools, shiny beach cruisers and directions to the nearest beach. Santa Cruz is also the birthplace of mainland surfing—thanks to three vacationing Hawaiian princes who taught locals how to catch waves with repurposed redwood planks—and the town’s thriving surf scene is often captured in hotel design and offerings. Whether you’re looking to put your toes to the nose or just bury them in the sand, the following spots will immerse you in Santa Cruz’s sunny, outdoor culture and give you a base for exploring the city’s best things to do.