Santa Cruz Travel Guide2018-04-29T17:29:44-07:00

Santa Cruz Travel Guide

Santa Cruz has been front and center of the medical and adult-use cannabis movement for decades. It remains a hot spot for the good cannabis to this day. More recently it has given birth to two exceptional coffee roasters and a host of great breweries. Just a few of the many great places are here below.

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The Dutch have a long coffee tradition and are famous for topping the lists of countries that consumes the most coffee. However, their coffee legacy has been traditionally limited to down-market instant brand Douwe Eggberts. Thankfully, though, things are changing. Like their Scandinavian neighbors to the north, third wave/specialty coffees have taken off in recent years. On a recent trip to Amsterdam, we explored some of the best independent roasters and cafes in town.

Cat & Cloud

Just like the founders of PayPal and other big tech go on to found more tech companies, so it is with coffee. Some folks who worked at Verve jumped ship a few years ago to start Cat & Cloud. A superb little roaster with two cafes in Santa Cruz and some distribution further afield like at S’bastiens in Redwood City.

Verve Roasters

This Santa Cruz original is one of the best recognized West Coast craft roasters. They’ve gotten really big in recent years with cafes in Los Angeles, Palo Alto (in 2018) and even Kamakura in Japan. Multiple locations around town.


Sante Adarius Rustic Ales

Just south of Santa Cruz in Capitola is Sante Adarius, a small, award-winning brewery. It looks like they’ve recently opened a taproom in Santa Cruz, so a venture to Capitola may no longer be necessary.

Humble Sea Brewing

In an up-and-coming area of West Santa Cruz is Humble Sea. A nice space complements a great selection of delicious beers brewed onsite. 

Lupulo Craft Beer House

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, Lupulo has an extensive tap list and selection of bottles and cans. With the proliferation of single-brewery tap rooms around, it’s good to have a place that serves them all in case you don’t have time or the tolerance to go tap room hopping.



With two Santa Cruz locations, this dispensary really lives up to its name. One of the friendliest places in town and always well-stocked with a strong selection of flower, edibles and other cannabis creations.