Sip, Sample and Enjoy Visiting the Santa Cruz Mountains and its Wineries

The appellation is characterized by intimate, artisan wineries tucked in among the trees along beautiful mountain roads, or perched atop the ridges with sweeping views into the valleys or along the coast. Visitors can meet with and talk with the winemakers and enjoy exploring the mountain and coastal ambiance and little towns. Wine tasting here is as much a discovery of the natural beauty of the mountains as it is a delightful discovery of our world-class wines. Visitors can taste at several nearby wineries in a day, and drive from the mountaintops (where it snows in winter!) to the coast and enjoy a sunset walk on the beach!

How to get here:

An easy drive south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz County’s small-town charm and idyllic beach communities offer the quintessential California vacation. Santa Cruz County is easily accessible by car via Highway 17 through the Santa Cruz Mountains, or California’s scenic Highway 1. Santa Cruz County is served directly by bus. The nearest major airport is San Jose International Airport, 30 miles northeast of Santa Cruz. The nearest train depot is also located in San Jose. San Francisco International Airport is approximately 60 miles north of Santa Cruz, and Oakland International Airport is approximately 65 miles north of Santa Cruz.

Transportation Services:

  • Mosaic Global Transportation
  • The Santa Cruz Experience
  • Ag Venture Tours

Where to Stay:

From a hotel on the beach, to a quaint inn or bed and breakfast, to a vacation rental for the family or a rustic campground, you can rest easy in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Inspirational places to stay near beaches, redwood forests or in quaint towns offer an array of choices when it comes to amenities and settings. Opt for a hip boutique property or a classic resort with a view. And don’t forget your dog: many properties are pet-friendly!


The Santa Cruz Mountains farmers markets are the basis for the farm-to-table scene locally. Fresh organic produce is featured on seasonal menus at restaurants throughout the region. Try a sidewalk café or bistro, casual eatery at the beach or on the wharf, or elegant setting for a romantic dinner. Try artisan ice cream, made from locally-sourced ingredients. Stop by a lively brewery and sample craft beer, or spend a leisurely afternoon at a local wine tasting room.

Visitor Information:

  • Visit Santa Cruz County
  • Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Gatos Chamber
  • Saratoga Chamber
  • Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce
  • San Mateo Chamber of Commerce
  • San Jose Chamber of Commerce
  • Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber
  • Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce