If you're looking for things to do in Santa Cruz, look no further than the city's downtown district, home to unique shops, delicious restaurants, and a vibrant live music scene. With numerous events held throughout the year, downtown Santa Cruz is always lively and bustling. To help you out, we've provided a list of 3 fun and free events held regularly in downtown Santa Cruz that are not to be missed!
Santa Cruz Farmers Market
As the largest and longest running market in the city, the downtown Santa Cruz Farmers Market is definitely worth checking out. The market is home to numerous local vendors of fresh produce and farm products, as well as local baked goods and artisan foods. There are also several arts and crafts vendors, selling locally made home and gift items.
While at the market, visitors can enjoy a delicious meal in the dining and cafe section, where chefs serve up fresh farm-to-market menu items, based on locally sourced food from farmers at the market. It's an ideal spot to enjoy the weather, listen to live music, indulge in a meal or a treat, and support local food and initiatives. Be sure to stop by the market on Wednesdays between 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm, located on Cedar Street and Lincoln Street.
First Friday Santa Cruz
First Friday Santa Cruz is a downtown arts event, held on the first Friday of every month. The event is essentially a downtown block party and social event, with approximately 80 venues hosting over 100 local artists. Artists are able to display their work and promote themselves, with the opportunity for visitors to buy their wares. Attendees can enjoy a glass of wine and tasty treats while mingling and taking in paintings, ceramics, live performances, photography, jewelry, glasswork and more. Venues hosting the events include local businesses such as cafes, art galleries, restaurants, salons, yoga studios and spas.
Outside of the hosting venues, the streets are lively with food trucks, street performers, and live music. Many shops that don't participate in hosting artists still stay open, so visitors can also enjoy some late night shopping. To check out the First Friday event, head to Santa Cruz's downtown core between 11:00 am and 11:30 pm on the first Friday of each month!
Santa Cruz Antique Fair
For vintage and antique lovers, the Santa Cruz Antique Fair is a dream come true. Home to an eclectic selection of unique items, antiques, collectibles and vintage clothing, hours can be spent browsing through numerous treasures. Visitors will find items such as furniture, baseball cards, books, dishes, paintings, costume jewelry, old cameras, vintage clothing and Santa Cruz memorabilia. Held on the second Sunday of the month, you'll have lots of time to recover from First Friday and visit the antique fair with renewed browsing energy! Visit the Santa Cruz Antique Fair on Lincoln Street in the downtown core, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.