Santa Cruz: Warnings and Dangers
Despite its ultra-laid-back vibe, the city does have a few problems. Know the dangers so you can stay safe during your visit.
Water and Weather Dangers
Be careful of contaminated run-off from nearby creeks because it often leads straight through the sand and onto the beach. Watch for warning signs and mind any directions you receive. Some beaches get new sand to bulldoze over the contaminated parts, but sometimes the water is still unsafe for human contact. Santa Cruz, like any other place on the northern California coast, gets a lot of fog in the summer. When it is foggy, it is usually chilly, too, near mid 50s Fahrenheit. Be sure to bring warm clothing.
Safety Issues Near the Beach
There are often homeless people who will ask you for cash, but they are generally harmless. At night, there are risks so watch yourself by the piers. Sometimes the people that hang out underneath them may threaten visitors. The area around the boardwalk, called Beach Flats by the locals, is another place you should be cautious. The area is the home to many hotels because of their proximity to the beach, but its high crime and drug-use rate makes it not a great area to visit at night. Although murder is rare, it’s still probably in your best of interests to avoid this place in the early morning.
Driving in Santa Cruz
Watch out for pedestrians in Santa Cruz. You never know when one will walk directly in front of your car, even when you clearly have the right of way, so drive slowly especially on Pacific Avenue in downtown. Also, there is a lot of traffic in Santa Cruz on the weekends, so expect delays.
Also, while walking around make sure you don’t step on banana slugs! They are very common in Santa Cruz and even the mascot of the local university.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Santa Cruz.