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Lodging in Santa Cruz with a Relaxing Stay at the Rio Vista Suites

On our recent weekend getaway in Santa Cruz, Ken and I had a decision to make regarding our lodging: we could go with one of the numerous lower end motels, we could do an AirBnB or we could go with a nicer inn. I wanted a nice chill weekend and was in the mood to treat myself and so we opted to go with the nicer inn.

We chose the Rio Vista Suites and were glad we did. The inn is a renovated Victorian designed for comfort and located for convenience. It provided the perfect base for our chill weekend getaway visit to Santa Cruz.

Rio Vista Inn Lodging in Santa Cruz

Lodging in Santa Cruz at the Rio Vista Suites

The Location

Rio Vista is very conveniently located halfway between the downtown dining district and the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. An easy 1/2 mile walk in either direction will net you either cool bars and cute shops or a roller coaster ride with sand between your toes. We found this location to be a great compromise. Rio Vista inn is not located on the beach, but it does have nice views of the river that runs through Santa Cruz.

The Room

Our room wasn’t huge, but it was nicely appointed and very comfortable. We were situated on the first floor in the back. But for your stay, I’d recommend a second floor room which would offer a nicer view and more privacy. The room had a gas fireplace, which was an unexpected treat. Even in the summer, it can get cold in Bay Area beach towns and the cozy heat was much appreciated. The inn is a restored Victorian with a beautiful wood staircase. But like any Victorian, the hallways are a bit tight and there isn’t much of a lobby area. The Rio Vista has compensated for that by offering a cool front deck with lounge chairs.

The Breakfast

Rio Vista offers a continental breakfast. The spread includes a decent selection of fruit, yogurt, baked goods and cereals. But don’t mistake it for a typical hot B&B breakfast. However, this was OK with us. Part of our chill weekend getaway was eating copious amounts of good food and we were committed to going out for a second breakfast. Much like a Hobbit does. (And if you eat like a Hobbit too, check out the post on eating like a Hobbit at the San Francisco Ferry building.)

The Staff

The dudes at the front desk were beyond friendly. They were quick to offer up maps and suggestions for things to do. We did a late-ish check-out and they were cool with allowing us to keep our car in the lot until early afternoon.
Altogether we had a very nice stay at Rio Vista. The location was perfect and the nice room gave us the luxurious comfort that we were seeking for our weekend getaway. You can read reviews and book at Trip Advisor or
Read More: Get another weekend getaway idea with this list of fun things to do in Guerneville on the Russian River.

 Other Lodging Options in Santa Cruz


If you are doing a longer stay, or if you would like self-catering options, then an AirBnB might work for you. Just pay attention to location as Santa Cruz spreads across a much larger area than you might imagine. Here’s a link to the Santa Cruz AirBnB offerings. If you’ve never tried AirBnB, then use this coupon code for $35 off your first reservation.

Basic beach motels

The are tons of basic beach motels in Santa Cruz. And some are even conveniently located right across the road from the beach. They can be a great choice for families but don’t expect anything fancy. Many of the properties are old or they are under refurbishment. So you’ll want to check the reviews carefully. Check them out on Trip Advisor.

Enjoy your stay in Santa Cruz.

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