Bronze statue of musical saw player Tom Scribner in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz.
Red Restaurant in the old Santa Cruz Hotel building serves dinner till 1:00am at Locust and Cedar Streets.
Santa Cruz Shopping: Downtown.
The Downtown Santa Cruz shopping district is essentially eight blocks long and three blocks wide. It is centered on Pacific Avenue between Water Street to the north and Laurel Street to the south. Downtown is about a half mile north of the beach, Boardwalk, and wharf.
The sidewalks downtown are wide with some cafe seating outside. Downtown has seventeen cinema screens, seven of which show independent and art house films. Most businesses downtown are open at night. The Red Restaurant (in the old Santa Cruz Hotel building on the corner of Cedar and Locust) serves dinners until 1:00am.
Year round Pacific Avenue is alive with musicians, street performers of varying quality.
True Olive Connection & Nut Kreation are two great food shops on Lincoln Street one half block off of Pacific. True Olive Connection is one of a hand full of premier olive oil shops in California. The owners source quality fresh olive oils from around the globe, both northern and southern hemisphere that allows them two harvests each year. This gives us fresher oil than sourcing oil from only from one region. Next door neighbor Nut Kreation sells over 120 nuts, seeds and dried fruits. We can taste to our heart's content and make our own trail mixes. If your lucky they will be roasting nuts up front when you arrive and the shop will smell heavenly.
Bookshop Santa Cruz is in many ways the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. It is a fiercely independent business that welcomes readers with overstuffed chairs and quality reference assistance. Bookshop Santa Cruz is at 1520 Pacific Avenue at Locust Street. In recent years the city council has proposed various laws to control street performers and musicians. The owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, a long-standing supporter of Santa Cruz street life, produced bumper stickers and T-shirts that say: KEEP SANTA CRUZ WEIRD. The slogan caught on and defeated any attempt to reign-in the downtown street life. In addition to winning the battle on regulating weirdness, one of these shirts makes the perfect take-home Santa Cruz souvenir.
Logo's Books at 1117 Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Lincoln, sells used and new books, CD's and vinyl. A Santa Cruz institution for over 25 years, Logos is where everyone goes to sell their books. A big store on two levels, Logos can be counted on for quality browsing and fair prices.
The Literary Guillotine at 204 Locust Street between Cedar and Center, is a scholarly bookstore catering to local University professors, graduate students and intellectuals. This small store packs in many titles not generally available in mainstream establishments.
Finally, Borders Books is one of a large chain of popular bookstores and can be found at 1200 Pacific Avenue on the corner of Soquel Avenue.
Downtown Art and Craft Shopping
Since the 1960's Santa Cruz has gathered a reputation as a haven for artists. While the community does have a high number of working and budding artists, you wouldn't know it by walking the downtown commercial district. Artists here sell and show their work out of the area for the most part at galleries in San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York. If, on the other hand, you are looking for high-end craft and design , downtown will fill the bill.
Start at Annieglass, a beautiful store created by Anne Morhouser. In the 1980's Anne (an art school graduate) began experimenting with slumping window glass in high temperature ovens. She eventually created a line of tableware with gold edges that became a staple in high-end stores like Neiman-Marcus and ended up on the tables of Arab Sheiks and American Presidents. Her store, at 110 Cooper Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street shows off her complete line of tableware and jewelry and accessories from some her favorite designers the world over.