The only way bookshops make their way onto YAHglobal is by being considered both a store and an attraction worth visiting and Bookshop Santa Cruz is just that. This community staple is everything that an independent bookstore should be. It's ripe with a great selection from travel guides to fiction and within its walls one can find souls of all sorts that have come to browse the selection and even mingle a little. The staff is renowned for being super friendly and knowledgable without coming off as the pretensious bookworms that one often finds today in the indi-bookstore scene. Be sure to take note of the Staff Recommendations - great little notes attached to their favorite picks that are often entertaining (and accurate) in themselves. The Bookshop Santa Cruz is even known for having one of the best "public" bathrooms in town which acts like a lure for those that happen to sneak in to use the loo but end up buying a book as their passing eyes inadvertently land on a title that they can't help but purchase pre-exit. Tell Amazon to suck it the next time you're in Santa Cruz by supporting this local bookstore by buying a treasure to read at the beach, at home, or hotel.
This quaint, possibly kitsch, ukulele shop located 15 minutes from the Santa Cruz core is a perfect little Polynesian oasis where you can pick up a souvenir while browsing an eclectic collection of tiki themed goodies. But serious shoppers in search of luthier crafted ukuleles for strumming along the shores fronting the Santa Cruz boardwalk will salivate at the sight of the instruments hanging from the wall at Ukuleles of Felton. More akin to the Waikiki Beach shops you might find along Kalakaua Avenue, a step inside Ukuleles of Felton makes it feel as if you're embraced in a polyester Aloha shirt and that spells fun.
Have never played a ukulele but want to learn? We can't think of a more smile inducing way to spend 45 minutes out of your sunny afternoon in Santa Cruz than taking a lesson at Ukuleles of Felton.
Complete with Starbucks and Chili's bookends at its entrance, Capitola Mall in Capitola is where Santa Cruz and visitors to Santa Cruz go when they absolutely need the indoor mall experience. It's of the standard variety as far as shopping malls go and that suits shoppers just fine. Capitola Mall is only a 10 to 15 minute drive from Santa Cruz so it's convenient and worth the trip.