There are 10 ways to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz by plane, shuttle, bus, tram, train or car

Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner.

Recommended option

Fly Los Angeles to San Jose, shuttle  •  5 h 8 min

  1. Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to San Jose (SJC) LAX - SJC
  2. Take a shuttle bus from SJC Airport to Santa Cruz

$131 - $310

Cheapest option

Bus Megabus  •  10 h 24 min

  1. Take the bus from Los Angeles, CA to San Jose, CA
  2. Take the bus from Diridon Station to Water & Ocean 17

$35 - $52

8 alternative options

Fly Los Angeles to San Francisco  •  6 h 7 min

  1. Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO) LAX - SFO

$129 - $308

Fly Los Angeles to Monterey, bus  •  7 h

  1. Fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Monterey (MRY) LAX - MRY
  2. Take the bus from Monterey Transit Plaza / Gate 3 Pearl to Santa Cruz Metro Center

$99 - $308

Tram to Burbank, fly to San Jose, shuttle  •  6 h 56 min

  1. Take the tram from Downtown Santa Monica Station to 7th Street / Metro Center Station - Metro Blue & Expo Lines
  2. Fly from Burbank (BUR) to San Jose (SJC) BUR - SJC
  3. Take a shuttle bus from SJC Airport to Santa Cruz

$121 - $368

Tram, tram to Long Beach, fly to San Jose, shuttle  •  6 h 58 min

  1. Take the tram from Downtown Santa Monica Station to Pico Station
  2. Take the tram from Pico Station to Pacific Coast Hwy Station
  3. Fly from Long Beach (LGB) to San Jose (SJC) LGB - SJC
  4. Take a shuttle bus from SJC Airport to Santa Cruz

$106 - $311

Tram to Burbank, fly to Oakland, bus  •  7 h 39 min

  1. Take the tram from Downtown Santa Monica Station to 7th Street / Metro Center Station - Metro Blue & Expo Lines
  2. Fly from Burbank (BUR) to Oakland (OAK) BUR - OAK
  3. Take the bus from Hayward, Ca to San Jose, Ca
  4. Take the bus from San Jose, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca

$125 - $484

Bus Greyhound USA  •  11 h 1 min

  1. Take the bus from Los Angeles, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca 6742 / ...

$42 - $102

Train, bus  •  12 h 15 min

  1. Take the train from Van Nuys Amtrak to Salinas Amtrak Coast Starlight
  2. Take the bus from Salinas, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca 6742 / ...

$68 - $178

Drive  •  5 h 51 min

  1. Drive from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz 344.7 miles

$30 - $50

Questions & Answers

The cheapest way to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz is to drive which costs $30 - $50 and takes 5 h 51 min.

More details

The quickest way to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz is to fly and shuttle which costs $130 - $310 and takes 5 h 8 min.

More details

No, there is no direct bus from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz. However, there are services departing from Santa Monica / Lincoln and arriving at Water & Ocean via Los Angeles, CA and Diridon Station. The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 10 h 24 min.

More details

The distance between Santa Monica and Santa Cruz is 287 miles. The road distance is 344.7 miles.

Get driving directions

The best way to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz without a car is to bus which takes 10 h 24 min and costs $35 - $55.

More details

It takes approximately 5 h 8 min to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz, including transfers.

More details

Santa Monica to Santa Cruz bus services, operated by Greyhound USA, depart from Los Angeles, Ca station.

More details

The best way to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz is to fly which takes 6 h 7 min and costs $120 - $310. Alternatively, you can bus, which costs $35 - $55 and takes 10 h 24 min.

Mode details

Map of how to get from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz.
Launch map view
  • Distance: 286.8 miles
  • Duration: 5 h 8 min

What companies run services between Santa Monica, CA, USA and Santa Cruz, CA, USA?

Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and three other airlines fly from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz every 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Santa Monica to Santa Cruz via Patsaouras Transit Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, San Jose, CA, and Diridon Station in around 10 h 24 min.

Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Website
southwest.com
Flights from Los Angeles to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 9 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$130 - $600
Flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
1 h 20 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$100 - $550
Flights from Burbank to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 6 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$100 - $550
Flights from Burbank to Oakland
Ave. Duration
1 h 11 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$130 - $550
United Airlines
Website
united.com
Flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
1 h 29 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$70 - $440
Flights from Los Angeles to Monterey
Ave. Duration
1 h 22 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$90 - $500
Flights from Los Angeles to Monterey via San Francisco
Ave. Duration
3 h 28 min
When
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Estimated price
$90 - $500
Alaska Airlines, Inc.
Website
alaskaair.com
Flights from Los Angeles to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 26 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$150 - $900
Flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
1 h 31 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$70 - $470
Flights from Burbank to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 14 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$95 - $850
American Airlines
Website
aa.com
Flights from Los Angeles to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 18 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$95 - $440
Flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
1 h 27 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$70 - $440
Delta
Website
delta.com
Flights from Los Angeles to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 18 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$70 - $440
Flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
Ave. Duration
1 h 36 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$70 - $440
JetBlue Airways
Website
jetblue.com
Flights from Long Beach to San Jose
Ave. Duration
1 h 13 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$75 - $290
Flights from Burbank to Oakland
Ave. Duration
1 h 15 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$40 - $320
JetSuiteX
Website
x.jetsuite.com
Flights from Burbank to Oakland
Ave. Duration
1 h 15 min
When
Every day
Estimated price
$40 - $320
Train operators
Metro Los Angeles
Website
metro.net
Tram from Downtown Santa Monica Station to 7th Street / Metro Center Station - Metro Blue & Expo Lines
Ave. Duration
46 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$2
Schedules at
metro.net
Tram from Downtown Santa Monica Station to Pico Station
Ave. Duration
44 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$2
Schedules at
metro.net
Tram from Pico Station to Pacific Coast Hwy Station
Ave. Duration
42 min
Frequency
Every 15 minutes
Estimated price
$0
Schedules at
metro.net
Amtrak

Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. Covering 21,000 route miles (34,000km) Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily. These medium and long distance intercity services operate at speeds of up to 240km/h, to more than 500 destinations. Founded in 1971, it is based in Washington, D.C. and offers four classes of travel: First Class, Sleeper, Business and Coach. Ticket fares are divided into five subclasses: Saver, Value, Flexible, Business and Premium. Amtrak trains are known for their wide seats, plug-in power, big windows and storage capabilities.

Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak
Contact Details
Phone
+1 1-800-872-7245
Website
amtrak.com
Train from Van Nuys Amtrak to Salinas Amtrak
Ave. Duration
7 h 48 min
Frequency
Once daily
Estimated price
$55 - $150
Website
amtrak.com
Coach Seat
$55 - $85
Flexi Coach Seat
$100 - $150
Business Coach Seat
$100 - $150
Room
$250 - $360
Bus operators
Santa Cruz Flyer
Website
santacruzflyer.com
Shuttle from SJC Airport to Santa Cruz
Ave. Duration
45 min
Frequency
Every 3 hours
Estimated price
$55
Schedules at
santacruzflyer.com
Book at
santacruzflyer.com
Monterey-Salinas Transit
Phone
1-888-678-2871
Email
customerservice@mst.org
Website
mst.org
Bus from Monterey Transit Plaza / Gate 3 Pearl to Santa Cruz Metro Center
Ave. Duration
1 h 7 min
Frequency
4 times a week
Estimated price
$3 - $12
Schedules at
mst.org
Greyhound USA

Greyhound is a leading bus company based in Dallas, Texas, serving over 3800 destinations across North America, Mexico and Canada. Greyhound carries around 18 million passengers a year who travel 5.4 billion miles (8.6 billion km) a year on their fleet of around 1700 vehicles. For travel flexibility, you can board or get off a Greyhound bus at official Greyhound stations, partner stations and curbside stops. There are around 230 Greyhound stations across the US where you can both catch your bus and buy tickets, that are also available on the official website and via the mobile app.

Rome2rio's guide to Greyhound USA
Contact Details
Phone
+1 214-849-8100/1-800-231-2222
Email
ifsr@greyhound.com
Website
greyhound.com
Bus from Hayward, Ca to San Jose, Ca
Ave. Duration
45 min
Frequency
Every 30 minutes
Estimated price
$9 - $21
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$9 - $14
Flexible
$16 - $21
Bus from San Jose, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca
Ave. Duration
50 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$10 - $21
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$10 - $14
Flexible
$17 - $21
Bus from Los Angeles, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca
Ave. Duration
9 h
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$40 - $100
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$40 - $65
Flexible
$75 - $100
Bus from Salinas, Ca to Santa Cruz, Ca
Ave. Duration
1 h 5 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$10 - $23
Website
greyhound.com
Economy
$10 - $15
Flexible
$18 - $23
Santa Cruz Metro
Website
scmtd.com
Bus from Diridon Station to Santa Cruz Metro Center - Lane 2
Ave. Duration
58 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$3 - $5
Schedules at
scmtd.com
Bus from Diridon Station to Water & Ocean
Ave. Duration
56 min
Frequency
Hourly
Estimated price
$3 - $5
Schedules at
scmtd.com
Amtrak

Amtrak is a rail service that connects the US and three Canadian provinces. Covering 21,000 route miles (34,000km) Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily. These medium and long distance intercity services operate at speeds of up to 240km/h, to more than 500 destinations. Founded in 1971, it is based in Washington, D.C. and offers four classes of travel: First Class, Sleeper, Business and Coach. Ticket fares are divided into five subclasses: Saver, Value, Flexible, Business and Premium. Amtrak trains are known for their wide seats, plug-in power, big windows and storage capabilities.

Rome2rio's guide to Amtrak
Contact Details
Phone
+1 1-800-872-7245
Website
amtrak.com
Bus from San Jose, CA to Santa Cruz, CA
Ave. Duration
54 min
Frequency
Every 4 hours
Website
amtrak.com

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