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If you have trouble finding a vacancy, consider the Terrace Court (125 Beach St.; www.terracecourt.com; tel. 831/423-3031), a plain but practical motel on a hill overlooking the wharf, with ocean views and easy beach access. Santa Cruz has plenty of chain motels as well. Two Travelodges (www.travelodge.com; tel. 800/578-7878), two Best Westerns (www.bestwestern.com; tel. 800/780-7234), two Super 8s (www.super8.com; tel. 800/800-8000), and an Econo Lodge (www.choicehotels.com; tel. 877/424-6423) provide moderate- and budget-priced accommodations in addition to our nonchain recommendations.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.