Santa Cruz Getaway - $100 (Hilton hotel stay, Italian dinner, Brazilian brunch)

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We have been trying to come up with quick getaway recipes which can be enjoyed multiple times in a year in a stress-free and simple manner.  Apparently the location must be within reasonable driving distance, so no air travel would be needed.  And free hotel stay would make this getaway possible.  We have found one recipe two weeks ago with total expense less than $100 which covered one Hilton night stay, delicious meals and gasoline for driving.

Santa Cruz Itinerary Sample

Santa Cruz, California

50 minutes driving from San Francisco Bay Area.
(Leave for destination before 9am to avoid traffic)

To do:
Santa Cruz beach, hiking, swimming, gourmet food, nature bonding, fresh air

Hilton Santa Cruz / Scotts Valley (Look for Hilton card promotionsOne night requires 30,000 Hilton HHonor points during off-peak.  One Citi Hilton Visa card and one AMEX Hilton together earn 100,000 Hilton points. Hilton Silver status automatically comes with complimentary Wi-Fi.  Self-parking is free at Hilton Santa Cruz / Scotts Valley)

Hilton Santa Cruz

Main Lobby

King-size bed

  • Clean hotel and room
  • Free parking
  • Courteous hotel service
  • Room has microwave, and refrigerator
  • Large outdoor swimming pool

Lillian's Italian Kitchen - $$, I would rate 85 out of 100.  Our bill was $38 for three dishes.

People were waiting outside ...
We arrived at the restaurantwithout reservation, and were informed about 90 minutes waiting time.  We gladly ordered food-to-go and enjoyed it in our hotel room.  Both and have high ratings for this restaurant.  That set a high expectation.  The food tasted great, but not unique.

Cafe Brasil - $, rating is 95 out of 100.  Our bill was $30.  This is a jewel in Santa Cruz treasure hunt.  I would strongly strongly recommend.

Seafood over rice - more shrimps than we could devour, and the magic sauce

Steak over rice - the best is not the steak ... but the rice and beans.
  • Courteous and fast service
  • Delicious and unique food
  • Street parking is the challenge
  • Do not be scared away by long-lines.  There were 16 parties ahead of us, but we waited only 35 minutes.

Restaurant looks tiny. Inside was full and relax

For example, Santa Cruz Capitola, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, many hiking trails.

Sky Glider - $3 one-way per person.

The slow moving sky glider - perfect for dating

I forgot to take a photo.  We tried their famous Santa Cruz corn dog and fried artichoke.

Other vacation getaways:

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