Santa Cruz is the surf city vacation spot — tourists flow through to see downtown and the boardwalk all year long. This can drive prices up, even for locals and the students who spend four years or more in the city by the sea. Here are a few deals on food and entertainment for saving money while on a student budget.


5. Buy One Get One Half Off at Jack’s Hamburgers

Jack’s has been hailed as one of the best burger joints in town — and it can get even better weekdays from 3-4 p.m. when you can get one burger basket half off after you get the first.

4. El Palomar $2 Tacos

Happy Hour is common at restaurants and bars throughout Santa Cruz. One of the best discounts you can find is $2 tacos that go with a drink of your choice from 5-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday at El Palomar.

3. Six Dollar Nights at Regal Cinemas

Downtown is full of deals on Tuesdays, but none match the bargain of $6 movie tickets at Regal Cinemas on Pacific Avenue. All movies throughout the day are only six bucks — matinees are usually $8.50 while evening showtimes are usually $10.50. Maybe book a double feature next week and see Guardians of the Galaxy and Planet of the Apes on your Tuesday evening.

2. Live Comedy at the Blue Lagoon, Red Room and Surf City Billiards

Both new and established comics tour downtown Santa Cruz for free shows throughout the week as they travel from Surf City Billiards on Monday to the Red Room on Tuesday and the Blue Lagoon on Friday.

1. Retro Nights at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Amusement parks are expensive, there is no way around it — except for Mondays and Tuesdays after 5 p.m. at the Boardwalk through August 28. Usually rides can add up to three or six bucks a pop, but on these early weeknights you can jump on Captain Jack Flint’s ship for just $1. Hot dogs and cotton candy are also only $1.

Don’t forget to check out other happy hour deals, downtown Tuesday discounts and student nights at other local venues.