Santa Cruz Travel Guide


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Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms

Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms

Getting your family's Christmas tree from a Santa Cruz Mountain Christmas Tree Farms can become a cherished family memory and the beginning of a new family tradition!

The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to many wonderful Christmas tree farms located close to Santa Cruz where you can choose and cut your own Christmas tree. If it's too stormy or you are just not that adventuress, you can purchase a pre cut tree from any number of reputable Christmas tree lots. No matter what you choose, you can find many options just a short drive away from Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, and San Jose.

A word of caution – Santa Cruz Mountain Christmas tree farms have been greatly impacted by the recent draught, and this will affect the quality and selection of trees they offer for many years to come. Be sure to call the fams before you go and ask about the tree health, qunatity, and selection. For the best tree selection, you may want to go early in the season. Unfortunately, going too early in the season may result in a dry, brittle, brown Christmas tree before the holidays really get going. Ask the farm owner how best to preserve your tree to last through the entire holiday season.

Some Santa Cruz Christmas tree farms offer extras such as bouncy houses, hot cider, hay rides and more. Visit the Christmas tree farm links below to see which one will best meet your specific needs.

To learn more about Santa Cruz Christmas and Winter Holiday inspired events and activities, click here

Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms

Black Road Christmas Tree Farms — Choose and Cut

20259 Black Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033 (408) 354-8472
Open: Day after Thanksgiving – December 24th.
Hours: Daily 8am until Dark
Directions: See Web Site for directions.
Varieties:  Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, White Fir, Scotch Pine, Sierra Redwood, and Scotch Pine.
Additional Features: Picnic area, and Christmas supplies.

Crest Ranch Christmas Tree Farm  — Choose and Cut

12500 Empire Grade Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (831) 426-1522
Open: Weekend before Thanksgiving  –  Seven days a week.
Hours: Daily 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
Varieties:  Douglas Fir, White Fir, Scotch Pine, Austrian pine, Arizona Cypress, and more.
Additional Features: Picnic area, snack bar on the weekends.

Four Winds Christmas Trees — Choose and Cut

19679 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos, CA  (408) 399-9020
Open: Thanksgiving 'til Christmas
Hours: Weekdays: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Weekends: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Directions: Take Hwy 17 south to the Black Road/Bear Creek Road exit at Lexington Reservoir.  Left on Black road 1.9 mi to Gist.  Left on Gist 1.7 mi to Skyline, left on Skyline ¼ mile to Four Winds ranch on the right. 
Varieties: Mostly Douglas Fir but they also have some Grand Fir, Spruce,  and White Fir.

Hester Creek Farms

25507 San Jose-Soquel Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95033  (408) 353-1511

Lone Star Tree Farm — Choose & Cut

20514 Gist Road, Los Gatos, CA  (408) 395-0337
Open: Day after Thanksgiving
Hours: Weekdays: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Weekends: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Directions: Highway 17 to Bear Creek Rd exit. Take Frontage Rd. north to Black Rd.- – 2 miles to Gist Road – – 7/10 of a mile to farm.
Varieties: Douglas fir and White fir

Mckenzie Ranch

Address: 19970 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033   (408) 867-5693
Open: Friday after Thanksgiving, through Sunday before Christmas
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ♦ Fri – Sun: 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Directions: See website for directions.
Varieties: Douglas fir, White fir, and Grand fir
Additional Features: Large picnic areas with benches, Duck pond, Bonfire, Free candy canes (weekends only)

Mountain Charlies Ranch

Address: 23100 Mountain Charlie Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95033
Open: Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve (December 24th)
Hours: Weekdays: 9am – 5pm ♦ Weekends: 8am – 5pm
Directions: See Web Site for directions.
Varieties:  Firs and Pines
Additional Features: Handmade wreaths and freshly picked mistletoe are also available for sale.

Patchen California  — Choose and Cut

22217 Old Santa Cruz Hwy., Los Gatos, CA  (408) 353-1615
Open:  Thanksgiving 'til Christmas
Hours: Daily, dawn until 9:00 pm (UNDER THE LIGHTS),
Directions: From Highway 17, exit on Summit Road, cross over the overpass, then turn left on Summit Road for 50 feet, then left again on Mt. Charlie Road for 3/4 miles.
Varieties: Douglas Fir, Sierra Redwood, and Monterey Pine.

Peacock Tree Farm

17950 Mountain Charlie Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95033  (408) 353-6465
Opens on:  Friday 11/27/15
Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Monday – Thursday 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Directions:  They are less than one minute from the intersection of Hwy 17 and Summit Road.  Take the Summit Rd. Exit off of Hwy 17 and follow the signs to Peacock Tree Farm.
Varieties: ???.          

Summit Tree Farm — Choose and Cut

23868 Summit Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033  (408) 354-3595
Open:  Day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. 
Weekends: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Weekdays: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Directions: See website
Varieties: Douglas Fir, White Fir, Scotch Pine

For even more Santa Cruz Christmas and Winter Holiday inspired events and activities, click here

Do you want to expand your Santa Cruz Christmas tree farms search to other areas? Click here to search Half Moon Bay (45 miles north) or Monterey (40 miles south). You can also select from our Destination Explorer!

What's on Tap
This Winter


Santa Cruz Festivals & Events:

Santa Cruz Baroque Festival 

UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, 1156 High St. Santa Cruz (831) 457-9693

Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook Off – Sat., Feb. 20, 2016

Santa Cruz  (831) 423-5590

Kayak Surf Festival – March 18-20, 2016

This is the largest kayak surfing competition.

Cowells Classic – March 19-20, 2016

This is a friendly surfing competition.

SCPF Paddleboard Race – March 19, 2016

Whale Watching – Dec. through May  

Elephant Seal Watching – December is breeding season. Año Nuevo State Reserve has a large colony of northern elephant seals that assemble there each winter.    

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Santa Cruz.


Top Fall Attractions:


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Fun for all ages.  

Santa Cruz Fishing 

Fall is fishing and crabbing season in Santa Cruz!

Santa Cruz Surfing

With 11 world-class surf breaks such as Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, it is easy to understand why the greatest surfers in the world call Santa Cruz home!  

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May


For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.



The Region's Fall Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially along Mission Street and Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Capitols. It's a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to to learn about road conditions. 

Yes, it's still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.