Medical Supplies and Services
Social Services
educational Resources
Cultural Centers
Parks and Recreation
Legal Services
Additional Resources


This guide is an invitation for locals and visitors with special needs to explore the sights, sounds and flavors that Santa Cruz County has to offer. It has been written primarily to meet the needs of wheelchair users, people with developmental challenges, and their caregivers. We’ve included some resources for people with visual and auditory impairments, but our focus for this guide came from the community that Shared Adventures works with most closely. This emphasis in no way reflects an issue of value or judgement — our goal is to be sure that everyone is accommodated.

If you are living with an auditory or visual impairment and would like further information and helpful resources, please contact the Vista Center for the Blind (458-9766) or the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (753-6540 or 753-6541 TTY) (see listings in Social Services).

We at Shared Adventures are excited to offer this guide to accessibility resources for both locals and visitors to Santa Cruz County. Part of our mission at Shared Adventures is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, and we see this guide as the perfect complement to our recreational and educational programs. The guide will help bring together people of all abilities in our community.

I started Shared Adventures in 1991 with the first “Day on the Beach” event, where individuals with disabilities could challenge themselves in their environment through water sports. Since that first successful event we have provided hundreds of life-enriching recreational and social opportunities such as kayaking, surfing, outrigger canoeing, sailing, scuba diving, whale watching, yoga, rock climbing and much more.

I came up with the idea for the guide after visiting San Diego and seeing their accessibility guide. I felt it was helpful for both locals and travelers alike and knew that Santa Cruz would benefit from having its own version. Some of the great things you’ll find inside are accessible restaurants, hotels, parks, health agencies and other service providers which cater to those with special needs. We are proud to offer this guide to our community and visitors.

Please also check out: www.sharedadventures.org
There are all kinds of great links from there. Happy adventuring!

Founder and President,
Shared Adventures
Shared Adventures is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing recreational activities to people with special needs and physical challenges.

Letter from Emily Reilly
Mayor, Santa Cruz, CA

Let us know about your favorite accessible resource, order a print version of the guide, or just tell us what you think! We welcome your thoughts, tips, suggestions and contributions.We can be reached at:
Shared Adventures
PO BOX 396
Santa Cruz, CA 95061



>> Click HERE for MAP of Santa Cruz & Directions

NOTE: Most links will open a new browser window and take you off of this website. This website will remain open behind the new window.

Aptos Chamber/Visitor Center

(831) 688-1467

Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitor’s Center

(831) 425-1234

Monterey Visitor’s Bureau

(831) 649-1770

San Francisco Visitor’s Bureau

(888) 782-9673

CA Office of Tourism

(800) 862-2543

SC County Weather

(831) 475-3033

SC County Sheriff

(831) 454-2414

Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities website:

If you’re in a wheelchair and flying in to visit Santa Cruz (or anywhere else), try these helpful tips:

  • If you are flying with a motorized wheelchair, bring documentation about the type of battery your wheelchair uses.
  • Tape easy-to-read instructions about how to handle your wheelchair in a very visible place on your wheelchair.
  • Pack a wheelchair repair kit. For security reasons, it’s best to stow this kit in your checked luggage.
  • Carry medicine, medical equipment and personal care items with you in your carry-on luggage.
  • Know Your Rights—The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel. This law requires US air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities. The Department of Transportation publishes “New Horizons, Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability.” This booklet is available on-line at: http://airconsumer.dot.gov/publications/horizons.htm.
  • Gather information and make needed reservations with medical supply companies, wheelchair repair and transportation at your destination well in advance.

Avis and Hertz both have hand control cars available for rent. Reserve well in advance and verify reservations the day of the trip. Horsnyder’s Pharmacy rents wheelchairs and The Bicycle Trip repairs them, as does Rehabilitation Specialists. See medical supply section in this guide for these listings.

Although every effort has been made to provide reliable, accurate information, Shared Adventures and the Santa Cruz Access Guide staff do not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, products, or persons disclosed. Although the guide covers mainly Santa Cruz County, out of county listings are included when no local equivalent is available. Please send any updates or corrections to:
Shared Adventures
PO BOX 396
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Please note:
The area code for this guide is 831 unless otherwise shown.

Any and all monetary mentions are based on the information available at the date of publication and may change at any time.

All facilities listed in this guide meet the following specifications unless otherwise noted

At least one designated accessible parking space in private lot. If no private lot at least one public accessible parking space within one block.

Accessible entrance is accessed by a lift, level ground, or a ramp entrance with slope 1:12 or less
Door clearance is at least 32" wide
Entrance threshold less than 1/2" tall

Pathway at least 36" wide

Knee clearance of at least 27" provided

Entry door at least 32" wide
Stall door at least 32", or 36" if side opening and
swings in
Grab bars on back wall and at least one side wall
Clear space for lateral transfer
Faucet controls operable with closed fist

Space for a wheelchair with adequate viewing capabilities

© Shared Adventures, published June, 2003
Written by Crystal Birns
Edited by Crystal Birns, Daniel Birns, Steve Miller and Debra Wirkman
Compiled by Crystal Birns, Daryl Wise, Foster Andersen and Gena Bergstrom
Facilities assessed by Sarah Felumb, Gena Bergstrom, Foster Andersen, Michael Bush and Reverend Eileen Attanasio
Design by Mike Miller, Prism Photographics, Inc.
Production by Mark Woodhead
Website by Randie Paige Lewis, Luckydogarts and Design
Translation by Verónica Peña Núñez
Cover photo by Wheeler Stone

Special thanks to The Access Guide Advisory Board: Ranee Ruble and the Santa Cruz County Tourist and Convention Center, Mike Bradshaw and the Central Coast Center for Independent Living, Michael Bush, Caroline Murphy, Foster Andersen, Steve Miller and Jonathen Adler.

Thanks to New Leaf Markets for feeding our advisory board delicious organic food, Caroline Murphy at Dollars and Sense for helping make the project happen, to Bonnie Lewkowicz of Access Northern California for her generous offering of advice and support, to Foster and Steve for tirelessly volunteering more hours than could be counted. And to everyone else who contributed thoughts, photos, information, and advice — this guide could not have been made without you.


If your organization provides resources that might belong in this Access Guide, please email us at info@sharedadventures.org.


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website design: Luckydog Arts and Design © 2003

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