Live Oak is a city in Santa Cruz County that is between Santa Cruz and Capitola. Development in Live Oak over the last half century has contributed to the area's misture of ranch-style houses, townhome condominium complexes, single-family homes and trailer parks.
Home to roughly 17,000 residents, Live Oak has a total area of 3.25 square miles. Generally mild weather throughout the year, enjoying a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, mostly dry summers. Due to its proximity to Monterey Bay, fog and low overcast are common during the night and morning hours, especially in the summer.
For several thousand years, the Awaswas-speaking Ohlone people inhabited the area from Half Moon Bay to Aptos, including the area now known as Live Oak. When missionaries established the Mission Santa Cruz in 1791, they noted "an area to the east of the San Lorenzo River "in sight of the Sea" that was crisscrossed by "steep gulches containing running water" and three "reed-lined" lagoons. Spanish colonial settlers, who later established the secular pueblo of Villa de Branciforte on the east side of the San Lorenzo, ran their herds of cattle and horses in the "common lands" of this area.