San Lorenzo Valley

Picturesque expanse contains a collection of quaint residential towns.

Welcome to San Lorenzo Valley

Connect with your inner mountaineering spirit without sacrificing an ounce of convenience in the charming communities of San Lorenzo Valley
In the forested heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the picturesque expanse known as San Lorenzo Valley contains a collection of quaint residential towns, including Felton, Ben Lomond, Brookdale, Boulder Creek. While they might feel worlds away from the rest of Santa Cruz County, these towns are all conveniently located along California Highway 9, making commuting a breeze.
Once the epicenter of California’s logging industry, the wooded communities within the San Lorenzo Valley now harbor over 35,000 happy residents. San Lorenzo Valley was named for the meandering river that flows through the mountains to the bay, and the area more than lives up to its reputation as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
Homes in the valley are surrounded by monolithic Redwood trees, making even the smallest of bungalows feel like something born out of a fairytale. From larger, contemporary abodes right off Highway 9 to rural living and quiet neighborhoods, San Lorenzo Valley offers a relaxed solitude that’s hard to find elsewhere.

What to Love

  • Tiny towns rich in character and personality
  • Most homes within 30-40 minutes of Santa Cruz
  • Good K-12 schools and a family-oriented way of living

Local Lifestyle

The valley is bookended by large state parks — Big Basin Redwoods State Park and Castle Rock to the north, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to the south. A mountain lifestyle reigns supreme here, and residents of San Lorenzo Valley would opt for acreage over city living any day.

Dining, Entertainment, Shopping

Among the impressive towns tucked away in San Lorenzo Valley, Ben Lomond remains one of the most dynamic. While residents are never far from the shopping and dining of hotspots like those in Santa Cruz, locals also have access to plenty of great eats and everything they require to meet their day-to-day needs.
Casa Nostra is a Ben Lomond favorite, charming its diners with the unique opportunity to enjoy decadent Italian cuisine outdoors among a grove of gorgeous Redwoods. Henflings Bar and Grill is the go-to neighborhood hangout, and the classic pub fare here perfectly complements the buzzy atmosphere and live weekend performances.
Tyrolean Inn is a true cottage escape, melding together the best of German and Bavarian foods in tandem with its densely wooded setting. To cater to the mountain mentality of residents, there’s the Mountain Feed Farm and Supply, which provides the tools you need for a perfect homesteading lifestyle.

Things to Do

Of course, with so much jaw-dropping scenery, it’s natural that the biggest activity in the San Lorenzo Valley is spending time in the great outdoors. Zip-lining through Redwoods, hiking up ancient paths, or boarding a vintage locomotive and riding in the lap of luxury — no matter your preference, the San Lorenzo Valley is a dream to explore.
The area is rich in history, and places like the Roaring Camp — the same facility that offers rides on authentic 19th-century steam trains — produce year-round living history displays to transport visitors back to the mountaineering heyday of the valley.
An artistic spirit is also encouraged throughout San Lorenzo Valley and at the Santa Cruz. Mountain Art Center in Ben Lomond, artists gather to sell their wares, teach classes in multiple mediums, and establish a community of creative types that can draw inspiration from the nature around them.


San Lorenzo Valley is home to many excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
  • San Lorenzo Valley High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school
  • San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School, K-5, highly rated public elementary school

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