Welcome to Santa Cruz
A luminescent boardwalk draws the eye to this city’s mesmerizing shore, and residents here take great pride in their reputation as a blissful Pacific oasis
An ideal climate with endless sunny weather helps define the city of Santa Cruz as a quintessential beach town. Close proximity to Silicon Valley commute routes means that Santa Cruz makes an excellent residential location for those working in the industry but hoping to retain an oceanfront lifestyle.
Translated to “Holy cross” in Spanish, Santa Cruz’s long history includes the early establishment of a mission in the 1700s, with later incorporation coming officially in 1866. Among its standout features are the University of California Santa Cruz campus and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an amusement park that has been famed since its creation in 1907. Notable neighborhoods of Santa Cruz include Westown, Midtown-Seabright, Harbor, East Side, and Live Oak — each with enough space to be completely distinct in personality and character. Gated enclaves among the forest, seaside estates dripping with grandeur, and sprawling ranches are all just a few of the styles found in Santa Cruz, appealing to nearly any aesthetic.
What to Love
- Under one hour from Silicon Valley
- Eclectic lifestyles and a diverse population of free thinkers
- Mild, temperate climate with mostly sunny days perfect for hitting the beach
Serving as home to the University of California Santa Cruz — UCSC — has imbued the city with a young, dynamic vitality that permeates into its hip downtown area and entertainment venues. However, the effortless, breezy attitude of Santa Cruz also makes it a great place for laid-back families and professionals looking for a beach-meets-convenience lifestyle.
Dining, Entertainment, Shopping
Downtown Santa Cruz
follows the lazy path of the San Lorenzo River, treating visitors to plenty of waterfront dining and exceptional shopping choices. Independent shops, luxe boutiques and salons, art galleries, and specialty stores line the bustling streets, with drool-worthy aromas from the plentiful restaurants wafting on the breeze.
Wine and beer are in abundance in Santa Cruz, evidenced by the slew of wineries and craft brew specialists in the Downtown district. Lupulo Craft Beer House
combines Mexican-inspired cuisine with a steady rotation of domestic and international brews, and the Birichino Tasting Room
offers up the bounty of its California vineyards for your palate.
Things to Do
The Santa Cruz Boardwalk
is an iconic feature of the city that’s been delighting visitors and locals for decades. Kaleidoscopic lights and the cheerful shouts from roller coaster riders beckon beyond the nostalgic, arched entryway. It’s revered as the best seaside park in the world, and even among the revelry, the beach is only a step away.
Look for sea lions or cast a line out on the nearby Santa Cruz Wharf
, or simply perch for a magnificent sunset spectacle. Surfers will want to check out the waves at Steamer Lane
— locally known simply as “the lane” — for incredible surf breaks appropriate for seasoned athletes.
Santa Cruz is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Kirby School, 6-12, highly rated private school among the top 100 in the state of California
- Santa Cruz High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school
- Pacific Collegiate Charter School, 9-12, highly rated public high school for driven students
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