Welcome to Santa Cruz
This iconic beach community offers a mix of properties, features a bustling commercial district, and is home to the famous UCSC University
Offering a bustling commercial district filled with restaurants, shops, and assorted businesses, Santa Cruz is home to some of the most striking natural wonders in the county. Rich in surfing history, this community also boasts beautiful beaches and coastal views.
Santa Cruz real estate varies widely in price and property style, from luxe properties with expansive acreage to smaller condominiums and townhouses. You'll find a range of Victorian-style houses and Craftsman bungalows here too and while some homes are located just steps from the beach, others sit at higher elevations and feature expansive views.
Home to UC Santa Cruz since 1965, this town features a highly educated population and an influx of students throughout the school year. Numerous parks and nature preserves make this area attractive to outdoor enthusiasts, and hiking, biking, and walking trails abound.
What to Love
- Filled with restaurants, shops, and assorted businesses
- Home to some of the most striking natural wonders in the county
- Rich in surfing history
- Filled with a mix of luxe properties, modest homes, and entry-level apartments
- Offers a bustling commercial district and a plethora of eaterie
A popular surfing destination since the 1960s, Santa Cruz is a true beach town. Each neighborhood is loaded with local surfers and, during the school year, students from UC Santa Cruz. Low-key is the best way to describe the Santa Cruz lifestyle. Residents enjoy the beach, the Boardwalk, yearly festivals, and gazing at the Pacific from their windows.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Santa Cruz offers a range of eclectic eateries. Local favorites include Marianne’s Ice Cream, offering hand-crafted ice cream since 1947; Burger, featuring a menu full of grass-fed burgers a deep selection of handcrafted beers flowing on over 40 rotating taps; Pizza My Heart, a surf-themed California chain serving pizza crafted from local ingredients.
Things to Do
This bustling town offers plenty of activities. At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, visitors will find an admission-free amusement park and a variety of games and rides. Steamer Lane is a famous surfing location that features a small museum filled with photos, surfboards, and other interesting artifacts tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz.
At Natural Bridges State Beach, gorgeous sandy shores and creature-filled tidepools lure beachgoers while a lush eucalyptus grove draws thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies each fall and winter.
Westcliff Drive is a scenic, three-mile walking and biking path located adjacent to the Pacific Ocean offering epic views of Monterey Bay.
UC Santa Cruz sits on a hill above the Upper Westside and more or less operates as a city unto itself, rightfully earning the nickname of the “City on a Hill.”
Santa Cruz offers several elementary schools, including Bay View, Westlake, and Happy Valley Elementary School, located approximately 3.5 miles from downtown Santa Cruz. Mission Hill Middle School, Santa Cruz High School, and UC Santa Cruz are also located here as well.
Pacific Collegiate School, a high school college prep school on the Westside, is the highest-rated public high school in California and routinely ranks in the top 10 nationwide with 80 percent of the students going on to four-year colleges.