Santa Cruz

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Community Guide

By the Numbers (back to top)

Year Incorporated: 1866
Population: 54,600
Median Home Price: $511,000

MLS Areas:

Area Description (back to top)

The City of Santa Cruz is the best known in the county. Also known as "Surf City", Santa Cruz has a lot to offer both on the waves and off. Aside from surfing, one of the biggest influences on Santa Cruz is the acclaimed University of California at Santa Cruz. With over 10,000 students, the University is a big part of life in Santa Cruz, adding much to the city's vibrancy.

The University draws many students from all over the state and country. Most of these students do not find housing on campus. Consequently, there is a great demand for rental property. Individual rooms can rent out for $600 a month - or more. A three bedroom house could easily rent for $2000 a month.

Santa Cruz is diveded by Ocean street into East and West side. One sought-after area in Santa Cruz is the "lower west side", near Cowell's Beach and West Cliff Drive. It's an area of amazing views and mellow, long-ride surfing - and remember, this is a surf town! Mission Street (Highway 1) is the divider between the lower and upper West Side. The upper West Side marks one border of the University, and tends to have larger homes and lot sizes than the lower West side.

The East Side of Santa Cruz is also much in demand. North of Highway 1 is the Banana Belt, said to be the best weather in Santa Cruz. The Seabright district is very popular, with excellent weather, and Castle Beach is a popular surfing spot as well, particularly in the winter.

Live Oak is the area found between the city of Santa Cruz, Highway 1, and the city of Capitola. Live Oak also encompasses Pleasure Point, another famous surf area.

City of Santa Cruz History Page

Area Attractions (back to top)

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk:

Lighthouse Field State Park:

West Cliff Drive:

De Laveaga Golf Course:

Natural Bridges State Park:

Pacific Avenue Mall:

The Mystery Spot:

Restaurants (back to top)

Mobo Sushi:

Pleasure Pizza:



Pearl Alley Bistro:

Costa Brava:

Walnut Street Cafe:


El Palomar:

Ideal Bar and Grill:


Engfer's Pizza:

Seabright Brewery:

The Crow's Nest:

Hindquarter Bar and Grill:


Linda's Seabreeze Cafe:

Silver Spur:

Nightlife (back to top)

The Catalyst:

Moe's Alley:

The Blue Lagoon:

The Crow's Nest:

Places to Stay (back to top)


UCSC Inn & Conference Center:


Shopping (back to top)

The Pacific Garden Mall, on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, is a wonderful place to shop. There are a few "big box" retailers down there (Gap, Borders Brooks), but most of the shops are locally owned boutiques.

Eco Goods:


Schools (back to top)

School District: Santa Cruz City Schools

Places of Worship (back to top)

Twin Lakes Church:

Center for Conscious Living:

Area Map (back to top)




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