Santa Cruz County

Known for its relaxed atmosphere, scenic beauty, and abundance of outdoor activities.

Welcome to Santa Cruz County

Where the redwoods meet the sea.
Santa Cruz County is a classic California beach community combined with mountain homes nestled in the coastal redwoods located on Monterey Bay. The area is known for its relaxed atmosphere, scenic beauty, and abundance of outdoor activities. Santa Cruz County has a long history dating back to the Ohlone people, who were the first to settle in the area. In the 18th century, Spanish missionaries built a Mission here, and Santa Cruz became a thriving ranching community. In the mid-19th century, the area was developed as a resort destination, and many Victorian-style homes from this era can still be seen today. Santa Cruz County has become increasingly popular as a place to live and work in recent years. The county offers a unique blend of small-town charm, urban amenities, and a booming real estate market. The area has something to offer everyone, whether you're looking for a cozy beach bungalow or a luxurious country estate.

What to Love

  • An abundance of natural beauty
  • Culturally fascinating 
  • Stunning architecture

Local Lifestyle

Santa Cruz County is unique and special; its residents are just as one-of-a-kind. The local lifestyle here is all about enjoying the outdoors, whether hiking through one of the many redwood forests or surfing on one of the world-famous waves. And when it comes to culture, Santa Cruz County has it all, from museums to lively farmers' markets. But what makes the area unique are its residents. They're a friendly bunch who love to have fun and enjoy life to the fullest. So whether you're looking for a laid-back lifestyle or an exciting adventure, you'll find it in Santa Cruz County.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Santa Cruz County is a foodie paradise! There's something for everyone; whether you're in the mood for barbecue, sushi, wood-fired pizza, or another delicious meal, you’ll find it here. Mission St. BBQ is a local favorite, known for its smoked meats and Texas-style sauces. They also host live blues music events, creating a distinctive country ambiance. For pizza lovers, try Bantam, where they serve up fresh slices made with locally sourced, organic ingredients. If you're looking for something more indulgent, head to Alderwood. This upscale restaurant offers a menu of seasonal specialties paired with an extensive wine list. No matter what your taste buds are craving, you'll find it here!
As for the bar scene, Santa Cruz County has many options that cater to different crowds. The Blue Lagoon is the place to go for music and late-night dancing. Parish Publick House offers a beer-sipping and pool-playing vibe. If you’re looking for a fun craft cocktail and a modern-industrial interior design, head over to Front & Cooper. The Santa Cruz bar scene is diverse and intriguing, from raucous dance bars to laid-back lounges. 
There are many beloved locally-owned shops in Santa Cruz. Bookshop Santa Cruz is the perfect place to find books for everyone in the family. They have a great selection of fiction and non-fiction and a wide variety of events you can attend. Midtown Surf Shop is the place to go if you’re looking for the latest and greatest in surf gear. They have everything you need, from boards to wetsuits, and their knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you find what you need. Bad Animal is an excellent option if you’re looking for unique and vintage books. They also offer delicious food and wine, creating a sophisticated ambiance. Pacific Trading Co. is a lovely women’s boutique. They carry various items, including jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it at one of these great Santa Cruz stores!

Things to Do

Santa Cruz is an outdoor lover's paradise. In the summer, the Wharf to Wharf Race draws athletes from all over the world. The six-mile course takes runners from Santa Cruz Wharf to Capitola Wharf, with stunning views of Monterey Bay. For a less strenuous activity, the West Cliff walking path offers breathtaking ocean views and is a great place to spot dolphins and whales. Wilder Ranch State Park is perfect for a picnic or a day of hiking, and in the winter, surfers flock to Pleasure Point Street Fair to catch some waves. Locals and tourists alike love attending one of the Thursday night Beach Parties at the Crow’s Nest or the Woodies on the Wharf car show. No matter the time of year, Santa Cruz always offers something to do. 


Santa Cruz City Schools serves Santa Cruz.
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