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9 Reasons Santa Cruz Should Be Your Next Hometown
Real Estate

9 Reasons Santa Cruz Should Be Your Next Hometown

Moving is never easy, especially when you're looking for a new place to call your home. Here's why Santa Cruz should be your next hometown.


6 min read

December 30, 2022

Amy Jeske is a California native and a highly experienced realtor with a deep understanding of the importance of strong, trust-filled relationships with clients and business partners alike. This and her extensive knowledge of the Santa Cruz area will make your next move a breeze. Jeske is a member of the Recommended Business Program.

With its iconic Spanish mission-style architecture and stunning beaches with emerald blue water, Santa Cruz, California is a truly special place to live. The city boasts a breathtaking Pacific coastline with plenty of fun activities for the whole family. Santa Cruz’s rich history and its status as a seaside resort destination means it has no shortage of cool stuff to see and do, perfect for anyone who loves an active outdoor lifestyle. There are so many great reasons to move to this dream destination, especially for nature lovers, so let’s explore a few. 

There is no shortage of surfing spots in the Santa Cruz area both for beginners and experts.

Amazing Surfing

As one of the hubs of California’s surfing culture, Santa Cruz is one of the prime spots for this major natural attraction. Anyone who loves surfing the fierce swells of the majestic Pacific will be right at home thanks to Santa Cruz’s pristine marine environment and moderate climate. 

Plus, Santa Cruz has surfing spots for beginners too, so if you’ve never stepped on a surfboard but want to try surfing for the first time, this is the place to do that safely. Favorite spots for seasoned surfers include Steamer Lane, The Hook, and Privates, while Cowell’s Beach is more accessible for beginners thanks to its tamer waves and an abundance of surf schools. 

Take in astounding views of the verdant landscape of the Santa Cruz area on a mountain bike trail.

Great Mountain Biking Trails

Avid mountain bikers will find themselves right at home in Santa Cruz thanks to its amazing variety of excellent trails catering to all skill levels and interests. The Santa Cruz area is one of the best places for mountain biking in the entire country mainly thanks to the many stunning state parks and forests there are to explore. 

Nearly all of Santa Cruz’s mountain biking trails are a short drive from downtown, meaning that your next biking adventure is always just a stone’s throw away. You don’t have to be a hardcore mountain biker to have fun. Beginner-friendly trails, such as the lower Pipeline and Powder Mill in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, offer great views of Santa Cruz’s natural woodlands and an easy relaxing route to ride. 

See one-of-a-kind views on hiking trails not far from downtown Santa Cruz.

Breathtaking Hiking Vistas 

Santa Cruz has a bustling art scene, and one of the significant artistic inspirations for the area is the sheer natural beauty of the region. Of course, with great trails, you also have plenty of options for fun hiking trips, and Santa Cruz delivers on this front as well. The natural diversity of the Santa Cruz area gives hikers a healthy variety of natural scenery for their next hike. You can enjoy unique views of rolling grasslands overlooking the ocean at Wilder Ranch State Park, or immerse yourself in the shade of Santa Cruz’s ancient redwoods in Soquel Demonstration State Forest. 

 UC Santa Cruz,  provides access trails to a lot of the best natural parks in the area. One unusual regional offering for nature lovers is Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, California. Perched in the verdant hills above the city, the Mystery Spot is a unique landmark that sports a hiking trail filled with stupefying visual illusions and gravitational anomalies.   

Santa Cruz's lovely beaches offer unparalleled fun for the whole family right on the shores of the emerald blue Pacific Ocean.

Life on the Beach 

With lovely seasides comes delightful beaches as well, and this is all the more true in Santa Cruz, California. The city’s Mediterranean weather means that there are hardly ever bad weather days, and Santa Cruz’s best beaches have safe waters perfect for a day of family fun. 

The city’s main spot for sunbathers and swimmers is Main Beach and it is not far from downtown Santa Cruz. Here there are plenty of spots for little ones to build sand castles and swim safely in the beach’s sheltered cove, and at dusk, you can take in some truly heavenly sunsets here. Other options include Capitola Beach, Seabright, and Seacliff Beach. 

Buy farm fresh organic produce and delicious artisanal foodstuff and one of Santa Cruz’s many farmer’s markets.

Farm Fresh Produce at the Farmer’s Market

California is well known as the breadbasket of the United States, and Santa Cruz is one of its main centers as the area hosts multiple dairy farms, apiaries (honey farms), and major agricultural farms with the freshest fruits and vegetables. Santa Cruz has not one, but five farmer’s markets to choose from, each with its unique selection of quality organic produce, pasture-raised meats, cook-to-order ethnic cuisine, and countless artisan foodstuffs. 

All of this is proudly made locally in one of the most fertile regions of California, making Santa Cruz one of the go-to spots for foodies and the health-conscious alike. Unsurprisingly, the diverse city also has plenty of ethnic markets such as the locally famous Mexican market and taqueria called Tienda Santa Cruz. 

Find some of the best Baja California style seafood both on the street as well as at one of Santa Cruz’s many high-end restaurants.

Fruits of the Sea 

Another delight you’ll find no shortage of at Santa Cruz’s markets and its many five-star restaurants is delicious seafood. Local, mouthwatering seafood specialties include golden osetra caviar, succulent lobster, peel-and-eat shrimp, and fresh oysters served with garlic butter and parmesan cheese. 

With iconic seafood joints such as the Italian Stagnaro Brothers Seafood and household names like Johnny’s Harborside there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the fruits of the sea in Santa Cruz. Recently, the local restaurant scene has been going through something of a rebirth, meaning there are a whole new host of modern seafood dining experiences waiting for you in the city’s bustling Spanish core. 

Take in the beautiful Pacific in your very own sailboat and along endless vistas of the Santa Cruz coastline.

Great Places to Go Sailing 

The expansive waters of the Santa Cruz harbor make it a great place for public or private cruises on a sailboat. Santa Cruz’s hotels near the boardwalk are not far from the harbor, making sailing accessible to visitors and residents alike. The harbor has over 1,000 slips so there’s no shortage of space and there are also a few well-established sailing charter companies to choose from, too. 

If you don’t know how to sail but want to take it on as a hobby, you’ll be happy to know that some companies such as Pacific Sail offer sailing classes. There are also plenty of great kayaking shops for rentals or even to go on a guided kayak tour and experience all the seaside majesty the area has to offer. 

Experience the old-time charm of Santa Cruz beach’s historic boardwalk and enjoy its many fairground attractions.

Fun on the Boardwalk

A classic California beach town just wouldn’t be complete without a historic boardwalk, and Santa Cruz is no exception. Located not far from Santa Cruz hotels such as La Quinta, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a colorful sunny seaside attraction replete with an old-fashioned funfair, plenty of delicious snack bars, and great views of the harbor. 

Families will love the many attractions such as the classic carousel, laser tag, mini golf, and even a dipper roller coaster.  There are also some relaxing Santa Cruz spots just for adults here as well, making the boardwalk the perfect place to have a nice lunch with friends and enjoy the view on a sunny Sunday.  

It’s so convenient to start your journey from Santa Cruz and explore some of the best stops along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Ride or Drive up the California Coast 

Whether you ride a steel horse or not, motorcyclists and regular motorists alike will love an enchanting road trip up or down the Pacific Coast Highway. Santa Cruz is right on California State Route 1, making it the perfect starting point for this popular journey along the pacific coast to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. You can also take a scenic journey southward, stopping over at some of the idyllic beachside hamlets California has to offer such as Carmel-By-The-Sea and end your journey in the City of Angels. Whichever direction you choose, you’re at a great starting point to discover some of the best stops along the Pacific Road highway.

There’s no denying that Santa Cruz has the idyllic California lifestyle to offer, making it more and more a popular destination for movers looking for a new place to call home.

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