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Santa Cruz, California SperlingViews



"Most vibrant, culturally interesting CA beach town"


Most vibrant, culturally interesting CA beach town - 4/19/2008
9 5
Bev
Soquel, CA

A great place to experience live entertainment and diverse groups of people from all parts of the world. All university towns are lively, but Santa Cruz is exceptional, with 'good' street musicians and art, plus theatre and lecture events all year long. The downtown is becoming "The place to live" for those in the know. Professionals, artists and savvy people who want to be within walking distance of great restaurants, sidewalk cafes', coffeehouses, art galleries, shops, markets, great beaches, the wharf, the boardwalk and entertainment love living in Santa Cruz. It is considered by many to be among the best beach towns to live in on the California Coast. It does have its share of bums and beggers true, but it makes up for it by being among the cleanest, physically attractive and most exciting and interesting places anywhere in the world. Many former residents who have been forced out by the high prices are disgruntled and angry that it has become so "upscale". A place they can no longer afford. And beware, some conservatives may find the region too progressive. Wealthy retirees are also discovering Santa Cruz. They wanting a safe, vibrant place to live where they walk everywhere. And although there is crime here it is still considered safe. And natural beauty abounds with miles of hiking, biking and walking trails in the closeby beaches and mountains.

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Eric
Gilroy, CA

There's Good and Bad - 10/3/2013

I think my experience may be a little bit different than most people's. got lucky in that I already had a solid friend base when I moved to Santa Cruz, as well as an affordable room near the beach at my friend's apartment. While I certainly enjoyed aspects of Santa Cruz, I was very ready to leave after my 9 month temporary stay in the city. So let's start with the cons: Very rude and intolerant people: For a place that is supposedly liberal, I have never been called a "f*cking f*ggot" more times in my life than when I was walking downtown. It was appalling and there reached a point where I just didn't want to go outside anymore. The tourists: I'm not one of those anti-tourism people and perhaps it's my own fault for living on Beach Hill, but come Friday my neighborhood became a hotbed of litter, stumbling drunks, cat-callers, and just plain disrespect. If you are going to visit Santa Cruz, that's fine (I did as a teen all the time) but have some respect for the people who live there! Jobs: I got lucky in that I found a decent paying job fairly easily, though I was required to commute to our San Jose office twice a week. A lot of people commute to San Jose and it can get tiresome since there are few jobs in Santa Cruz outside of the University or healthcare. Traffic: worst traffic I have ever experienced. I think people are rude in Santa Cruz because the traffic stresses them out. Whoever planned this city most not have been entirely sober because the streets make absolutely no sense. It's hard to just get one mile in the city and don't even think about driving on a Saturday in July or during rush hour. Ok, now the pros. There are still a lot of sweet old hippie people, and I love hippies, who bring a spark to Santa Cruz. This one is just my preference and I know that not everyone likes hippies. The redwoods and the beach are right there if you want them. There are a multitude of health-food stores. There are some amazing restaurants. Gay volleyball on Wednesday evenings is wonderful. Once again, I already had a friend base when I moved there and I only lived there for a temporary job, so my experience is different than most peoples. If you do move to Santa Cruz, you must go to trivia nights and 99 Bottles, ride your bike up to Wilder Ranch State Park, go on the Giant Dipper regularly, try one of the hundreds of great coffee shops, and attend some of the fun events downtown. Santa Cruz if far from perfect and in many ways I think it is getting worse instead of better. But it's not terrible. It still has a small town feel with an interesting culture. Just prepare for the summer rush of trashy tourists. But when that happens, walk on down to the Penny Ice Creamery and have some amazing homemade ice cream.

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heidi
Santa Cruz, CA

santa cruz is too hot - 4/21/2013

Coming from 11 years in San Francisco and one in Berkeley, the adjustment to the SC climate is not going well. It seems unreasonably warm for April (80F today). In fact, after the usual winter rains stopped, it's been nothing but sunshine and heat. Most people would likely enjoy this, but I miss layers of clothing, fog, and my four o' clock breeze.

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kell
Soquel, CA

Beautiful Place but pricy - 7/11/2011

Santa Cruz is an amazing place to live but now that i am getting older i am coming to terms that i may not be able to afford it when i start a family. I have lived here all my life & it is truly an beautiful place. You have the best of both worlds you have trees and hiking and beautiful beaches. It is a great place to live but the cost of living is prriiccy.

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cj
Portland, OR

too cold? - 6/27/2011

I'm considering a move to Santa Cruz for school, but am concerned it may be too chilly of a climate for me. I like to be warm and I was surprised to see that even summer nights are 50 degrees?? Does it ever get to 80s in the summer? Thanks!

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Kelly
Santa Cruz, CA

Great Climate - 6/17/2011

You can't beat the weather in Santa Cruz, CA....almost no humidity, relatively mild winters with rain, but gorgeous spring, summer and fall. Fall is actually the best time of the year here as the weather is usually sunny and beautiful and most of the tourists have gone home. While the summers can sometimes have foggy, cool days (especially in June "June Gloom" and even into the early weeks of July) mostly it's just right.

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Jonnieboy
Santa Cruz, CA

Forget Santa Cruz... - 5/13/2011

Other then the wonderful weather and beautiful Monterey Bay, EVERYTHING else here stinks...the natives are total underachievers, real losers, many are total druggies,alcoholics and "tweekers" AND there are SO many homeless per capita it's frightening...and that's the good news! The bad news is the educational system is horrific,turning out very uneducated students comparatively;It's extremely expensive (the 3rd highest rents in America!)it's a beach town (read:no work) AND there's absolutely NO culture per say! I've lived here almost 10 years now and curse the day I moved here.

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nick
New Smyrna Beach, FL

the good the bad and the ugly - 3/21/2009

If you are not into fast living with lose morals then santa cruz is not the place for you if you are young. i can agree with just about everyone on santa cruz. it is pricey to an extreme, there are crazy mountain bikers. politics are wacko and college kids do run ramped. but i do share a lot of political views as the liberals, i love mountain biking and the crazy politics make the town what it is. it is not what it was when my parents were young there but it is still something different and funky. it will always have a special place in my heart. the crime is kinda high but you only really hear the negative. i have never been bothered. some punk kids tried to break into my house when i was little. but before they could help them selves to the tv they realized someone was home and ran. and yeah there are very aggressive bums but you learn how to live with them. and the locals kind of are jerks. unless you are one of them. i honestly think santa cruz could be better but for some reason when ever i leave i find my self wanting to come back...

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Bonnie
Santa Cruz, CA

Money, Money, Money - 3/6/2009

I moved here a little over a year ago to get away from some of the snobbier areas of the East Bay, and at first I fell in love with life in Santa Cruz. The weather is beautiful in the summer and not killer in the winter. Cabrillo College is a great campus with a lot of wonderful professors. No matter where you live in this area you are ten minutes from a beach or the forest. However, generally the locals here have this strange animosity for "out of towners" and newcomers to the city, and sometimes I feel out of place having only moved here within the last year. Also, the cost of living is absolutely outrageous and because of this I'm moving somewhere less expensive. There are always homeless people crowding sidewalks downtown, and you will almost always see at least one person passed out in a corner with a needle hanging out of his arm. The funky atmosphere is fun for a little while, but I find myself craving normalcy and the ability to buy food instead of worrying about how I'm going to make this months rent.

[Comment on this Posting]


Bev
Soquel, CA

Most vibrant, culturally interesting CA beach town - 4/19/2008

A great place to experience live entertainment and diverse groups of people from all parts of the world. All university towns are lively, but Santa Cruz is exceptional, with 'good' street musicians and art, plus theatre and lecture events all year long. The downtown is becoming "The place to live" for those in the know. Professionals, artists and savvy people who want to be within walking distance of great restaurants, sidewalk cafes', coffeehouses, art galleries, shops, markets, great beaches, the wharf, the boardwalk and entertainment love living in Santa Cruz. It is considered by many to be among the best beach towns to live in on the California Coast. It does have its share of bums and beggers true, but it makes up for it by being among the cleanest, physically attractive and most exciting and interesting places anywhere in the world. Many former residents who have been forced out by the high prices are disgruntled and angry that it has become so "upscale". A place they can no longer afford. And beware, some conservatives may find the region too progressive. Wealthy retirees are also discovering Santa Cruz. They wanting a safe, vibrant place to live where they walk everywhere. And although there is crime here it is still considered safe. And natural beauty abounds with miles of hiking, biking and walking trails in the closeby beaches and mountains.

[Comment on this Posting]


Amy
Santa Cruz, CA

Can't Buy A House - 2/8/2008

The cost of living in the Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Area overall is far too much for anyone who is not using it as a bedroom community to commute to The Silicon Valley. As a government worker in this town. making fairly good money, I STILL can't afford to buy a house that's appropriate to my needs.

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Amy
Santa Cruz, CA

Cost of Living and Job Market Not Compatible - 2/8/2008

I have been in Santa Cruz for about 8 years. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz and then stayed with my job in local government but have tried more than once for other jobs in the area without success. The cost of living is totally unaffordable for most. I was making about 35,000 / year, which, granted, isn't much, but it was hardly enough to survive in this town. My partner and I want to buy a home and it's just not possible for us here.

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David B.
Santa Cruz, CA

Paradise got crowded - 12/21/2007

Santa Cruz has changed in the 15 years I've been here. The traffic is bad for 4 hours a day, and foriegn citizens from south of the border are straining our schools and hospitals. What was a friendly town now has stabbings and loud car stereos pounding. It's been sad to watch the change. Also, you used to be able to hike peacefully in the surrounding forest and mountains but there's a trend of inconsiderate mountain bikers who have no real appreciation of nature. They illegaly cut new trails through public parks and yell to eachother while they seem to ride as fast as they can around corners and over hills. Going on a nature hike is not so fun with this happening and protecting the public lands has become a decreasing budgetary priority for the last few years, so enforcement against this has been difficult to impossible. So not only is it hazardous to cross the street, it's nervracking to stroll down a trail in the redwoods.

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Jeromy
Santa Cruz, CA

The Nature of Santa Cruz - 11/23/2007

I was born in Santa Cruz California at Dominican Hospital. I have lived there for 28 years. The town is a cesspool of bums, slums, unemployed liberals and college students that spend more time clogging up the sidewalks with their stupid signs complaining about anything and everything. The sidewalks are used as bathrooms by the homeless and If you have a Anti-abortion bumper sticker or a pro-conservative bumper sticker or a Hummer SUV expect your car to be trashed and vandalized. The "No blood for Oil" crowd spray painted that very quote on my neighbors new Hummer and slashed his tires. I have been attacked in my car for my Pro Bush bumper sticker. The basic "Culture" all these people say they like are freaks with tattoos and piercing from head to toe. Their faces are full of metal with mohawks and no jobs. Heavy drug use and loitering by these people. Very aggressive panhandling by the bums, sometimes accompanied with threats if demands are not met. You cannot leave a restaurant without a bum demanding your leftovers. Woman have been raped in BROAD DAYLIGHT in the city owned parking garages and other places. a few years back a brazilian man refused to give money and got his head blown off by a double barrel shotgun. You get intimidated at the voting booth by local Liberals "Reminding you" to vote for the local socialist candidate. So, some say the culture is a reason to live there. I have to laugh, there is no culture there, just a bunch of liberals and losers running around doing whatever they want whenever they want is not called "Culture" I can go on and on but I think you get the picture. This is not worth having both husband and wife working 50 hours a week so you can live in this sludge. If you want to have a 1 parent income so the other can stay home with the children, california is NOT the state for you. Plus, If you are a stay at home mom and/or dad, DO NOT expect to have a warm welcome. Stay at home moms, once word gets out, are harassed by the local feminists. This future of America, these liberals would rather have a mom and pop shop employ 1-3 workers for minimum wage and no health benefits than allow a Costco to employ 250 people for 12-14 an hour WITH benefits just because it is a large company. these people are like broken records when it comes to what they want. Big business is the only people that offer big pay and they are driven out of town by the local liberals, probably because the local liberals lack the college degree required to fill these positions. The local college liberals take to the streets demanding higher minimum wage all the time and when they get it everything else goes up so their few cents an hour more is irrelevant, however it seems to make them happy (until they realize it had not accomplished anything) then back to the streets. Finally, the weather climate is unmatched and the ocean is beautiful but not worth the struggle to make ends meet. I recently moved to Kennewick, Washington, got a business loan a few days later and I am opened for business making double what I was making on salary. This is NOT something I could have done in Santa Cruz California. I tried already for over two years and gave up on the bureaucratic NIGHTMARE Santa Cruz gleefully offers to ensure people not even try to get ahead and stay broke and depending on welfare, food stamps and other government programs. The City elected officials call these programs, GREP (Guarantee Re-Election Programs)

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Jessica
Bryan, TX

Yes, cost of living is much higher...but... - 8/15/2007

I spent my entire adult life as a Santa Cruz local. Yes, rent and home prices are higher than average, yes childcare costs are almost double, yes, gas prices are higher. Remember the old addage, "you get what you pay for". The city is a hub of cultural activity. The coastline provides a free and tranquil oasis. The towering Redwood's provide a wealth of environmental learning possibilities (aka pic-nics). I've moved away from my home town, been gone for two years now. Not a day goes by that I don't long to return to my high priced little piece of heaven in Santa Cruz, California!

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DJ
Ben Lomond, CA

Bye Bye - 7/17/2007

I agree with most of the postings before me. My husband and I have lived near Santa Cruz since 1983. During that time I have seen it change from a cute, funky little town, to a dirty, intolerant, tired town. The only thing we enjoy is the beauty of the ocean and trees and the weather; neither of which is enough anymore. In addition to the beggars and street urchins that make going downtown miserable, there really are very few good restaurants, the shopping is abysmal (unless you are 25 or under) and the politics aren't liberal they're socialism bordering on communisim. I absolutely cannot WAIT to get the heck out of here to somewhere more normal. Just give me a little culture, some nice restaurants, decent shopping and realistic home prices. The thing that drove me over the edge: The freaks that protested the Borders Bookstore downtown to the point where they threw acid (and I don't mean LSD)at the front door. Then proceded to vandalize the bathrooms until they had to close them permanently. Insane. You would have thought they were putting in a bordello. Thank you for letting me vent.

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Lee
Santa Cruz, CA

Far -A- way - 6/25/2007

I'll be looking for out of the way retirement cottage or RV woodsie 6000 ft+ CA, Or, Id, Mont. location. All I'll need is a satellite connestion for my computers and HD-TV's.....Hey - I'm one of then.....G'day Lee

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Francesca
Santa Cruz, CA

Nice bus service - 5/17/2007

I think Santa Cruz Metro is an excellent bus service... at least in the opinion of someone coming from a sprawled suburb that never saw a bus in its entire existence!

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Stephen
Scotts Valley, CA

one sided - 5/2/2007

The politics in Santa Cruz are ultra-left wing,Bush and Conservative hating. They don't like freedom of speech. Military Recruiters and conservative thinkers are kicked off of the University of California Santa Cruz campus. The city counsel actually handed out marijuana on the front steps of city hall. New business is not welcome here. The nice climate is the only redeeming factor.

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RICK
Watsonville, CA

High cost of living - 4/16/2007

The cost of living here is sky high. We are tired of working sixty hours a week just to make ends meet. We are about to relocate.

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greg
Schiller Park, IL

Rents - 2/26/2007

How would one look for a rent in Santa Cruz, being from east cost. Please help, any local newspapers or San Francisco papers???

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