Santa Cruz, CA

44 Reviews

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Santa Cruz, CA

About Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz, California is an incredible city located in the heart of the Monterey Bay area. This beautiful city offers plenty for visitors to explore such as the stunning natural beaches or the charming downtown area. Residents here also take advantage of all the outdoor activities available at Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Beach, Wilder Ranch State Park, and Seymour Marine Discovery Center. With its excellent school systems, thriving businesses, and numerous recreational opportunities, it's no wonder why so many people choose to make Santa Cruz their home. Beach town complex / Small town - Northern California on Pacific coast, 60 miles south of San Francisco.

State: California
County: Santa Cruz County
Metro Area: Santa Cruz-Watsonville Metro Area
City: Santa Cruz
Zip Codes: 95060 95064
Cost of Living:
Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
Elevation: 100 ft above sea level

Santa Cruz, a colorful mix of college town, beach town, and cultural center, is an attraction for hippies, yuppies and families alike. The city is famous for its boardwalk, wide sandy beaches and beach amusements. Watsonville is an agricultural center inland, and Soquel and Capitola to the south are more sedate but very attractive beach towns. The University of California at Santa Cruz brings some college life, and the population in general is highly educated. Excellent outdoor recreation is available just to the north in the coastal forests and state parks of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The town of Santa Cruz itself has a nice downtown and offers plenty to do, and is a favorite weekend tourist destination (for northern Californians and Bay Area residents in particular). Outside of tourism, the area has never really had a prosperous economy, and it continues to lag other California places. Some make the commute over the mountains to the Bay Area, but this is difficult. Not surprisingly, as a coastal area, cost of living and housing are major downsides. Healthcare resources are sparse and expensive, but missing services are available to the north in San Jose and San Francisco.

The city lies on a narrow coastal plain at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The climate is coastal Mediterranean. Summers are cool and sunny when the area isn’t blanketed by ocean-borne, low, stratus clouds, known locally as “fog.” The area is breezy at all times, and the fog may create a chill on summer days. Spring and fall are mild and experience less fog. Winters bring a mix of fog and Pacific storms, which can be heavy.

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Santa Cruz Cost of Living

Outdoor recreation, year-round climate, and educational attainment make Santa Cruz a great place to live.

+73.4% higher than avg
+28.3% higher than avg
$2,735 /mo
Monthly rent (2br)
+58.0% higher than avg
Santa Cruz Crime
74.4 / 100
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high). US average: 35.4
Minimum annual income
To live comfortably in Santa Cruz, California
for a family
for a single person
Pros & Cons of Santa Cruz
   Outdoor recreation
Tourist impact
   Year-round climate
   Educational attainment
Cost of living
Reviews for Santa Cruz
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I lived in the Santa Cruz area for 20 years. UCSC alum. Our kids were born there. There are wonderful things about Santa Cruz, but also many serious problems that we  More

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Over 4 years ago

I have been here for four generations! My kids are the fifth. I guess that should tell you how wonderful it is here, at least for us. It's so cool to have world class  More

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I was born over the hill in San Jose area, and as a kid I loved coming over to the boardwalk. Santa Cruz has always been and always will be a town of diversity,  More

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