Welcome to West Santa Cruz
Urban, suburban mix full of energy and vibrance
Santa Cruz, California, is on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, about 30 miles south of San Jose and 75 miles south of San Francisco. It's known for its moderate climate, coastlines, redwood forests, and natural environments. Late in the 19th century, Santa Cruz established itself as a beach resort community. Today, the area is infused with a university lifestyle thanks to the nearby University of California at Santa Cruz.
Over the last several years, the area has become a local hot spot, with stylish boutiques, coffee shops, small-batch wine, beer, and spirits producers laying down roots. You can also find some striking scenery, beaches, and trails. People love West Santa Cruz for its natural scenery, ocean beaches, incredible sunsets, and various shops, food, and culture.
What to Love
- Exciting new shops and hotspots
- Energetic neighborhoods, lush with foliage
- Sandy state beaches and a laid-back surf culture
The local lifestyle of West Santa Cruz is full of bustling energy, thanks to the recent injections of young professionals. It offers residents a unique urban-suburban mix, thanks to the atmosphere created by the nearby college.
Santa Cruz has easily accessible beaches and bodies of water that are ripe for surfing, boating, or fishing. Sandy shores offer room to relax, run, or bike. And nature is fresh and bountiful everywhere you go. Parks are well-maintained.
Swift Street in West Santa Cruz is a redeveloped industrial area featuring new start-ups, small businesses, restaurants, and more.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Perhaps the most alluring part of town is the Swift Street Courtyard. You can check out women's fashion boutiques, modern jewelry designers, and chic home decor from Cameron Marks. The Westside Farmers Market turns a parking lot into a vibrant market featuring local fruits and veggies on Saturdays.
The Pacific Garden Mall in Downtown Santa Cruz offers a variety of outdoor cafes, restaurants, shopping, galleries, and street performers.
Lines form early at Companion Bakeshop for buttery, flaky pastries and the best coffee in town.
Are you craving a rustic, farm-to-table dinner option? Check out Avanti Restaurant, which has been serving the Westside for over 30 years. Or grab a wood-burning oven-cooked pizza at Bantam.
Your options for great pours of wine and beer are plenty, with the area's many craft wineries, breweries, and tasting rooms.
Things to Do
Never get bored on the same trail hiking or biking with a bounty of parks and trails like Wilder Ranch, Pogonip, Natural Bridges, and the UCSC campus. Each fall and winter, you can witness thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies along the shores of Natural Bridges State Beach. See a play, check out a lecture, meander through the Arboretum's labeled pathways, or visit the dolphins at the oceanfront Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab.
Del Mar Elementary, K-5
Mission Hill Middle, 6-8
Pacific Collegiate Charter, 7-12
Santa Cruz High, 9-12
Cypress Charter High, 9-12
University of California, Santa Cruz, College/University