Santa Cruz is undoubtedly one of California’s most quintessential beach towns.
With 29 miles of pristine coastline, Santa Cruz offers some of the most beautiful beaches, world renowned surf spots and famous coastal attractions such as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Those fortunate enough to live along the coastline will enjoy some of the most beautiful views Monterey Bay has to offer. From the humpback whale migration, sunrise to sunset, rain or shine, the Santa Cruz coastline is breathtaking year-round.
From Pajaro Dunes to West Cliff Drive, each coastal community has its own special vibe. Each with its own appeal, attractions, and flavor.
Pajaro Dunes to New Brighton Beach, you will find long runs of sandy beaches with homes right on the sand to homes nestled in small neighborhoods with the privacy of trees and sloping winding roads. These areas are scattered with local residents and vacationers. Camping and hiking are regular activities enjoyed by both locals and visitors. With the expansive beach area, you can find your own quiet tranquil place to enjoy a bonfire, body surf or just chill.
Just to the north of New Brighton you will find the historic Capitola by the Sea. This special beach town is home to many annual events such as the Art and Wine Festival and the famous Begonia Festival. Capitola is surrounded by cliffs with homes overlooking the village. There are homes bordering Soquel River and the narrow streets of this tight-knit town. Shops of all kinds and notable restaurants line the streets keeping all its residents and visitors happy and fulfilled. Spend your days soaking up the sun at the beach or walking on the wharf and your evenings enjoying the fabulous food offerings and listening to a local band or two.The sun is plentiful here and the neighborly love is too.
Opal Cliffs and East Cliff Drive is your next coastal experience. This is the beginning of what the locals would consider the “Eastside” of Santa Cruz. Opal Cliffs is a very special spot as its name implies. Homes along the ocean side of Opal Cliffs Drive enjoy a magnificent view of Monterey Bay. This is a highly sought-after area because it’s slightly “off the beaten path” and has a feel of tranquility. Here you will find lots of walkers, joggers, bicycle riders, surfers, families and friendly neighbors.
As you head up the coast, Opal Cliffs Drive will turn into East Cliff Drive. East Cliff Drive runs along the ocean from The Hook to Pleasure Point. As you continue on, the road winds through neighborhoods nestled in groves of eucalyptus trees. A spectacular path along the cliff from The Hook to Pleasure Point and through the eucalyptus grove to 26th Avenue beach offer dog walking, running, biking, skateboarding and of course access to some of the best surfing in the world. This is a surfing mecca at its best. There are many surf spots and secluded beaches along this stretch. Most of the homes along East Cliff Drive are set back from the cliff across the street. You will find a variety of homes from the classic surf shack to multi-million-dollar custom homes. Either way, there’s a “down to earth” vibe here for sure. This neighborhood provides an eclectic mix of residents, vacationers, and homes. Lot’s of sun shine most of the year with a light refreshing breeze in the afternoons.
Continuing up the road, the Live Oak community is sometimes referred to as “Midtown”. It’s slightly inland; however, it includes a stretch of ocean view properties that take advantage of the incredible sunrise and sunsets along the Avenues from 26th to 1st. Live Oak boasts an eclectic mix of residents and homes as well, all very family oriented and neighborly. This neighborhood includes the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and Seabright Beach. At the yacht harbor you will find some great places to eat like the Crow’s Nest and Aldos, and fun things to do like hop on a sailboat charter like Chardonnay or the O’Neill Cat for some whale watching. Lots of sunshine here and always an afternoon breeze for the those who love to sail. The well visited beaches on either side of the yacht harbor are great for bonfires and boogie boarding. Take a long walk along the beach from the yacht harbor to the famous Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz Wharf or stop by the historic Santa Cruz Museum. Live Oak is full of great neighborhoods with family history, good food and drink, and a bustling economy.
The Beach Boardwalk, our famous amusement park, is the beginning of “Westside” coastal living. West Cliff Drive begins with long stretches of popular beaches, Steamer’s Lane, and the 3 ½ mile West Cliff Drive provides some of the most picturesque scenery in the world. Here you will greeted by surfers, dog walkers, joggers, skateboarders and bikers all taking in the beauty 365 days a year. West Cliff Drive has some of the most historic and beautiful homes in Santa Cruz. Some of West Cliff Drive overlooks the famous surf spot Steamer’s Lane, Cowell’s Beach, the Boardwalk and the Wharf. Some of the homes have views of the entire Monterey Bay. As you head north along this route you will surely come across the famous Santa Cruz Surf Museum located in the old lighthouse at Steamer’s Lane. There are many great neighborhoods in this area with wonderful homes and families old and new.
Although all of Santa Cruz County is really about Coastal Living….. below are a few of the neighborhoods that are right on the coast. Here you will most likely enjoy an ocean view or find a precious beach or ocean front home.
• Pajaro Dunes
• La Selva Beach
• Rio Del Mar
• Seacliff Beach
• Los Olas
• Pot Belly Beach
• New Brighton Beach
• Capitola By The Sea
• Depot Hill
• Opal Cliffs
• Pleasure Point
• East Cliff Drive
• Twin Lakes
• Santa Cruz Harbor
• West Cliff Drive
Each of these glorious areas provide their own uniqueness and climate that appeal to each individual taste and lifestyle. No matter where you choose to live in Santa Cruz county, you will surely enjoy the diversity and the unique charismatic charm that we all love about this bustling beach town.
I LIVE SANTA CRUZ • I LOVE SANTA CRUZ • I KNOW SANTA CRUZ • I SELL SANTA CRUZ
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