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Top 7 Santa Cruz Neighborhoods

By Sara Branson, Posted on 10 Jan, 2024 at 06:45 pm

Top 7 Santa Cruz Neighborhoods

If you are in search of a coastal getaway then head over to Santa Cruz, in northern California. Santa Cruz attracts visitors from all around the globe due to its appealing neighborhoods, which offer a variety of cultural charms, a unique appeal nestled within themselves. Dive into this article to search for the best things to do in Santa Cruz California. From the breathtaking redwoods to the vast beaches, Santa Cruz is a blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication. 


Capitola Village 

Give your journey a kick start from the East side of Santa Cruz, where the Capitola Village stands, a testament to the seaside’s charm and atmosphere allure. Lined with colorful buildings that add a touch of artsy flavor to the area, along with picturesque seaside villages, this Santa Cruz neighborhood is worth visiting. From quaint beach cottages to luxurious oceanfront houses, this village is a whirlwind of diversity. At Capitola village, you can view Venetian colleges, a tranquil lagoon, and an exquisite boutique shopping experience, which adds to the Mediterranean vibe. Whilst you’re here, take the opportunity to listen to local musicians and go through arts and crafts at the weekly Art and Music at the Esplanade event. Take part in the annual Capital of Art and Wine festival, to get an insight into the community commitment and cultural stroll through Brighton Beach, which has various water sports and sunbathing facilities. Gather at a cool social hub with your pal at Bay Bar and Grill or go to the Bamboo Garden restaurant with your lovely partner, where you’ll be served mouth-watering food and luxurious wine. Enjoy exquisite vistas at the peak of Depot Hill or visit the pleasure point at the drift trail. 



Aptos calls all the nature enthusiasts to come visit. This magnificent town presents luxurious forests, spectacular beaches, and beautiful parks. Not forgetting, the town also boasts a world-class golf course. And for those in search of a serene escape, from the monotonous hustle and bustle of life, they should come over to Aptos. Visit the three main areas Rio Del Mar, Silva, and Seacliff that have the best things to do in Santa Cruz. All three places are lined with stunning beaches. For outdoor activities, head over to The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks, which has a trail of 30 miles, an old tree, and Redwood soaring high. Promising a calm relaxing venture by the shore, Seacliff State Beach off the Cabrillo allows you to picnic by the coast, catch fish on the pier, or visit the S.S. Palo Alto. Head over to Aptos Village, an exquisite retail and dining area, that also allows you to take in the Santa Cruz American Music Festival. In Rio del Mor, take a break and visit the Seascape Village Wine and Spirit to enjoy a fantastic tasting evening. 


Westside Santa Cruz 

Adventure, vibrant, community, surprises, and natural wonders are just a few words to describe this neighborhood. Hop on the right to go visit the Seymour Marine Discovery Centre, to have spectacular vistas of a blue whale skeleton and elephant seal sculptures. You can even pet a Swell Shark, it won’t bite. On the lower western side, visit the West front path along with West Cliff Drive. This path provides stunning views of Monetary Bay. Mute the world at the Natural Bridge and the soft sandy shore of Natural Bridges State Beach, as you connect with Nature. Amongst the eucalyptus groves, you can see fluttering creatures as well. One of the best things to do in Santa Cruz, California, at Westside is to visit UC Santa Cruz and Pogonip Open Space Reserve. This gorgeous woodland and meadows system is a perfect haven for hikers and bicyclists. Moreover, the UC Santa Cruz Arbore & Botanic Garden presents a wide variety of plants from the Southern Hemisphere. When you want to stretch your cramped body, head over to Beach View Inn, a great hotel just a few steps away from this Santa Cruz neighborhood. With complimentary Wi-Fi and parking, you’ll be great to go. Relax in air-conditioned rooms that are fully furnished with flat-screen cable TV, seating area, private bathrooms, and furniture that radiates beachy vibes. The rooms overlook a picturesque view of the ocean, paired with a continental breakfast on site. 


Scott’s Valley 

One of the things to do in Santa Cruz is to take a trip down to Scott’s Valley, which embraces all its tourists with warmth. The air is thick with community spirit and virtue and the serene suburban vibes are nothing less than home itself. Stroll through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, a heaven for all nature lovers. The 40-acre ground boasts magnificent Redwood tree groves, various trails, river canyons, and campgrounds. Coastal redwoods provide uncountable trails and lots of shades that also pose as the background of a spectacular movie. Visit Sky Park, an excellent family picnic area. The place has a dog park, soccer field, playgrounds, barbecue pits, and a skate park. 


Downtown Santa Cruz 

If you are a social bee, then head over to downtown Santa Cruz. With a wide variety of shopping destinations, entertainment points, and delish delights, this neighborhood beats with the rhythm of community energy. The cool waves at the main beach in downtown Santa Cruz, California are just a few steps away. Enjoy the best of urban, bustling life, and the spectacular scenic views of downtown Santa Cruz. Browse through Moon Loom, a vintage heaven filled with costume fodder and retro-styled items. In search of a book? Stop at the bookshop Santa Cruz which has every book you can think of. Sale or full price, the warmth of the environment, and the kind staff will elevate your reading experience. 



Step into the picturesque, charming Santa Cruz neighborhood located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Renowned for its beautiful, lush redwood forests, calm and tranquil San Lorenzo River, and the little town warmth, Felton is a place to be on your bucket list. You can find exquisite shops, lovely cafes, and local eating places that will provide you with a worthwhile experience. Visit Felton Farmers Market as one of Santa Cruz's Old pastimes. Go through fresh fruits, meat, warm breads, and more delights, that are mostly owned by local businesses and farms. Go to Henry Cowell Redwoods for the perfect venture that offers vast trails and the classic Roaring Camp Railroad, which takes passengers on a journey through the majestic redwoods. Go to the San Lorenzo River as you enjoy nearby opportunities, from camping to fishing. 



A charming Santa Cruz neighborhood that radiates cool vibes beckons travelers from all around the globe. Stroll through antique shops, explore a vast array of delish delights, and take in the serene vistas. This neighborhood caters to everyone’s tastes, whether you are a nature enthusiast in search of vast trails or an antique collector. Head over to Anna Jane Cummings Country Park, which stretches over 95 acres of land with amenities like picnic poles, pavilion, barbecue pits, athletic fields, and a vast kids' playground. 

In conclusion, Santa Cruz is an exciting tapestry woven to fulfill every visitor's needs. These top neighborhoods will take your breath away with their magnificence. The natural wonders combine well with the calm surroundings so you can have the best time. 

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