Living in Santa Cruz California offers a wide variety of activities for everyone. From the beaches and the Santa Cruz Wharf to the redwoods above, there is virtually no limit on what you can do. The county offers some of the best schools, best jobs and best neighborhoods in the state.
You may be looking to move there for school, job opportunities, or even the weather. But once you have made your decision to move to Santa Cruz, you need to take the time to acquaint yourself with the area. There are many different communities and small cities and towns around Santa Cruz and each one offers something different.
If you’re looking for a quiet, redwood rich, community, Felton may be the place for you. Only a 14-minute drive through the forest takes you to all the fun things to do in Santa Cruz. Ten minutes from Santa Cruz is Scotts Valley, home of high tech and tourism, the town is growing bringing more affordable housing to the area.
If you can, drive around the county. If not take an online tour, look at videos, find where you want to be.
Determine the best way for you and your belongings to get there. Depending how far you’re coming from you may want to price moving companies, freight companies or go the do it yourself route. If you are driving a truck or van with your belongings, you may not want to go through the forests and stick to the main highways. If you are having your things shipped or moved, you may want to fly in or take the scenic route.
Find out what the utility companies are, internet, public transportation, groceries, vehicle registration and driver’s license requirements. These are all items to check off as soon as you get settled.
Now that you are home it’s time to find out all the things to do in Santa Cruz, CA.
Santa Cruz Wharf
The longest wooden pier in the United States, the Santa Cruz Wharf has been standing for over 100 years. Offering some of the best views of Monterey Bay, it reaches out between Steamer Lane and the Boardwalk. Not only can you walk the pier to see the perfect sunset, you can grab a bite to eat, do a bit of shopping and look at some local wildlife. You’ll definitely see some sea lions and possibly some dolphins and possibly whales.
You can rent a kayak or come to one of the many events, including the Aloha Outrigger Races and Polynesian Festival and the Woodies on the Wharf classic car show.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Opened in 1907, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk is the oldest amusement park in California and one of the few seaside parks left on the coast. Roller coasters, log rides, teacups and carousel are just a few of the rides available at the park. Mini-golf, arcade games, bowling and laser tag are available. Wednesdays are usually Free Movies at the Beach and Fridays are Free Bands on the Beach. The events calendar at the Boardwalk is usually full so take a look and plan the day. Be careful of the vampires though, Lost Boys was filmed at the Boardwalk in 1987.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
The Marine Discovery Center is located near a 25-acre lagoon and 45 acres of upland terrace. The haven has over 100 migratory birds, mammals and endangered species. Seymour has an indoor aquarium, exhibit center, family activities and home of UCSC’s Institute of Marine Sciences. Well worth the day to learn more about the vast ocean.
Whether you want to climb to the Observation Deck at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to see all the way to Monterey, or hike at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, there is no shortage of forest in and around Santa Cruz. Camping, waterfalls and 2000-year-old redwoods, some standing as tall as 280 feet high are a marvel that you can’t miss.
Downtown Santa Cruz offers unique boutiques, surf shops, bookstores, thrift stores and other shopping experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. And while there are many great tasting rooms in the county, Birichino Tasting Room is run by two of the most experienced winemakers in the area, sourcing grapes mainly from old, family owned vineyards.
And when you’re done exploring downtown, you can take the Santa Cruz Trolley back to the beach and have some sand dabs at Firefish Grill on the Wharf.
Museums, the farmer’s market, the arboretum, and some of the best restaurants around are all waiting in Santa Cruz. It is a location that provides an exceptional standard of living. If you’re looking to make the move, it is vital to depend on an experienced real estate agent that you can trust. Feel free to give me a call at 831.661.5591 or send me an email at amber(at)davidlyng(dotted)com and I will get back to you the soonest possible time.