Welcome to East Santa Cruz
Surf culture mixed with well-established residential living
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.
East Santa Cruz is split between the Upper and Lower Eastside, offering unique neighborhoods, different lifestyles, and even climates. Upper Eastside Santa Cruz boasts warm weather, wide-open spaces, convenient access to highways, and a wonderful mix of seaside, rural, and residential areas to explore. Lower Eastside Santa Cruz is synonymous with Santa Cruz surf culture. It features terrific eateries, surf shops, boutiques, yoga studios, and bike shops, all at your fingertips.
What to Love
- Beach culture and waterfront neighborhoods
- Year-round warm climate with mild summers and winters
- Easy commutes with quick access to highways and wide streets
In Lower Eastside Santa Cruz, you can expect a steady dosage of beachside culture. The area is home to waterfront neighborhoods like Seabright, located between the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and the San Lorenzo River. This area features restaurants, breweries, and shops.
Less exposure to ocean breezes results in milder winters and summers in Upper Eastside Santa Cruz. It's known as the "Banana Belt" (which has a neighborhood by the same name) by locals due to its warm climate. Another feature of the Upper Eastside is that its wider streets and access to highways make it easier to travel the area.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Lillian's Italian Kitchen was opened in 2007 by longtime Santa Cruz residents Joe and Charlotte Moreno and their sons Chris and Matt. Their dream was to open a neighborhood place that was an extension of their family kitchen. You can taste the inspiration from their Grandma Lilly in every bite.
For a great brunch spot, visit Zachary's. It's homemade cooking at its best, and they offer plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Perhaps the most recognizable part of Santa Cruz from movies and pop culture is the Beach Boardwalk. It features old-fashioned fair foods, the beach, and classic roller coaster rides.
Things to Do
Locals and tourists alike love the boardwalk, which offers games, rides, and long stretches of sandy beach.
But that doesn't mean it's the only thing to do.
The epicenter of Santa Cruz's surf culture and lifestyle is found in the laid-back Pleasure Point neighborhood. The most common attire is a wetsuit, and the old and young alike can be found across the many world-class surf spots.
With homes dating back to the early 1900s, Seabright and Harbor are two of the more established neighborhoods bordering downtown Santa Cruz.
Friendly neighbors and block parties on big holidays like the 4th of July and The Lighted Boat Parade are typical of this part of town.
Spring Hill, K-6, Private
De Laveaga Elementary, K-5
Mission Hill Middle, 6-8
Santa Cruz High, 9-12