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Santa Cruz Best Neighborhoods, Capitola, Aptos and Rio-Del-Mar Neighborhoods


Santa Cruz County has a variety of communities and neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will often have a different feel and even architecture. Where are the best Santa Cruz, Capitola and Aptos neighborhoods ? They all can be viewed on this map and on each page of their respective cities or towns.You can find more detail of the neighborhoods of interest on the menu below where there is a more detailed description. With all the neighborhoods, it is not possible to detail all of them. With 30 years residence and 20+ years as an agent, I know most of them. Call me for what you are looking for in a Santa Cruz County neighborhood and I'll help you find it.
To see homes call: Gregg Camp (831) 818-7524 www.propertyinsantacruz.com


Click on an area for more details

Looking for a home? Whether you like the beach, the mountains or something in between, there is something for everyone in one of these fine Santa Cruz neighborhoods. Discover great neighborhoods for: families with children, seniors/retirees, young singles, college students

Santa Cruz is one of America's surfing capitals, complete with its own museum devoted to the sport, and a beach whose waves are known all over the world. Spend some time enjoying the amusements on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, or head over to the local "Mystery Spot" where gravity doesn't seem to work normally. For outdoor recreation, the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary and Natural Bridges State Park are the places to be.


Santa Cruz offers beaches, cliffs, world class surfing, shopping, dinning, hiking, camping, bonfires at the beach, some of the best community colleges and universities in California... the list goes on and on.


Check out the different neighborhoods for their unique features, amenities, and activities.

Areas marked with a * are Cities.
Areas marked with a * are neighborhoods.

Seniors Housing in Santa Cruz County

This is Real Estate for people 55+...as a Seniors Real Esate Specialist Gregg Camp can help you

Gated Communities

There are gated communities througout Santa Cruz County Separated by area...


APTOS *

Aptos and Rio Del Mar, and Seacliff are located in the middle of Santa Cruz County, between the two largest cities, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. All are considered Aptos by the post office, but are different communities with a wealth of beauty and history...

In between Rio Del Mar, and Aptos, about 6 miles south of Santa Cruz on the west side of the highway, a beautiful little town called Seacliff exists. The family-friendly community offers residents not only the incredible views of the ocean but also the prime setting of being close to amenities in nearby Aptos, Rio Del Mar or Santa Cruz.

his real estate development is located off of San Andreas Road and also off Bonita. Both ends are gated. You can walk or bike all the way through, but you can't drive through. Most of this Seascape Uplands real estate development is accesses off of San Andreas road, Aptos,Ca 95003. This area is considered by our MLS as area 48, Rio Del Mar/ Seascape.


CAPITOLA *

Capitola-by-the-Sea is a scenic city located on the Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County, approximately 70 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles north of Monterey. Surrounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains on one side and the Monterey Bay on the other, west of Capitola Village are New Brighton State Beach and Pot Belly Beach and sharing a common boundary with the city is Soquel...

Cliff Wood Heights/Seaview Terrace, are two really indistinguishable developments done in the 60's and 70's. Built on the location of the old Capitola airport, these homes are 2-5 bedrooms and usually range from about 1300-2500 square feet.

The Depot Hill neighborhood came about because it was the area of the train depot in Capitola.The Depot Hill neighborhood evolved as many things did early on based on transportation routes. The train depot on Depot still stands and was rebuilt into a lovely high end B&B in 1990. It is so named the Inn at Depot Hill.

The Jewel Box neighborhood in Capitola Ca was reportedly named after a lumber yard train stop,named Opal. The area was later developed into homes during the real estate boom around the First World War. The surrounding streets are all "Jewels."

Just up the coast a short walk is the exclusive Pot Belly Beach area. This area is similar to Los Olas in that it too is on the sand. It is a private community, that is hidden and likes to stay so...


EAST SIDE SANTA CRUZ *

On the East Side of Santa Cruz, you can find the Santa Cruz small craft harbor, Twin Lakes Beach, Pleasure Point, and more...

Estates, this east side development, is what Pasatiempo is not and for that reason has been a sought-after neighborhood. Developed initially in the 70's and much more so in the 80's, this area has lots of larger newer homes, whereas Pasatiempo has a lot of older homes that need updating...

The Banana belt is so named because of the milder temperatures for the east side of Santa Cruz. The Banana Belt neighborhood has a variety of interesting architecture and is warmer than the closer to ocean area of Seabright...

Prospect Heights is located on the north side of Santa Cruz, on the other side of the freeway from the Banana Belt.The zip code here is 95065 and this neighborhood is part of the City of Santa Cruz.This is searched under area 42 in an area search...

This Hal Porter development was done in the 70's and has quite a wide variety of homes. Later there were other newer developments, which are apparent from the housing design. This large parcel of real estate is atop a hill and is considered Soquel per our MLS and is searched under area 46...

The Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor offers a wide array of fun things to do as well as a great diversity of homes to enjoy the waterside living.The yacht harbor area is the place to be if you want to be a beach bum a fisherman or a sailor. The Yacht Harbor has sort of its’own little community there...

Seabright is an interesting East Santa Cruz neighborhood that abuts the Santa Cruz Yacht harrbor. It is a neighborhood with a diversity of architecture and styles. It is generally a little less windy than the west side due to the shape of the bay.


LIVE OAK - SANTA CRUZ *

Live Oak is an area of Santa Cruz County that for many years was home to chicken farms and small time farmers. It developed quite a bit in the 80's with many little condo developments scattered here and there, some would say rather haphazardly. The area didn't have a general plan, and in many locations still doesn't have curbs and gutters or sidewalks. Nevertheless, it is a varied area that has some charm and character of older farm houses and beach homes. It has several nice beaches and is an area that has some high priced oceanfront homes...

Opal Cliffs is east of Capitola's downtown region but is visible from the the wharf and most other beach locations This is the type of lovely view of Capitola the bluff homes have. Located on the south end of Santa Cruz, it is one of those gems or hidden treasures known best to locals...

Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz County, California, is a world renowned surf location. The early big wave rider Fred Van Dyke and the inventor of the wetsuit, Jack O'Neill, are historic figures associated with this area. From the time of the Costanoan through the Spanish missions in California, into the time of the Californio’s and the break up of the Rancho’s to the development of the Coastal cottages and businesses, the “Point� has had a rich and interesting past...


NORTH COAST

Bonny Doon, what an idyllic rural area. Located about 20 minutes above UCSC. This rural community is home to Bonny Doon Winery and a variety of other enterprises. There are some beautiful homes and a wide array of terrains from flat sunny pastures, soaring redwoods and ocean vistas, to tall pines and sandy soils. It is more of a rural bedroom community rather than having any defined center...

Davenport is a small town located 15 minutes north of the City of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County. Davenport enjoys spectacular ocean views, open expanses of land and beautiful redwood forests such as Waddell State Beach and Park. Very popular with kite surfers...


RIO DEL MAR *

Aptos and Rio Del Mar, and Seacliff are located in the middle of Santa Cruz County, between the two largest cities, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. All are considered Aptos by the post office, but are different communities with a wealth of beauty and history...

Beach Drive Area- this is the place to be for living on the sand. Located in Rio Del Mar, it has a great beach in front of you and a long straight drive along the sand. There is plenty of beach for football or valley. At the end is an exclusive gated area that is right on the beach...

Country Club Park was built in many phases beginning in the early 60's and 70's. There are many single level homes, though there are two story ones as well. They are nicely appointed, but not all to the same standards of today's new homes...

Las Olas is another exclusive area that is largely hidden and home to some fabulous beach homes as well. This gated community in Seacliff has few homes that come on the market. It too sits on the sand, but has less summer rentals. It is a quieter place, with homes only on the ocean side of the street...

This is the Rio Del Mar, Aptos,Ca. 95003 community of Rio Highlands. It is a nice neighborhood of newer homes.

This area was primarily developed in the early 80'-90's. The design is quite unique to the area as you will find no other real estate communities like it in the Aptos, California area. Our MLS lumps these areas of Rio Del Mar and Seascape together as area 48.

Sumner Wood is a neighborhood in Rio Del Mar that was built as a high density modern neighborhood. Take a look at some of the photos of the homes in Sumner Woods to get an idea if it is a neighborhood you would like.


SAN LORENZO VALLEY

This is my San Lorenzo Valley section of the website. The San Lorenzo Valley stretches from Felton to Boulder Creek,with Ben Lomond in the middle. The San Lorenzo Valley ( SLV) has a diversity of beauty and housing and land. Search for homes or land by map or by community.

In the San Lorenzo Valley, nestled in the redwoods is Ben Lomond. Named by an early Scottish immigrant who missed his homeland, Ben Lomond is a warm and inviting community with a highway running through it. Highway 9 is the lifeblood of the San Lorenzo Valley connecting all three Valley towns (Felton, Ben Lomond, California, and Boulder Creek) with the outside world...

The nearby Brookdale Lodge has a storied past and has hosted celebrities and people of wealth in its hey day. This lodge has a stream running through it, which adds beauty and ambiance...

The town of Felton sits at the foot of the San Lorenzo Valley and has small town feel, but with amenities of many larger towns. While the town center and many of the surrounding areas are flat, in contrast to most of the other mountain towns, it has a wide variety of housing...


SCOTTS VALLEY *

Scotts Valley is a small city located in eastern Santa Cruz County, California, United States, about ten miles south of San Jose and six miles north of the beach in the upland slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains...

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Glenwood Acres build in the 60's, this rural residential neighborhood has the real woodsy feel, yet is still a neighborhood. There is a greenbelt as part of the development. Some homes have pretty mountain views. Homes tend to be larger.

Granite Creek Estate is a nice development done in the 80's by Mandarino Development. The homes mostly sit on half acre lots and are surrounded by a 30 acre greenbelt. This upscale development has some of the nicest high end homes in Santa Cruz County, and certainly Scotts Valley.

Heritage Park is a small subdivision at the top of the hill above the Monte Fiore subdivision.This subdivision has some beautiful large executive homes. The main drive up to this ridgetop development is Saddleback Ridge Road. Kings Canyon Court is one of the roads that is fully developled...

The Hidden Glen neighborhood was developed in the 70's I believe and is a unique development in Scotts Valley and rather uncommon generally. The homes are on larger wooded lots of about 1/3 to 2/3's of an acre. The main and only drive in is Spreading Oaks, which does a circle. In and around it is a nice pool with a kids play facility adjacent, a tennis court, and across the street is a stable...

Manana Woods is a development from the 60's which seems hidden from Scotts Valley. You can still access it off of Mount Hermon road, but after the developement of the Scotts Valley Hilton, and the other retail center there, the main ingress and egress is off of La Madrona Drive to Aldenitas.

Monte Fiore is one of the newer Scotts Valley neighborhoods and is located at the north end of La Madrona Drive. This development has about 5 floor plans and generally range from the low 2000's to mid- 3000's square feet in size. These tract build homes have high ceilings and are generally nicely appointed. There is a central water way, which is pretty for bird watchers.

Pasatiempo Pines. These homes have beautiful views. They are built on the sandy soil which supports the lovely Ponderosa Pines. Rolling hills and streets give most of them a pretty view. Homes vary widely, but are generally 1800-2600 square feet. Lots vary in size, but are generally larger. Most homes were built in the 60's...

Rolling Woods is an oak filled neighborhood with almost all lots at least a quarter of an acre. Located in between Santa Cruz and Scotts valley, it is sort of neither. It is a quiet neighborhood, with a great school nearby for the elementary schools kids...

Scottsborough Townhomes were another Hal Porter development project in the mid 80's. These shingled townhomes are terraced up the hill, off of Lundy Lane, off of Whispering Pines. They are primarily 2 bedrooms, though there are 3 bedroom units as well.

The Vineyards were a developement done in the early 80's if I recall. We thought they were going to be a problem to sell at the foot of the hill on the freeway. These Spanish style homes were received well as they had features that were not commonly found in Santa Cruz County.

Whispering Pines is a pretty area overlooking all of Scotts Valley. This sandy hill supports the beautiful Ponderosa Pine. Most homes are terraced and have nice surrounding views of the area. The main drive of Whispering Pines is across from Scotts Valley Drive and loops up on the hill and eventually comes out on Lockwood Lane.

The Woods Cove development off Graham Hill Road was formerly Henry Cowell's land, as was all of UC Santa Cruz. It is a prime piece of real estate that abuts the San Lorenzo river at the bottom. It is located next to the horse show grounds off Graham Hill Road...


SOQUEL *

With a population over 10,000 in 2007, Soquel has an old-world feel with abundant history, and current beauty of valleys, hills, farmland, and urban growth. There are a variety of eighborhoods, shopping, parks, and great places to eat. Located a short distance inland from the beach community of Capitola, Soquel (pronounced So-kell) has a lot to offer. Median home prices are over $850,000 so it is definitely home to the wealthier population. However, with a gorgeous downtown area of Soquel Village, the Soquel Hills, and numerous wineries attracted to the town, it is easy to see why this city has become such a popular destination...

Evergreen Estates was a development in the eighties just off of Old San Jose Road in Soquel. The homes were 2 stories and had a more contemporary wood and tile flavor. These homes were on Merlin and Terra streets...

Monterey Bay Heights--this neighborhood was built with golf as the theme. The terrain is a varied on this up-hill development done in the 60's. It is on the north side of Soquel Drive and is off of Fairway Drive predominantly, and Hardin Way to a lesser extent...

This Hal Porter development was done in the 70's and has quite a wide variety of homes. Later there were other newer developments, which are apparent from the housing design. This large parcel of real estate is atop a hill and is considered Soquel per our MLS and is searched under area 46...

Seacrest was development done in the early 2000's and featured a mix of company built semi custom homes. These homes were large and generally range between 3000-5000 square feet. Most all are 2 story, some have a sort of French Country look...

This older development is just off of Old San Jose Road. The main street is Hilltop Road. Many of these are single level, though a number originally were 2 stories. These ranch style homes about Jean Cummings Park, which has been nicknamed Blue Ball park. When you go by it will be self evident...

Tiffani Gardens is a nice neighborhood of upscale homes that was developed by Hal Porter in the late 80’s. Tiffani Gardens featured contemporary designs and had a number of different builders as lots were sold individually in addition to the lower area that a developer built out, on Benson...


WATSONVILLE *

The City of Watsonville has habitat areas that support the endangered species Santa Cruz Tarweed on the California coastal prairie ecosystem. Considerable population growth occurred since 1980, requiring preparation of a number of Environmental Impact Reports, with resultant development removing certain lands of the city from productive natural habitat...


WEST SIDE SANTA CRUZ *

The West Side of Santa Cruz is one mile from Wilder Ranch State Park, one mile from the university. one mile from downtown and one mile or so from the beach. there are a few lovely natural foods stores along with an excellent all night donut shop. There are several decent restaurants in the immediate neighborhood...

Beach Hill is an area set above and bordering the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Wharf. Many historic buildings, inns, souvenir shops, and restaurants...

Moore Creek Estates was a development in the 80’s as well and were sort of out there, at first in the upper west side of Santa Cruz. Since then the area has built up around it and they are part of the surrounding neighborhood...

Spring Tree is a real estate home development off of High street in the upper west side of Santa Cruz. It is interesting in that it has a stream coursing through it, that transverses Santa Cruz and winds up at the ocean...

University Terrace was and is one of the largest developments in upper upper west side Santa Cruz. This development was to provide housing for the new workers and professors at UCSC. These homes are mostly 2 story, though there are single level ones as well...

Village Highlands is a 47 unit development in upper West Santa Cruz that was started in the early 90’s. The homes are mostly all 2 story. They have detached garages off the back of the house that area accessed off of a small alley.

The upper West Santa Cruz are of Westlake is an interesting development that is singular in that is has a lake as part of its lure. The park in the middle, is home to dozens of ducks and geese. Westlake, which is really a pond in size, not a lake, is a place kids can fish. The pond is surrounded by lots of grass...

Westmont Place is located very close to the University of Santa Cruz ( UCSC) and is favored by those who work there as well as the community at large. This development was done in the late 90's and was designed by locally noted architects...