Santa Cruz Neighborhoods

Santa Cruz is different from many places in that we have nieghborhoods in Santa Cruz that are really large, but not really homogeneous. Sometimes people ask " what's the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz," and to that I have to ask " what makes a neighborhood good" to them? In the next section I have most of the neighborhoods you've heard of, and some you haven't.

We find we all have different filters. To some the best neighborhood is the most expensive. In Santa Cruz probably the most expensive neighborhoods would be Pasatiempo, Moore Creek Estates, and Westlake. One could argue though that the lower West Side neighborhood is the most expensive for what you get. One could say Woods Cove is the most expensive and therefore Woods Cove is the best Santa Cruz neighborhood.

Then again one could also say Carbonero Estates is an expensive neighborhood, and more homogeneous, that is located on the East Side of Santa Cruz.

Some might say the best neighborhood is Seabright in the East Side of Santa Cruz. Others might say Heritage Landing is the best neighborhood. Heritage Landing overlooks the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. For many best implies that it meets their definition of best.

For some best neighborhhood is Seabright. Many find the slighly less windy but diverse styles more charming than the West Side of Santa Cruz.

Others still will say the Ocean View Avenue neighborhood is the best Santa Cruz neighborhood.Classic stately homes sitting aback from the street. Elegance on a quiet street.

So for whatever reason you have for believing a neighborhood is best, look at some of the neighborhoods in Santa Cruz below and see what  you think is the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz and buy a home there. Call me and we'll find you the best Santa Cruz neighborhood for you.

The Best Santa Cruz Neighborhoods

There really isn't a "best neighborhood" as so many factors come into play for each person. Some of the larger or more defined Santa Cruz neighborhoods will be listed below. Most of the time I'll have a map for you. As many of these neighborhoods evolved over time, some are defined, other have their ideas as to where the lines are drawn. Take these definitions and areas more as regions. Some you'll not have a doubt, but others, like some cities one side of the street is one city, and the other a neighboring one, and there's no way to tell unless you talk with a local.

West Side-The west side of Santa Cruz is a large diverse area stretching for our MLS purposes, from Ocean Street west to about Western Drive in Santa Cruz. Some of the cheapest and most expensive properties are in West Side Santa Cruz as well as some sub set neighborhoods listed below

East Santa Cruz The east side of Santa Cruz is a relatively newer area, in terms of Santa Cruz history. Generally Ocean Street is the dividing line. It has many sub neighborhoods as well.

Cypress Park- This is an upper west side Santa Cruz neighborhood located off of Western Drive. Follow for more information if you want to be in the upper west side of Santa Cruz.

Moore Creek Estates, this upper west side neighborhood is located at the top of Western Drive, just about where it abuts High Street, near UCSC. Some might consider this the best upper west side neighborhood in Santa Cruz

Westmont Place this is a neighborhood that was developed for the need for students and faculty who go to school at UCSC. These are privately owned, but are great for those going to or working at the college.These were designed to be very energy efficient and many have solar. There is a small pool in the middle of this complex.

Tosca Terrace is a neighborhood that is close to the university located on High Street, just past Western Drive, in the upper west side of Santa Cruz. There were done about 20 years after Mooore Creek Estates and abut that development.

Ocean View Avenue - this east side Santa Cruz neighborhood is for those wanting the quintessential Santa Cruz home of historical distinction. Stately Victorians and classic architecture abound.

Prospect Heights- this neighborhood has similar warm weather to the Banana Belt,maybe even a bit warmer, but is located on the north side of Hwy 1 opposite the Banana Belt. You access this neighborhood from the Morrissey Boulevard exit in east Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Gardens The Santa Cruz Gardens neighborhood isn't really in Santa Cruz from a geographical stand point. It's closest to Soquel and is across the freeway from Live Oak. It's a nice family neighborhood with a school up there. There is also a community pool you can join.

Woods Cove this gated development is located off of Graham Hill road, near Sims. It's a premier luxury home neighborhood of large luxury homes amongst the redwoods. A unique setting for sure. Some think Woods Cove is the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz. Once you're there, it's hard to argue with the beauty and majesty of the redwoods. This is a gated enclave.

Pasatiempo This is one of the singular developments in Santa Cruz that revolves around a golf course. If you like gated living and maybe even golf,there are great vistas, rolling greens and ocean views to be had here.

Westlake Many consider Westlake to be a really good family neighborhood. It was one of the larger more homogeneous neighborhoods in the 60's on the west side of Santa Cruz. Wtih the school of the same name in easy walking distance, this is a sought after neighborhood for those with kids.

King Street - The Kings Street area some might consider the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz because of the easily walkable street and wide variety of older architecture. Near King and Kirby Streets is where Mission Hill Middle School is located. Some might call this lower upper west side as well, with Mission Street being the dividing line between upper and lower west side Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor-well pretty much anyone who lives in Santa Cruz must love the water, so living around the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor would be a divine place to live. Some would say the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor neighborhood is the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz. Hard to argue with the restaurants, fresh fish, boats for sailing and fishing or kayaking for those who love the water.

Twin Lakes- this region is covered in principally a Live Oak search, but is principally the neighborhood regions around Schwan Lagoon. You see the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor was once a lake and the twin to Schwan Lagoon. It was dredged out in the early 60's. The Twin Lakes 

Banana Belt The Banana Belt neighborhood is a somewhat general region that runs from Soquel Drive and probably would be bordered by Branciforte Avenue, Park Avenue and Hwy 1.The region gets it's name from the warmer inland temperatures than nearer the water. The temperature difference can be 5-10 degrees warmer in this region and yes banana trees can grow here.

The Avenues The Avenues is one of those old time turn of the century beach neighborhoods. When one would come to Santa Cruz to escape the valley heat, this was the place to be. Quaint and eminently walkable, The Avenues might be the best neighborhood in Santa Cruz, ask any grand kid who spent their summers here.

Carbonero Estates Carbonero Estates is probably the most upscale homogenous neighborhood in East Santa Cruz. Foresty and hidden. Some would say Carbonero Estates is the best neighborhoood in Santa Cruz. Hard to disagree if you've been there that it's not lovely.

Beach Hill The Beach Hill neighborhood is located on the knob located across from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It's accessed off of Third Street or Main Street. Close to the action at the water, this is an eclectic neighborhood of gorgeous Victorians and condos.

Seabright The Seabright neighborhood is a fairly good sized area in East Santa Cruz roughly from Ocean View Avenue to Soquel and back down toward the water on Frederick Street.

Castle Beach This neighborhood is within the general confines of Seabright and is at the beach.Looking for a Santa Cruz beach cottage? This is the place that many generations have called the best beach neighborhood in Santa Cruz.

The Circles This west side Santa Cruz neighborhood is relatively close to the beach and in an walkable neighborhood. The Circles neighborhood typically has smaller lots and smaller homes, and therefore more affordable homes in Santa Cruz.

Want to Purchase a Home in Santa Cruz?

Call Property In Santa Cruz (831) 818-7524. Your Santa Cruz Homes neighborhood REALTORS® and agents are here to help with the Santa Cruz Homes market.

Property in Santa Cruz


Want to purchase a Home in Santa Cruz? Call Property In Santa Cruz (831) 818-7524.Your Santa Cruz Homes neighborhood REALTORS® and agents are here to help with the Santa Cruz housing market.

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