West Santa Cruz

From craft distilleries to oceanside walks, to mountain biking in the redwoods, there’s no shortage of things to do on this side of town.

Welcome to West

West Santa Cruz Real Estate & Community
 
If you’ve ever been to the west side of Santa Cruz real estate and community, you know this neighborhood is its own microcosm of funky cool. From craft distilleries to oceanside walks, to mountain biking in the redwoods, there’s no shortage of things to do on this side of town.
 
 
 

Westside Santa Cruz Food

If you’re expected to do any type of mountain biking or strolling along the seaside, you’re going to want to fuel up. Thankfully, the Westside has tons of incredible culinary options, each with a curated menu and local flare of its own. Our advice? Start on Swift Street and eat your way towards the ocean.
 
Humble Sea Brewing is a local favorite, famous for its Foggy (not hazy) IPAs, in honor of the clouded Santa Cruz coastline. Grab a brew and consider joining their Kooks Club, which will give you access to members’ only releases, discounts on merch, early access perks, and a sick Kooks Club party cooler that can carry 45 cans. Haven’t moved to Santa Cruz yet (there will be a quiz at the end of this article)? Sign up for their monthly beer subscription!
 
Further down Swift Street, you’ll find options like West End Tap and KitchenSanta Cruz Mountain Brewing, and Venus Spirits Tasting Room. Venus is a small-batch distillery that produces its own whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum, which are all used in inventive cocktails that keep locals coming back for more. Paired with killer fare, this is a must-visit before continuing on to West Cliff walking path.
 
 

Westside Santa Cruz Family

Besides seeking thrills at the Boardwalk, there are plenty of other family-friendly activities on the Westside. Natural Bridges State Beach is a great place to start. Take the kids to the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve in the months of October – January to watch thousands of migrating butterflies nestle into a protected eucalyptus grove. After marveling at the butterflies, walk over the Natural Bridges Marine Reserve to explore tidepools filled to the brim with sea life. Before leaving the park, make sure you take some time to stroll the beach itself. This is where the park’s namesake (spoiler alert), the “natural bridge,” can be seen. And it is pretty mesmerizing to watch the water surge through the rock outcropping, especially at sunset.
 
Other Westside wonders for the whole fam include the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at Steamer Lane, Neary Lagoon Park, and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. All of these stops are plenty fun as an adult as well, and each flows back to the unifying theme found in most Santa Cruz local businesses: the ocean.
 
 

Westside Santa Cruz Fun

For activities that are more fun and less, well, workout-y, you’ll need to make a pit stop at the Westside pump track. Newly refreshed and fully paved in summer 2021, kids of all ages (yes, even fully grown kids) will have a blast cycling, rollerblading, and skateboarding over the obstacles.
 
Of course, no Santa Cruz Westside guide would be complete without mentioning the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The nostalgia of this outdoor amusement park runs deep. When it reopened after 2020 closures, all the locals collectively scrambled in line for the Giant Dipper, watched a sunset from the Sky Glider, and restored equilibrium with every bite of funnel cake. Needless to say, it’s an integral part of Santa Cruz's history and present-day culture.
 
 

Westside Santa Cruz Fitness

Now that you’ve had your fill of Santa Cruz’s finest foods, it’s time to work it off. If you’ve taken our advice and visited Swift Street (great choice), walking along the Rail Trail or the aforementioned West Cliff walking path will not disappoint. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and multi-million dollar homes on the other, you can’t go wrong with the view from West Cliff Drive.
 
For something a little more strenuous, venture over to the University of Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!). With trails that weave between the redwood trees, you’ll forget all about the ocean views from earlier. If you want the best of both worlds, head north to Pogonip Point. This protected open space connects UCSC with Henry Cowell State Park. What’s unique about the 11.5-mile trail system is the huge ocean views from every hillcrest.
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Overview for West Santa Cruz, CA

48,910 people live in West Santa Cruz, where the median age is 35.3 and the average individual income is $48,437. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

48,910

Total Population

35.3 years

Median Age

High

Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.

$48,437

Average individual Income

Around West Santa Cruz, CA

There's plenty to do around West Santa Cruz, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Outback Trading Company, Ease Mountain Yoga & Wellness, and Highline Surf Instruction.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Shopping 2.94 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 4.29 miles 22 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 3.31 miles 10 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 4.89 miles 14 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 0.21 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 2.98 miles 6 reviews 5/5 stars

Demographics and Employment Data for West Santa Cruz, CA

West Santa Cruz has 19,030 households, with an average household size of 2.51. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in West Santa Cruz do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 48,910 people call West Santa Cruz home. The population density is 687.71 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

48,910

Total Population

High

Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.

35.3

Median Age

50.54 / 49.46%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group

0-9:

0-9 Years

10-17:

10-17 Years

18-24:

18-24 Years

25-64:

25-64 Years

65-74:

65-74 Years

75+:

75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree
19,030

Total Households

2.51

Average Household Size

$48,437

Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status

Married
Single
Divorced
Separated

Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in West Santa Cruz, CA

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby West Santa Cruz. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Type
Name
Category
Grades
School rating
Santa Cruz County Court
PUBLIC
7th - 12th
No rating available
Santa Cruz County Community
PUBLIC
7th - 12th
2/5
PRIVATE
K - 8th
No rating available
Santa Cruz Waldorf School
PRIVATE
PreK - 8th
No rating available
Spring Hill-Advanced Elementary School Of Santa Cr
PRIVATE
PreK - 6th
No rating available
Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School
PRIVATE
6th - 12th
No rating available
Pacific Collegiate Charter
PUBLIC
7th - 12th
No rating available
Bay View Elementary
PUBLIC
K - 5th
2/5
Santa Cruz County Special Education
PUBLIC
K - 12th
No rating available
PRIVATE
K - 8th
No rating available
Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program
PUBLIC
10th - 12th
No rating available
Westlake Elementary
PUBLIC
K - 5th
4/5
Mission Hill Middle
PUBLIC
6th - 8th
4/5
Brook Knoll Elementary
PUBLIC
K - 5th
4/5
PUBLIC
9th - 12th
5/5
Bonny Doon Elementary
PUBLIC
K - 6th
4/5
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