Discover Santa Cruz
Real Estate & Community

Downtown Santa Cruz: the funky epicenter and flagship locale of Santa Cruz County. From
Pacific Ave, to the Wharf, to iconic Beach Street (you know, the street that the Boardwalk is on),
Downtown is steeped in California historical/surf/hippie culture!

Santa Cruz Real Estate & Community


Santa Cruz Food

With the inventive creativity of Downtown, you won’t be surprised to learn that this energy carries over into the food scene.

For quick bites and delicious sips, we have a couple of favs. Flower Bar is just a block off of the main drag; you’ll love the coffee, housemade Italian sodas, wine selection, baked goods, and chocolate truffles. On top of the great fare, you can actually build your own bouquet! Pick pretty stems and bundle to take home. Another new hot spot is Bad Animal, a book store tasting room. Peruse their literary section, glass of wine in hand, and spend an afternoon of pinots and pages.

We have to mention 11th Hour Coffee, since it just so happens to be Ben’s favorite coffee shop. Stop by for house-roasted beans, inventive flavors (like their Honey B Latte), and delicious food (warning: you will become addicted to their Brunch Bowl).

Downtown also gives you plenty of heartier options. We’ll start with Alderwood, an elevated culinary experience that sources locally and creates everything in-house. From oysters, to choice steaks, to the humble cheeseburger, you will leave this place satisfied. Other locally loved spots include Hula’s Island Grill for tiki treats, Oswald for French-inspired dishes, and Abbott Square Market, a foodcourt with counters serving cocktails, sushi, fried chicken, vegan treats, coffee, and beyond.

Santa Cruz Family

As far as housing options, Downtown Santa Cruz gives you plenty of city-living choices: sleek condos walking distance to Pacific Ave, beach cottages that are permeated with the sounds and scents of the surf, and spacious townhomes in gated communities. But our favorite option? The historic, turn-of-the-century Victorians and bungalows that emit Santa Cruz history from every angle. These stately beauties surround Downtown, and owning a slice of Santa Cruz history is pretty priceless.

Ready to move to Downtown Santa Cruz? This community will keep you on your toes with its unique microculture that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. With all of the restaurants, activities, and proximity to the beach, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else anyways.

Santa Cruz Fun

With full stomachs, you’re well fueled to have some fun in Downtown SC. You’ll find loads to do with just a quick walk down Pacific Ave. Duck into shops like Botanic and Luxe, create your own candle at Glow Candle Lounge, and embrace the chill Santa Cruz vibe at Roxa’s Hammock Cafe. It’s also worth exploring the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, which features interactive activities for all ages and rotating exhibits. Want even more culture? On Wednesdays, stop by the Downtown Farmer’s Market for ultra fresh produce, gourmet food booths, and wares by local artisans.

Craving something a little more lively? You simply can’t go wrong with a visit to the Boardwalk – even if it’s one ride on the Giant Dipper, there’s something it does for your soul (speaking from experience). You could also attend a Santa Cruz Warriors game, the G-League basketball team that’s right here in Downtown! The intimate venue makes it feel like every seat is courtside, and it’s a completely different experience than going to an NBA game. Come ready to cheer, because locals are passionate about this team!

Speaking of getting loud, it feels like no Santa Cruz experience is complete without a visit to the Catalyst. This local venue is almost a rite of passage – it’s a little grungy, but that’s how we like it, and we guarantee an evening you won’t forget. Looking for something a little more classic? The Santa Cruz Wharf has gorgeous views of the Bay, the Harbor, and the Boardwalk (best enjoyed at night). You’ll also love the shops, restaurants (there’s a Tiki Bar!), candy store, and fresh seafood galore.


Santa Cruz Fitness

Alright, we’ve got the food, the drinks, the art, the culture, and the overall vibe locked down – so how about a little exercise? Head over to the Santa Cruz Beach Volleyball Club to get that quintessential beach exercise – classic or cliche, you decide. If serving and setting is not your strength, Neary Lagoon is a hidden gem that’s walking distance from Downtown. This unique landscape is a watershed, wildlife refuge, and a park complete with two playgrounds and a sub-1 mile walking loop. It also has tennis and basketball courts, if you’re looking for some cardio.

Love hiking, but a level, 1-mile loop won’t quite do the trick? We got you. Check out the UCSC hiking trails. Several miles of trails wind from the campus up into the redwooded foothills, offering peeks of the ocean and hopefully a glimpse of UCSC’s beloved mascot: the Banana Slug. This trail system connects to Wilder State Park, where you can enjoy even more hikes with ocean views that get better and better.

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You can download your own Santa Cruz real estate and community guide or you can book time with one of our agents. Discover hiking trails, hidden food gems, the best beach paths, and more!

Santa Cruz, CA 95060