West Side Santa Cruz

One of the world’s most famous surf communities.

WELCOME TO WEST SIDE SANTA CRUZ

Santa Cruz City/West Side Santa Cruz is one of the world’s most famous surf communities, perfectly situated on California's Central Coast just 30minutes from Silicon Valley. Backing up to the coastal redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Cruz offers easy access to a multitude of adventures from the mountains to the sea. Perhaps best known for its iconic Boardwalk, Santa Cruz draws more than 3 million visitors each year.
 
Santa Cruz City can be categorized into the following areas: Upper West Side, Lower West Side, Downtown, Beach Flats, and Midtown/Seabright. Santa Cruz is known as an artful place to live with an eclectic mix of styles and communities coming together as a result of its proximity to the Bay Area and because of the cohort of students that flock to it every year because of UCSC. 290 homes sold in this area in 2022 and the average price of a single family during that time period was $1.6m, while the average townhome/condo sold for $959k*.

Santa Cruz’s eclectic real estate mix includes stunning ocean front homes, quaint coastal cottages, historic Victorians, luxury properties, and everything in between. View Santa Cruz oceanfront homes for sale and other Santa Cruz properties with our dream team today!
 

WHAT TO LOVE​

  • Coastal scenery
  • Diverse local businesses
  • Top university
  • Laid back surf/beach culture
  • Music and art scene
  • Endless outdoor adventures
  • Proximity to work in Silicon Valley
  • Luxury home

DINING, ENTERTAINMENT & SHOPPING

Santa Cruz features a multitude one-of-a-kind boutiques, vintage thrift stores, surf shops, museums, wineries, breweries, music venues, and unique restaurants. The main downtown area runs Pacific Avenue, although great food and shopping can also be found in Midtown along Soquel Avenue and on the "Far West Side" at the end of Swift St near Mission St/Hwy 1.
 

WHERE TO EAT:

  • Barceloneta - A stylish Downtown eatery serving a Spanish-style menu of Paella and small plates
  • Venus Kitchen - Also a distillery, this hip restaurant has an eclectic but delectable menu including chorizo mussles and a fried chicken plate
  • Copal - Authentic Oaxacan fare - grasshopper appetizer included!
  • West End Kitchen - Also a tap room, this popular spot serves great woodfired pizzas as well
  • Riva Fish House - Best spot on the wharf for fresh fish. Don't forget to stop by their gelato bar after dinner for a truly delicious treat.
  • Alderwood - Arguably the nicest/most expensive restaurant in Santa Cruz and a great spot for an incredible steak or oysters. Not your traditional steak house though.
  • Seabright Social - Great spot for outdoor dining in Midtown 

WHERE TO DRINK:

  • Bad Animal - Trendy wine bar meets gourmet Thai food meets bookstore
  • Soif - Sophisticated wine bar with great library of wines and food pairings
  • Stockwell Cellars - A great pit stop with fantastic wines on the Far West End
  • Birichino - Tasting room situated in the heart of Downtown
  • Santa Adarius - Highly acclaimed belgian-style brewery with great selection 
  • Lupelo Tap Room - Laid-back spot for craft beers and Spanish-style bites
  • Humble Sea - One of the most popular local breweries in Santa Cruz
  • Woodhouse - Newer brewery tucked off River St. that frequently hosts events and live music
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing - Tried and true, one of our original breweries - not to be misse

WHERE TO WORK WHILE SIPPING COFFEE:

  • Lulu Carpenters - Perhaps Santa Cruz's oldest local coffee shop, located at the clock tower end of Pacific Avenue
  • Chocolate - Amazing hot chocolate menu and truffle selection
  • Flower Bar - Make your own bouquet while sipping wine or espresso. Also delicious baked goods and sandwich menu + brunch board on the weekends. Don't miss their chocolate bar!
  • 11th Hour - Try the "honey bee" latte with lavender honey or the raspberry mocha
  • Verve - Our vote for best avocado toast in town, delicious with a hot "bowl of soul" 
  • Cat and Cloud - Popular newer coffee shop located on Far West End

THINGS TO DO

There's a lot more to do in Santa Cruz besides the Boardwalk. Santa Cruz boasts large sandy beaches, perfect surf, and idyllic coastal walks along the magnificent Pacific coast. 

West Cliff is a popular 3 mile walk/bike/skate from the Dream Inn at Cowell's Beach to Natural Bridges. Start off with a bite to eat at the Jack O'Neill Lounge with stunning views of the wharf and bay. A stroll along West Cliff will bring you past several iconic surf spots for all experience levels including the perfect beginners spot at Cowell's Beach (just north of the wharf) and Steamers Lane. Lighthouse Field, across from the Surf Museum and Steamers Lane boasts droves of Monarch butterflies from October to January, as do the eucalyptus groves at Natural Bridges. "Its" Beach, located at the cove just north of Steamers, is a fantastic spot to bring your dog to play; just be prepared that most dogs at this beach are off leash.

A short drive just past Natural Bridges is the Long Marine Lab where you can stand inside the rib cage of a giant blue wale skeleton. A little further up the coast will bring you to more pristine beaches and Wilder Ranch State Park where you can step back in time to the late 1800's and visit an early dairy ranch. Just past Wilder Ranch is Swanton Berry Farm where you can pick up a hot cup of strawberry cider and a famous gar of olallieberry jam before heading back to town (or further up the coast to Davenport).
 
If the beach isn't your vibe, easy access to the mountains behind UCSC (such as Pogonip or Twin Gates) offer a multitude of hiking and mountain biking paths that never get old. For those that light tight spaces, old caves at UCSC offer a unique spelunking experience. Meanwhile, the more cosmopolitan individual could spend all day just people watching, dining, and shopping along Pacific Avenue downtown. Don't miss a pitstop at Abott Square, next to the Museum of Art & History.

Overview for West Side Santa Cruz, CA

3,113 people live in West Side Santa Cruz, where the median age is 45.9 and the average individual income is $45,132.1. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

3,113

Total Population

45.9 years

Median Age

High

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

$45,132.1

Average individual Income

Around West Side Santa Cruz, CA

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

52
Somewhat Walkable
Walking Score
85
Very Bikeable
Bike Score
27
Some Transit
Transit Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Sleight of Hand Pizza, Eskape Sea Kayaking, and Chartle Charters.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 1.96 miles 24 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 4.76 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 3.24 miles 18 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 3.04 miles 5 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 3.1 miles 23 reviews 5/5 stars
Active 1.96 miles 23 reviews 5/5 stars

Demographics and Employment Data for West Side Santa Cruz, CA

West Side Santa Cruz has 1,248 households, with an average household size of 2. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in West Side Santa Cruz do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 3,113 people call West Side Santa Cruz home. The population density is 1,870.9 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

3,113

Total Population

High

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

45.9

Median Age

49.47 / 50.53%

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
1,248

Total Households

2

Average Household Size

$45,132.1

Average individual Income

Marital Status

Married
Single
Divorced
Separated

Commute Time

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

Schools in West Side Santa Cruz, CA

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby West Side 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
Pacific Collegiate Charter
PUBLIC
7th - 12th
No rating available

Property Listings

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