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Santa Cruz

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About Santa Cruz

With sandy beaches, green parks and ample commercial districts, Santa Cruz is a bustling city just south of the Bay Area on the Pacific Coast. The Santa Cruz area was first discovered by Spanish explorers in the late 19th century and was home to one of the first missions in California. Santa Cruz became a town in 1866, and the arrival of the railroad soon thereafter caused the town to grow rapidly.

Today, with its coastal location and proximity to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz offers a high quality of life with quick access to both natural beauty and major metropolitan areas. It's also a major tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world with its sandy beaches and many local attractions.

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Santa Cruz is home to the celebrated Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which dates back to the early 1900s. As California's oldest surviving theme park, the boardwalk is one of very few seaside parks on the West Coast. It's been an extremely popular landmark for over 100 years and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Everywhere you turn, you can see small pieces of the Boardwalk's history. Marini's Candies still makes taffy using the same twister that's been used for generations, and many of the carnival games are several decades old. Two of the oldest rides on the boardwalk, the Giant Dipper roller coaster and the Looff carousel, are National Historic Landmarks. You can also enjoy modern-day additions, including laser tag, miniature golf and several new thrill rides.

Jobs in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has a thriving economy, with employers in the government, education, health care and hospitality sectors. The Santa Cruz Governmental Center is the city's largest government employer, while the University of Santa Cruz is the city's largest education employer. Hospitality organization Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and health care organizations Dominican Hospital and Santa Cruz Health Center also provide hundreds of jobs in the city.

The largest industries in Santa Cruz include education and health services, leisure and hospitality, government, and trade and transportation. If you're going to be jumping into the Santa Cruz job market, you might want to start your search in the fast-growing industries of manufacturing, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.

Santa Cruz Schools

Students living in Santa Cruz attend Santa Cruz City Schools. In addition to its traditional elementary, middle and high schools, the district also offers an adult school and a charter school. There are several private schools in the area, with both faith-based and secular options providing a range of campus options. Many of the city's schools have received national recognition for their academic achievement.

Resources for Moving to Santa Cruz

Here are a few quick resources to simplify your move to Santa Cruz:

  • Utilities: Santa Cruz Municipal Utilities provides water and sewer services to the city, while Pacific Gas and Electric is the area's central energy supplier.
  • Garbage and Recycling: You can expect your trash, recyclables and green waste to be collected curbside once a week. Your specific location will determine your collection schedule.
  • Transportation: The Santa Cruz METRO is the city's central public transportation network. Santa Cruz is an extremely bike-friendly city, with miles of bike lanes and paths.

Santa Cruz Housing

Santa Cruz features dozens of neighborhoods, many of which have neighborhood associations. If you're looking for a home with waterfront views, you'll find numerous options near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Natural Bridges State Beach. If you'd prefer housing near the city's green spaces, look at homes close to Neary Lagoon Park, Harvey West Park and Wilder Ranch State Park.

The median home and rent prices in Santa Cruz are fairly expensive, due in part to the city's beachfront location. However, you can consider a range of options, including cozy apartments, townhomes, condominiums and single-family homes, in order to find something to fit your needs.