There is no doubt that Santa Cruz is a wonderful place to live. We have
over 250 days of sunshine annually, world class surf spots, a top university, quality health care options, and perhaps most importantly, a city that reflects the shared values of its community. It’s also hard to argue with being able to go hiking and surfing in the same afternoon without leaving town.
There’s a lot to love about our sunny slice of paradise, but it’s not always
an easy city to get to know, especially if you’re new to town or planning to
move here. This blog post aims to peel back some of the mystery of
moving to Santa Cruz by providing 10 helpful resources for getting to know the area.
1. Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce - The website for the Santa Cruz
Chamber of Commerce has a host of helpful links for anyone moving
to the area. There’s a directory of local businesses, information about
employment statistics and demographics, and a listing of the major
annual events in Santa Cruz.
2. Santa Cruz City Schools - The official website for the Santa Cruz City
Schools provides resources about local elementary, secondary,
charter, and adult schools in the area. You can also find a map of
school attendance zones, as well as resources for parents and
students. (See below for information about colleges.)
• Cabrillo College - The local community college, Cabrillo, is located
in Aptos, just a few miles south of Santa Cruz. Cabrillo College has
a diverse student body that draws from several cities in the area
and includes students of all ages. Cabrillo College offers more than
70 programs (either associate degree or certificate) and sends more
transfer students to UC Santa Cruz than any other community
• University of California, Santa Cruz - UC Santa Cruz regularly gets
national recognition on top 10 lists for universities, not only for its
natural beauty (it’s next to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park), but
also for the quality of its academic programs, as well as its
commitment to sustainability. Situated on the upper Westside, the
“City on a Hill” offers some of the best sweeping views of Santa
Cruz that you’ll find anywhere in town.
3. Santa Cruz Life - Perhaps the best resource for things to do in Santa
Cruz, this website covers everything from the top local restaurants
and breweries to shopping guides and the best family activities in
town. There’s also a weekly events post that is one of the most
thorough you’ll find in Santa Cruz. It’s definitely a must-read for
anyone visiting or moving to Santa Cruz—or if you’re a local looking
for something to do.
4. Santa Cruz Tech Beat - Due to its proximity to Silicon Valley (and
probably the desirability of living here), Santa Cruz has started to
develop its own local tech scene. Major players in the tech world are
starting to take note: Looker, the data analytics company, has its
headquarters in town and Amazon has recently opened an office in
Santa Cruz as well. Take a peek into NextSpace or Cruzio—our
remote working spaces—and you’ll see plenty of freelancers,
entrepreneurs, and digital nomads typing away between sips of
Whether you’re looking for the latest local tech news or searching for
a tech-related job in the area, Santa Cruz Tech Beat is the place to
5. Santa Cruz Waves - Santa Cruz Waves provides local news, photos,
videos, and stories about surf life and beach culture. They’re a brand
you’ll see all over town and have built a healthy following on the
strength of their photos, videos, and social media presence. Their surf reports for Santa Cruz are pulled from Surfline, which you can
visit directly by clicking here.
6. Santa Cruz Crime Map - The City of Santa Cruz’s crime maps page
shows an interactive crime map of the city, as well as a downloadable
app that’s available through the iTunes store if you’d like to easily
access the information on a mobile device.
7. GoodTimes Website - SantaCruz.com is the website for the
GoodTimes, a free alternative weekly publication distributed
throughout Santa Cruz County. The articles feature local people and
stories of interest, with the occasional sprinkling of news and Santa
The GoodTimes is best known for its club grid, which gives a quick
and thorough look at when and where musical acts will be performing
locally. If you prefer a physical copy of the GoodTimes, you can find it
at many eateries, coffee shops, and shopping centers around town.
8. Visit Santa Cruz - Visit Santa Cruz is a nonprofit that operates as the
official tourism and visitor organization for Santa Cruz County. As the
name of the website suggests, there’s plenty of information here
about events, attractions, and places to visit in Santa Cruz. It’s a
good resource if you’re aiming to learn more about a particular
neighborhood or area of Santa Cruz.
9. Santa Cruz Jobs - While sites like Craigslist, LinkedIn, and
Indeed.com still offer some value for those looking for a job in Santa
Cruz, this is a resource that should not be overlooked. Many
employers prefer to hire local candidates and this is often where they
find them. The website is simple to use and you can browse
openings, search by city or job industry, and even create email alerts
for specific jobs or keywords.
10. Santa Cruz Sentinel - The local newspaper of Santa Cruz, the
Sentinel mainly covers local news stories and prep sports with some
national news coverage mixed in from the wire services. Though the
local coverage isn’t as in-depth as it once was, the Sentinel still offers
a good glimpse into what’s going on around town, especially if you’re
new to the area.