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midtown santa cruz

Live Oak is mainly residential compared to other parts of Santa Cruz County and, as a result, you won’t find the number of events and attractions that you’ll find in other neighborhoods. There’s no true main street or downtown area to speak of and businesses are scattered throughout the unincorporated neighborhood. The area is sometimes referred to as “Midtown” or the “Eastside” by locals, both of which include Live Oak and the neighborhoods that surround it.

One thing that Live Oak definitely has going for it is that it’s one of the most centrally located places to live. With the Seabright neighborhood of Santa Cruz just on the other side of the harbor and Capitola flanking the other side, it’s relatively quick and easy to get just about anywhere, regardless of your method of travel.

As with other parts of the county, beaches are not hard to find in Midtown. Though the boundaries of Live Oak do not technically reach the coast, it’s a short jaunt to any number of beaches in the area, from Twin Lakes to Pleasure Point.


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farmers market

The Live Oak Farmers Market is a year-round marketplace for locally sourced, organic produce, meat, and dairy, as well as other items. The market typically has live music and several food trucks preparing fresh food, making it an ideal place to spend a Sunday, whether you’re stocking up on fresh food or just popping by for a relaxing breakfast. You can find more information about farmers markets in Santa Cruz County by clicking here.

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rio theatre

One of the better entertainment venues in Santa Cruz, the Rio Theater hosts concerts, stand-up comedy, lectures, movies, and plays. The Rio has live entertainment throughout the year and tends to draw more recognizable musical and comedy acts than other places in Santa Cruz. Since the theater is so close to both Seabright and Downtown, it’s a perfect place to catch a show after dinner.

The Crow's Nest Santa Cruz, California

the Crow’s nest restaurant

The Crow’s Nest Restaurant is a beachside eatery on the Live Oak side of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. Great ocean views can be found at just about every turn inside the Crow’s Nest and if you want a better vantage point, you can eat on the patio or even take a stroll down the stairs to the beach. During the summer, the Crow’s Nest hosts a Thursday night free concert series, complete with food and drinks. It’s definitely one of the more popular summertime events for locals. See the section below for more information about restaurants and places to eat in Live Oak.


Though the midtown area is on the smaller side, the options for food and coffee won’t disappoint! If you want to know about the best places to eat in all of Santa Cruz, click here to read about the most popular restaurants in town. For restaurants only in the midtown area, see the list below.





Live Oak Elementary K-5th grade

Del Mar Elementary K-5th grade

Green Acres Elementary K-5th grade

Shoreline Middle School 6th-8th grade

Cypress Charter High School 9th-12th grade (charter school)

To view other schools in Santa Cruz County go here.

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