san lorenzo valley
The San Lorenzo Valley refers to a part of Santa Cruz County, centered around Highway 9, that contains the communities of Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Brookdale. Though they each have their own distinct feel, they all share the common trait of being artsy, outdoor-loving, mountain towns that are just far enough away from everything to be able to soak in their quiet charm.
All four were once part of the logging operation along the San Lorenzo River that transported lumber to Santa Cruz and reminders of that past are plentiful. San Lorenzo Valley is home to several state parks, most notably Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park, as well as some of the oldest steam engine trains of their type still in operation at Roaring Camp Railroads.
Homes are typically situated among the mountains and dense trees that surround Highway 9, which is the route that connects all four towns and leads to Santa Cruz. They’re all small communities and definitely feel reminiscent of the logging towns they once were. The San Lorenzo Valley is a great place to live if you want to be among nature, but still be able to visit the beaches in Santa Cruz or go shopping in San Jose without going too far.