West Santa Cruz

Experience some of the most spectacular beach houses with access to amazing restaurants, shops, and assorted businesses

Welcome to West Santa Cruz

This iconic Santa Cruz beach community is home to the famous UCSC University
Offering a bustling commercial district filled with restaurants, shops, and assorted businesses, this Santa Cruz neighborhood is home to some of the most striking natural wonders in the county. Rich in surfing history, West Santa Cruz also boasts beautiful beaches and coastal views. 
Houses in West Santa Cruz neighborhoods vary widely in price and property style, from luxe properties with expansive acreage to smaller condominiums and townhouses. Divided into sections - Upper West Side and the Lower West Side - you'll find a range of Victorian-style houses and Craftsman bungalows here. Some homes are located just steps from the beach, while others sit at higher elevations and feature expansive views.
Home to UC Santa Cruz since 1965, this town features a highly educated population and an influx of students throughout the school year. Numerous parks and nature preserves make this area attractive to outdoor enthusiasts, and hiking, biking, and walking trails abound. 

What to Love

 • Filled with restaurants, shops, and assorted businesses
 • Home to some of the most striking natural wonders in the county
 • Rich in surfing history

Local Lifestyle

A popular surfing destination since the 1960s, West Santa Cruz is a true beach town. Each neighborhood is loaded with local surfers and, during the school year, students from UC Santa Cruz.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

West Santa Cruz offers a range of eclectic eateries. Local favorites include Bantam Restaurant, where a wood-burning oven churns out Neapolitan pizzas and seasonal, organic plates; Jack O’neill Bar and Grill, located at the Dream Inn, which uses regional ingredients to drive the menu; Companion Bakeshop, offering flaky, buttery pastries; Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, which serves organic beer and pub-style eats; and West End Tap Room, serving a gastropub menu with Californian leanings and plenty of craft beer.

Things to Do

This bustling town offers plenty of activities. At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, visitors will find an admission-free amusement park and a variety of games and rides. Steamer Lane is a famous surfing location that features a small museum filled with photos, surfboards, and other interesting artifacts tracing over 100 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz.
At Natural Bridges State Beach, gorgeous sandy shores and creature-filled tidepools lure beachgoers while a lush eucalyptus grove draws thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies each fall and winter.


West Santa Cruz offers two main elementary schools, Bay View and Westlake, as well as Mission Hill Middle School, Santa Cruz High School, and UC Santa Cruz.
Pacific Collegiate School, a high school college prep school on the Westside, is the highest-rated public high school in California and routinely ranks in the top 10 nationwide with 80 percent of the students going on to four-year colleges. 
UC Santa Cruz sits on a hill above the Upper Westside and more or less operates as a city unto itself, rightfully earning the nickname of the “City on a Hill.”

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