Livability Score

74
/100
i The AreaVibes Livability Score evaluates 9 different categories and creates an overall score out of 100. The higher the score, the better the area.

amenities A+

There are lots of amenities close to this location.
Coffee (59) A+
The Abbey
Coffee Shop
Emily's Bakery
Coffee Shop
11th Hour Coffee
Coffee Shop
Caffè Bene
Coffee Shop
Cafe Limelight
Coffee Shop
Hidden Peak Teahouse
Coffee Shop
Lulu Carpenter's
Coffee Shop
Peet's Coffee
Coffee Shop
Opulence Indian Food
Coffee Shop
Verve Coffee Roasting
Coffee Shop
Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company
Coffee Shop
Pacific Cookie Company
Coffee Shop
Cat Cloud Companion
Coffee Shop
Cafe Campesino
Coffee Shop
Café Delmarette
Coffee Shop
River Café
Coffee Shop
Quickly
Coffee Shop
Java Cruz Coffee Shop
Coffee Shop
Munch
Coffee Shop
Java Junction
Coffee Shop
Coffee Cart
Coffee Shop
Coffeetopia
Coffee Shop
Firefly Coffeehouse
Coffee Shop
Samba Rock Açai Cafe
Coffee Shop
Starbucks
Coffee Shop
Entertainment (59) A+
Williams-Reynolds House
Attraction
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Theatre Arts
Santa Cruz Art Center
Theatre Arts
Jewel Theatre
Theatre Arts
Nickelodeon
Cinema
Santa Cruz Cinema
Cinema
Portuguese Hall
Theatre Arts
Clock Tower
Attraction
Vets Hall
Theatre Arts
Museum of Art & History
Museum
Del Mar Theater
Cinema
The Catalyst
Nightclub
Felix Kulpa Gallery
Art Gallery
Harvey West Stadium
Stadium
Kuumwba Jazz Center
Theatre Arts
Train Engine
Attraction
Sub Rosa
Theatre Arts
Duck Island Stage
Theatre Arts
Unknown Name
Theatre Arts
Colligan Theatre
Theatre Arts
Live/Work Housing
Theatre Arts
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center
Museum
NOAA - Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Attraction
Live/Work Housing
Theatre Arts
Broadway Playhouse
Theatre Arts
Food and Drink (112) A+
Reef Bar
Bar
Red Restaurant and Bar
Bar
Jack's Hamburgers
Fast Food
Pleasure Pizza
Fast Food
Concession Stand
Fast Food
Jamba Juice
Fast Food
Zoccoli's Delicatessen
Deli
Pour Taproom
Bar
IT'SUGAR
Sweets
Soif Wine Bar
Alcohol
Cold Stone Creamery
Sweets
Marini's
Sweets
Marini's
Sweets
Rush Inn
Bar
Lúpulo
Bar
Pacific Cookie Company
Sweets
Taco Bell
Fast Food
Marini's Candies
Sweets
Rosie McCann's Irish Pub & Restaurant
Bar
Storrs Winery
Alcohol
Front & Cooper
Bar
Central Coast Creamery
Sweets
El Palomar Cantina
Bar
El Palomar Taco Bar
Fast Food
Cold Stone Creamery
Sweets
Fitness (11) A+
Yoga Center
Gym
Boys' & Girls' Club Swim Team
Community Centre
Curves
Gym
BodyFit
Gym
Santa Cruz Power Fitness
Gym
Market Street Senior Center
Community Centre
The Diversity Center
Community Centre
Bodyworks
Gym
24 Hour Fitness
Gym
Wellness Center
Gym
Cantu GLBTI Resource Center
Community Centre
CrossFit UP
Gym
Crossfit Amunddon
Gym
Korean Martial Arts Academy
Gym
Pleasure Point Yoga
Gym
Junebug's Gym
Gym
Urban Sanctuary
Gym
Rocky's Fitness Center
Gym
Groceries (24) A+
Emily's Bakery
Bakery
Awe Sum Organically
Grocery Store
Buttercup Cakes & Farm House Frosting
Bakery
True Olive Connection
Grocery Store
Pacific Cookie Company
Bakery
Hernandez Market
Grocery Store
New Leaf Community Market
Grocery Store
Trader Joe's
Grocery Store
Stagnaro Brothers Sea Food
Seafood
La Plaza Market
Grocery Store
Safeway
Grocery Store
Unknown Name
Grocery Store
Shopper's Corner
Grocery Store
The Buttery
Bakery
Beach Market
Grocery Store
Companion Bakeshop
Bakery
Whole Foods Market
Grocery Store
New Leaf Community Market
Grocery Store
Kelly's French Bakery
Bakery
Andy's Bait & Tackle
Butcher
Staff of Life
Grocery Store
Safeway
Grocery Store
Grocery Outlet
Grocery Store
H&H Fresh Fish
Seafood
Unknown Name
Grocery Store
Parks (120) A+
Rincon Park
Park
Mission Hill Historic District
Park
Downtown Neighborhood Historic District
Park
Mission Plaza Park
Park
Unknown Name
Park
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Park
SCOPE Park
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
Vets Hall
Park
Trescony Playground
Playground
Laurel Park
Park
Octagon Museum Park
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
Trescony Park
Park
El Rio Playground
Playground
Pacific Avenue Historic District
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
Westlake Park
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
Harvey West Park
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
Unknown Name
Playground
San Lorenzo Park
Park
Unknown Name
Playground
San Lorenzo Park
Park
Shops (206) A+
Om's Market
Convenience Store
Food Bin
Convenience Store
Cali Barber Shop
Hairdresser
Hair And Beauty Salon
Hairdresser
Elegant Hairstyle
Hairdresser
The Literary Guillotine
Books
Gigo Hair
Hairdresser
L'Atelier Spa
Beauty
So Fresh Clothing
Clothing
Get Faded Barbershop
Hairdresser
Cruzio Internet
Electronics
Atlantis Fantasyworld
Toys
Spex
Optician
Agnus Dei
Books
Batish's India Bazaar
Clothing
Level Up
Toys
The Tibetan Nomad
Clothing
Faust Spa
Beauty
Fish Princess Farm
Beauty
Jade
Clothing
Petroglyph Ceramics
Home Improvement
Shoe Company
Shoes
Wallflower Boutique
Clothing
Stripe for Men
Clothing
Miss Jessie May's
Furniture
See more Santa Cruz amenity data

commute A+

Of all people who commute, 5.4% take public transportation in Santa Cruz.
Public Transit Stops (253)
Stops & Stations
A+
Storey Street & Escalona Drive
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & California Street
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Union Street
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & California Street
Bus Stop
Highland Avenue & Escalona Drive
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Otis Street
Bus Stop
High Street & Highland Avenue
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Rigg Street
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & Chestnut Street
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & Chestnut Street
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Sylvar Street
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Sylvar Street
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Laurel Street
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & Center Street
Bus Stop
Walnut Avenue & Center Street
Bus Stop
Mission Street & Laurel Street
Bus Stop
Cedar Street & Center Street
Bus Stop
High Street & Laurent Street
Bus Stop
Cedar Street & Walnut Avenue
Bus Stop
Locust Street Garage
Bus Stop
Laurel Street & Blackburn Street
Bus Stop
High Street & Laurent Street
Bus Stop
Laurel Street & Blackburn Street
Bus Stop
Cedar Street & Lincoln Street
Bus Stop
Front Street & Pacific Avenue
Bus Stop
Workers Taking Public Transit
5.4%
B
See more Santa Cruz commute data

cost of living F

The cost of living in Santa Cruz is 203/100 - which is 45% higher than California.
Cost of Living
Goods & Services, Housing, etc.
F
Tax Rates
Income & Sales Tax
F
See more Santa Cruz cost of living data

crime F

Santa Cruz crime rates are 4,336 per 100k, which is 53% higher than California
Property Crime
3,611 crimes per 100k
F
Violent Crime
725 crimes per 100k
F
See more Santa Cruz crime data

employment A+

The median income in Santa Cruz is $86,618 - which is 36% higher than California.
Med. Household Income
$86,618
A+
Unemployment Rate
4.4%
D-
See more Santa Cruz employment data

health A+

There are many hospitals, police and fire stations.
Health & Safety (57)
Dentist, Doctor, Hospital, etc.
A+
Mission Hill Dental
Dentist
Unknown Name
Dentist
Five Gables Family Dentistry
Dentist
Action Chiropractic Center
Doctor
Santa Cruz Orthodontics
Dentist
Hakim Acupuncture
Doctor
Santa Cruz Dental Group
Dentist
Herb Room
Pharmacy
Women's Health Center
Doctor
Christie Family Dentistry
Dentist
Santa Cruz City Fire Station #1
Fire Station
Dr. Alan Heit, DDS
Dentist
A Gavin McClure, DDS
Dentist
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Westside Center
Clinic
Westside Pharmacy
Pharmacy
Planned Parenthood
Clinic
Maple Street Clinic
Doctor
CVS Pharmacy
Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy
Pharmacy
Healthy Dragon Clinic
Doctor
Santa Cruz City Police Department
Police
Dignity Health
Doctor
CVS Pharmacy
Pharmacy
Homeless Persons' Health Project
Clinic
Doctors On Duty
Doctor
Air Quality
Median Air Quality
A+
See more Santa Cruz health & safety data

housing C+

Santa Cruz home prices are $895,800 - which is 119% higher than California
Home Price
$895,800
A+
Home Appreciation Rate
21%
A+
Home Affordability
10.3x (home price to income ratio)
F
See more Santa Cruz housing data

schools A

The Santa Cruz graduation rate is 92% - which is 15% higher than California
School Test Scores
52%
D-
High School Grad. Rates
92%
A
Elementary Schools (30) A
Mission Hill Middle
Mcp Middle & High School
Holy Cross School
Spring Hill-Advanced Elementary School Of Santa Cr
Bay View Elementary
Westlake Elementary
Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School
Santa Cruz County Special Education
Midtown Montessori
Alternative Family Education
Santa Cruz City Elementary Alternative Education-Monarch
Gateway School
Gault Elementary
Branciforte Middle
Pacific Collegiate Charter
Santa Cruz Childrens School
Vhm Christian School
De Laveaga Elementary
Shoreline Middle
Green Acres Elementary
Ocean Alternative Education Center
Special Education Preschool
Del Mar Elementary
Brook Knoll Elementary
Live Oak Elementary
High Schools (13) A+
Santa Cruz High
Mcp Middle & High School
Santa Cruz County Rop
Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School
Santa Cruz County Special Education
Santa Cruz County Community
Santa Cruz County Court
Alternative Family Education
Ark Independent Studies
Costanoa Continuation High
Pacific Collegiate Charter
Harbor High
Santa Cruz County Cypress Charter High
Cypress Charter High
See more Santa Cruz education data

ratings F

Santa Cruz has an overall rating of 41% from 26 reviews.
User Reviews (5)
From AreaVibes
F
User Surveys (21)
From AreaVibes
D-
See more Santa Cruz user rating data
Amenities Commute Cost of Living Crime Employment Health & Safety Housing Schools User Ratings
Photo of Santa Cruz, CA
( 26 Ratings )

Living in Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz Area Facts

  • Santa Cruz has a Livability Score of 74/100, which is considered excellent
  • Santa Cruz crime rates are 53% higher than the California average
  • Cost of living in Santa Cruz is 45% higher than the California average
New Real Estate Listings in Santa Cruz Area
Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz Reviews

Write a review about Santa Cruz Tell people what you like or don't like about Santa Cruz…
Cops target tourist for tinted windows 0.5 rating By Anonymous ( Jul 08, 2018) Watch out for the local police! We were pulled over turning out of the Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort for tinted windows by a cop in training... ruined our weekend. Then my husband was arrested due to a computer error and in jail the entire day! We currently are sewing the sheriff. H ...Read More ave fun. Read Less
Horrible place to live 0.5 rating By Vvmb1212 ( Oct 16, 2017) Let's begin with crime rate. Our street has had 12 break ins within 3 years of which 6 were home break ins. We live in a million dollar home surrounded by doctors, lawyers and business owners but yet experience crime as if we lived in the worst neighborhood in Detroit. Now, th ...Read More e downtown is full of homeless people that are super aggressive and forget taking your family to the public library. The library has been taken over by homeless drug addicts and drug dealers that block the entrance, use the bathrooms to bathe and watch the computers. You cannot avoid the heroin use, aggressive pan handlers and the overall crime anywhere you go in Santa Cruz. Let's talk food. Santa Cruz has the worst food selection in the entire nation. The restaurants are horrible. No ethnic food and the current high end restaurants serve frozen tasteless food. The schools are also horrible. If you have kids then do not bring them to Santa Cruz. My kids ask why there are so many needles in the parks and at the beach. That should put fear into any parent. Overall this place is like a third world country where the police do not help and are corrupt, the drugs are plentiful, the food will make you sick and the residents are victims. Horrible, horrible, horrible place to live. Read Less
Parking in SCruz 0.5 rating By kkorganic ( Aug 31, 2017) I come to the farmers market on Wednesday I buy for restaurants I can't get parking near the markets- I'm buying more than the usual person and I'm working I need a place near the market I have to go to my van back and forth from a distance I'm so frustrated I hate the tickets an ...Read More d parking restrictions for someone buying large quantities I'm not your usual customerI find parking in Santa Cruz very difficult I hate Santa Cruz!!!!!!!!Today someone called the police on that guy Curtis with his peace van I love his free show! He's great and one person reported him while most of us loved him!Why does one person have a right to close him down in the middle of the day?Police state here in SCruz I'm just trying to buy a lot and do my job too SCruz sucks! I hate the parking department so much!!!!!!!I don't enjoy downtown I just come to buy from local farmers for workAnd the city doesn't provide parking close enough Read Less
Beach in the Front, Forest in the Back, but Get Ready to Pay the Price 3.5 rating By eapadventures0217 ( Nov 15, 2015) Santa Cruz is a great beach town that's surrounded by forests and wonderful hiking areas in the back, and great beaches in the front. If you enjoy the outdoors, then you will love Santa Cruz for sure; there's always something to do to get outdoors in the sunshine.

However, with
...Read More that said, there are a few things about the town that one needs to keep in mind before moving here:

1) Housing is RIDICULOUSLY expensive and hard to find. If you are hoping to find a 1 bedroom place, don't get your hopes up on getting something under $1500. And while Santa Cruz claims to be a dog-friendly town, there are very few dog-friendly housing for rent that doesn't require you to pay an arm and a leg for safety deposit or for rent every month.

2) While the beaches are great, some of them can be really dirty and can be littered with all sorts of junk (trash, needles, used condoms, etc). Not all beaches are like this obviously but some are particularly bad.

3) Downtown is great and has a lot of wonderful restaurants for individuals to try out, as well as a few theaters and bars for one to partake in on a Friday or Saturday night. However, there are also a lot of homeless/transient indivduals who walk around the streets of Santa Cruz and are not ashamed in bugging (or, occasionally, downright harassing) you for some money. And, more often than not, downtown does not feel completely safe after around 8pm at night.

While there are a lot of "bad things" about Santa Cruz, overall it could be a lot worse. This is a great place for those of us who want to be by the ocean for a few years before moving on, but realistically speaking with the housing price rising it probably isn't worth it unless you can afford to buy a house here for you and your family. Read Less
Show All Reviews
Parking in SCruz 0.5 rating By kkorganic ( Aug 31, 2017) I come to the farmers market on Wednesday I buy for restaurants I can't get parking near the markets- I'm buying more than the usual person and I'm working I need a place near the market I have to go to my van back and forth from a distance I'm so frustrated I hate the tickets an ...Read More d parking restrictions for someone buying large quantities I'm not your usual customerI find parking in Santa Cruz very difficult I hate Santa Cruz!!!!!!!!Today someone called the police on that guy Curtis with his peace van I love his free show! He's great and one person reported him while most of us loved him!Why does one person have a right to close him down in the middle of the day?Police state here in SCruz I'm just trying to buy a lot and do my job too SCruz sucks! I hate the parking department so much!!!!!!!I don't enjoy downtown I just come to buy from local farmers for workAnd the city doesn't provide parking close enough Read Less
Beach in the Front, Forest in the Back, but Get Ready to Pay the Price 3.5 rating By eapadventures0217 ( Nov 15, 2015) Santa Cruz is a great beach town that's surrounded by forests and wonderful hiking areas in the back, and great beaches in the front. If you enjoy the outdoors, then you will love Santa Cruz for sure; there's always something to do to get outdoors in the sunshine.

However, with
...Read More that said, there are a few things about the town that one needs to keep in mind before moving here:

1) Housing is RIDICULOUSLY expensive and hard to find. If you are hoping to find a 1 bedroom place, don't get your hopes up on getting something under $1500. And while Santa Cruz claims to be a dog-friendly town, there are very few dog-friendly housing for rent that doesn't require you to pay an arm and a leg for safety deposit or for rent every month.

2) While the beaches are great, some of them can be really dirty and can be littered with all sorts of junk (trash, needles, used condoms, etc). Not all beaches are like this obviously but some are particularly bad.

3) Downtown is great and has a lot of wonderful restaurants for individuals to try out, as well as a few theaters and bars for one to partake in on a Friday or Saturday night. However, there are also a lot of homeless/transient indivduals who walk around the streets of Santa Cruz and are not ashamed in bugging (or, occasionally, downright harassing) you for some money. And, more often than not, downtown does not feel completely safe after around 8pm at night.

While there are a lot of "bad things" about Santa Cruz, overall it could be a lot worse. This is a great place for those of us who want to be by the ocean for a few years before moving on, but realistically speaking with the housing price rising it probably isn't worth it unless you can afford to buy a house here for you and your family. Read Less
The Great Outdoors In Santa Cruz, CA 4 rating By Anonymous ( Mar 23, 2012) I recently moved from North Carolina to Santa Cruz, CA about two months ago. I'm still adjusting to the time difference, but overall I love the city. The weather is perhaps the best reason for moving here. It is sunny almost every day, and if it rains, you can usually be back out ...Read More side in the afternoon. There are a lot of agricultural sights that visitors must see when they visit. The nature reserves and Agricultural History Project are only two of the places I have visited. They detail the history of the city in an atmosphere that almost any age would understand. When you come to Santa Cruz, you should definitely check out the beaches! They have golden sand and the water is a far cry from the ocean I left on the east coast.

Not only are there plenty of beaches to have fun on, but if there are several parks for your children to play in. I have never seen so many people walking their dogs so freely in a park as I do here. There are leash laws so if you have a dog, you have to keep them on a leash. However, the parks allow people to walk on the sidewalk with their pets and I enjoy this because I have a dog that likes being outside. One of the downfalls of Santa Cruz is that there are not as many shopping centers as I am accustomed to. You may have to leave the city if you want a larger shopping experience, but there are a few unique finds here. Read Less

How Do You Rate The Livability In Santa Cruz?

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A+ Amenities

Are there many local amenities in Santa Cruz? Yes, there are lots of amenities close to this location.

Parks

Rincon Park
Mission Hill Historic District
Downtown Neighborhood Historic District
Mission Plaza Park
Unknown Name
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
SCOPE Park
Unknown Name

Entertainment

Williams-Reynolds House
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Santa Cruz Art Center
Jewel Theatre
Nickelodeon
Santa Cruz Cinema
Portuguese Hall
Clock Tower

Food & Drink

Reef Bar
Red Restaurant and Bar
Jack's Hamburgers
Pleasure Pizza
Concession Stand
Jamba Juice
Zoccoli's Delicatessen
Pour Taproom

A+ Commute

Is public transit available in Santa Cruz? Of all people who commute, 5.4% take public transportation in Santa Cruz.
Drive to Work
58%

18% lower than the US average

Take Public Transit
5%

equal to the US average

Walk to Work
12%

9% higher than the US average

A+ Health & Safety

Is Santa Cruz a healthy and safe place to live? Yes, there are many hospitals, police and fire stations.

Hospitals

Pharmacies

CVS Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy
Rite Aid
CVS Pharmacy
Westside Pharmacy
Herb Room
Horsnyder Pharmacy and Medical Supply
Walgreens

Doctors

Hakim Acupuncture
Dignity Health
Women's Health Center
Salud para la Gente
Healthy Dragon Clinic
Doctors On Duty
Maple Street Clinic
550 Water, Bldg. K

Compare Santa Cruz, CA Livability

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