Are you comfortable in a wonderfully diverse and progressive political environment that is, while enjoying immense beauty from the seaside to the mountains. Maybe you are interested in a spectacularly wide variety of physical sports--surfing, mountain biking, hiking, running, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing. The outdoor lifestyle is a large part of Santa Cruz, perhaps prevalent.
Santa Cruz, for a relatively small area, has a very good nightlife, music and dining scene. The downtown area, is an outside mall, with many shopping areas, cafes, wonderful locally owned businesses, old school movie theaters and many interesting people. The beach area is nice, and there is many beaches to explore. The Santa Cruz boardwalk, has roller coasters, games, and a fabulous beach. The surf is good. Santa Cruz, like a lot of California, is on the more expensive side. Employment is generally more available in Santa Clara, and rental housing can be challenging. Location wise, there is not a better place. Just a hop skip and a jump away from Santa Clara, and only an hour and half from San Francisco. Carmel and Monterey are just around the corner. Plus, vegetables and fruits are grown all throughout the Salinas Valley, and so everything is fresh.
Santa Cruz has farmers' markets all year long, including big ones on Wednesday afternoon (downtown) and Saturday morning (at Cabrillo College parking lot). Westside Santa Cruz too see link below.
Sources for getting a sense of our community:
KPIG is our local amazing radio station think Austin Music festival meets folk music meets honky tonk bar with some humor mixed in.
KSCO is a local conservative station with locals discussing local issues
KAZU is our local NPR radio Station
Good Times is a great newspaper that has a very distinct slant on local politics. The Santa Cruz Sentinel is our older newspaper