Defocused musical artist on stage at small live music venue

Some might say that there’s nothing comparable to hearing your favorite songs live. The contagious energy, the roar of the crowd—there’s definitely something special about live music. Santa Cruz has a number of bars, clubs, and assorted live music venues for residents and visitors to experience. And while none may have the capacity of the SoFi Stadium, this city is still a great place to find both local and international artists. 

Whether you’re down to just see whoever is playing at the bar tonight, or if you’re planning to get tickets for something special, here are some of the venues you can find around the city—and some of the upcoming events and festivals, too!

Downtown Venues

The Catalyst Club, colloquially known as simply “The…

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Young girl in adventure ropes course

Santa Cruz: where the forest meets the sea. While the numerous beaches around Santa Cruz draw crowds of avid surfers, passionate sunbathers, and even the occasional furry friend for a walk, the area is also recognized for its gorgeous, expansive redwood forests. 

North of the downtown, situated in the small neighborhood of Mount Hermon, is a highly-rated adventure park. An excellent attraction for daring kids, adults, and corporate groups for team-building workshops, read on to learn more about why this park makes for a great Santa Cruz area day trip!

Aerial Adventures: What Is It?

Sometimes referred to as “treetop trekking”, Mount Hermon Adventures is an aerial ropes/obstacle course and ziplining experience. But what exactly does that…

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Home overlooking Pleasure Point ocean. Photo by Amy Vosters on Unsplash.

When it comes to the real estate market in Santa Cruz, this beautiful coastal city continues to be one that’s highly-desirable. Home to scenic views, unique boutiques, excellent restaurants, and the University of California Santa Cruz campus, there’s a multitude of reasons why many are choosing to make the move here. 

But is it better to buy a home or to rent? What’s the market like overall? We outline everything you need to know below, in order for you to make an informed decision.

Current Market Statistics

If you’re considering moving to the Santa Cruz area, one of the first things you’ll want to know is the overall performance of the real estate market. In general, Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County is an appealing area for a number of…

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Sunny day at Santa Cruz beach with surfer in water. Photo by Amy Vosters on Unsplash

Recognized as one of the premier surfing destinations in the region, Santa Cruz attracts a significant number of tourists and passionate surfers every year. With its numerous beaches and strong waves, the city has been home to a multitude of high-profile names, including some of the best surfers in the world. 

From nervous beginners to the pros of the surf world, there’s a place in Santa Cruz that’s just right for any experience level. Here are a few of the notable surf spots along the coast—and the best places to grab gear while you’re there. 



We all have to start somewhere! If this is your first time on a board—or even your second or third—it’s probably best to stick to easier spots around Santa Cruz. 

One of the most…

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Summertime at Natural Bridges State Park. Rebekah Che on Unsplash

From the Wharf to Wharf Race to live music, Baroque fairs to author events, there’s always something happening in Santa Cruz during the month of July—and for all ages, too!

As we move into the middle of summer, with its endless sunshine, take advantage of the beautiful days and moderate temperatures by getting out and about in Santa Cruz. Here are just some of the exciting events taking place this month!


Shakespeare In The Park

Performed by Santa Cruz Shakespeare, a local theater group formed almost a decade ago, Shakespeare In The Park runs from the beginning of July to the end of August. The troupe hosts their event in Audrey Stanley Grove at DeLaveaga Park—a gorgeous outdoor venue surrounded by large trees.

This year, Santa…

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Townsend's Warbler in sitting in a Santa Cruz tree

From tiny rabbits to curious bobcats, Santa Cruz County is home to a number of amazing species. We often don't think too much about the animals in our neighborhood, even though we share the same spaces every day. In fact, many of them are closer to home than we might think!

As much as we love Santa Cruz County for its abundant wildlife, we also prefer that these animals stay outside. Read on for more information about protecting your property from our most favorite critters—so that all of us can enjoy our homes.

Check Your Windows and Doors

If you have a screen in your windows, check for rips or tears where bugs might find their way in. Anyone who has a screen in their windows knows that bugs sometimes get inside your home regardless. You…

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Forest reflections on Loch Lomond Reservoir, Felton during summertime

Those familiar with Santa Cruz County know that the area is much-beloved for a number of reasons—one of them being its scenic beauty! From surfing at the beautiful beaches to hiking in the old-growth forests, there’s so much to see and do outdoors.

Situated near of the communities of Lompico, Felton, and Ben Lomond, tucked into the Santa Cruz Mountains, is Loch Lomond Recreation Area. At 175 acres in size, this natural area encircles a large reservoir, and makes for the perfect day trip for hikers, boaters, and nature lovers alike. Read on to learn more about why Loch Lomond Reservoir is one of Santa Cruz County’s hidden gems!

Dive Into Loch Lomond History

The region surrounding Loch Lomond Recreation Area has a rich history. The first…

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Shelf of used books for sale at Bookshop Santa Cruz

Located in the heart of the city’s downtown is Bookshop Santa Cruz—a 20,000 square foot independent bookstore owned and operated by the Coonerty family, under the direction of Casey Coonerty Protti. It is a favorite of students, tourists, and Santa Cruz residents for its numerous events, great location, and, of course, excellent selection of books.


Bookshop Santa Cruz is one of two bookstores remaining in the city. They host a Short Story Contest once per year, as well as run a Consignment Program to support local writers. 

Bookshop Santa Cruz, A History

The store itself first opened in 1966 and, over the years, has become a significant cultural landmark for the city, especially after they officially partnered with The Humanities…

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Wood frames on new construction condo


While downtown Santa Cruz is known for its established neighborhoods and historic properties, there are a number of exciting new developments popping up around the city and the county. For those in the market for a new construction condo or detached home, there are a few developments to keep an eye on. 

Amid rising housing costs and increasing requirements for housing goals (as dictated by the state of California), the county has had to make some changes and revise their plan of action. As a result, there are a number of new plans for Santa Cruz County’s undeveloped areas—specifically the communities of Aptos, Soquel, Live Oak, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, and more. 

These developments are highly-anticipated and/or reaching the final…

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Upwards view of thick bamboo trees

Considered by many to be an area hidden gem (although it has been growing in popularity over the last few years), Bamboo Giant Nursery and Gardens is located at 5601 Freedom Boulevard. Tucked away into the hills of Aptos, California, this area can be easily overlooked by passersby. But just down a narrow drive, surrounded by lush trees, is where you’ll find over 15 acres of beautiful gardens.

While yes, the grounds are mainly a nursery, Santa Cruz County residents and visitors alike will enjoy the atmosphere and charm of the bamboo gardens.

How It All Started

Bamboo Giant Nursery and Gardens is a family business (and has been for over 25 years), specializing in a number of different types of bamboo. It’s one of the largest bamboo displays…

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