Community Guide: Scotts Valley vs Soquel

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 at 9:26am.

scotts valley vs soquel california

What makes Santa Cruz such an interesting place to live is that every single one of its neighborhoods has its own unique vibe.

The colorful town of Capitola seems otherworldly when compared to the natural landscapes of Aptos.

Though, when comparing Soquel and Scotts Valley, they seem quite similar.

Both neighborhoods are located at the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and have easy access to beautiful redwood forests.

Even so, they are completely unique.

Learn more about the differences between Soquel and Scotts Valley so you can buy a home in the ideal neighborhood for you.

Community Vibe

Both Soquel and Scotts Valley have similar community vibes thanks to their inland locations.

They attract nature-lovers and sports-addicts for their proximity to redwood forests where you can hike, bike, and horseback ride.

Though, the cities have incredibly different vibes.

Soquel is known for its old-world feel. With its antique stores and quaint coffee shops, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a time when life was simpler.

The city’s architecture is another homage to an earlier age. You can find colorful, tudor-style buildings with charming awnings on storefronts, giving the downtown core undeniable character.

Scotts Valley takes on a completely different vibe with its modern amenities and busy city center.

Since the city has a thriving tech industry, there’s more action and innovation taking place here than in Soquel.

This is not to say that it’s as bustling as the city of Santa Cruz, but Scotts Valley certainly has a life of its own.

The California Lifestyle

Soquel and Scotts Valley are in prime locations near the most beautiful state parks in California. Soquel has The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, while Scotts Valley has Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Both towns are popular among nature-lovers who enjoy hiking and biking through the forests.

Although the cities share this aspect, the lifestyles that they offer are quite distinct.

Since Soquel is home to tons of pastures and ranches, the city attracts plenty of equestrian-lovers.

There are stables and rings in abundance here, making it a great place to live for those who own horses.

The real estate in Soquel is the other thing that supports this lifestyle. There are tons of large properties and acreages on the market that give homebuyers the chance to start horse farms of their own.

Although Scotts Valley has large properties as well, most of the residents in this part of town are families.

Scotts Valley is actually known as one of the most family-friendly towns in the whole of Santa Cruz for it’s family-centered amenities and real estate.

It has top-rated schools for students of all ages, attracting growing families from across the state—even from places like San Jose and San Francisco.

The other distinguishing factor about Scotts Valley is that it’s a hub for the tech industry.

It is the birthplace of Netflix and is now home to tons of industry leading startup companies.

Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Soquel and Scotts Valley are extremely comparable when it comes to home price. Both places have a similar median home price around the $930,000 mark.

But when it comes to the types of homes on the market, the cities are quite different.

Soquel is known for its large plots of land and acreages that can be turned into pastures for horses.

In addition to these acreages, Soquel is a popular place to find luxury homes that overlook the water or the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can find pockets of utra luxurious estates that are among some of the most expensive in the city.

On the other hand, Scotts Valley is known for its mature properties that are heavily wooded with lush landscaping. And since this area is located outside of the urban center of Santa Cruz, properties can be quite substantial in size.

Here you can find gorgeous single-family homes that were built in the mid-century that are perfect for growing families.

As of late, Scotts Valley has seen a surge in new construction with modern townhouses and low-maintenance homes popping up around the city.


Although both cities have similar qualities in terms of location and landscape, they are fundamentally different.

Scotts Valley is a great place for families and young professionals, while Soquel is a great place for nature and equestrian lovers.

When buying a home in Santa Cruz, it’s important to choose a neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle. For more information on Santa Cruz and it’s lovely communities, contact Lauren Spencer today! She’s your local guide to everything real estate!

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