by Lauren Spencer
on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 at 11:46am.
In a city like Santa Cruz, where neighborhoods are built outwards instead of upwards, finding a walkable place to live can be difficult.
Our city is sprawled out from the redwood forests to the oceanside, meaning it can be difficult to get around without a car.
But this doesn’t mean that Santa Cruz doesn’t have its pedestrian-friendly areas.
In fact, it has a ton! Here’s a guide to Santa Cruz’s most walkable neighborhoods:
Downtown Santa Cruz
As with most cities, downtown cores are typically the most walkable areas in town. Santa Cruz is no different.
With a fantastic Walk Score of 96, downtown Santa Cruz takes the cake for the most walkable neighborhood.
The area is filled with over 130 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops combined, as well as tons of boutiques and clothing stores. With all these amenities, there’s no wonder why downtown has a near perfect Walk Score.
When you live in downtown Santa Cruz, everyday errands are made easy because you never have to walk too far to get what you need. Throughout the city there are grocery stores and specialty food stores, like Trader Joe’s and Safeway.
In addition to the grocery stores peppered throughout the area, downtown Santa Cruz hosts its own community farmers market every Wednesday where locals can pick up local produce and artisan goods.
Living downtown also means that you can walk to the beach on warm summer days. You never ever have to worry about parking your car when the beaches get crowded in the summertime.
Other nearby attractions and entertainment include the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the Jazz Center, and the Santa Cruz River Walk.
Homes for sale in downtown Santa Cruz range in size and price. You can find waterfront estates with some of the most spectacular features, like swimming pools and outdoor entertainment areas.
Most of the real estate in this area, though, consists of modest bungalow and beach-style homes that have charming shuttered windows and front porches.
You can also find condos and townhomes in this area, which give homebuyers the ultimate in low-maintenance and convenient living.
Situated on the other side of the San Lorenzo River from downtown, Santa Cruz’s eastside is a highly walkable area. With a Walk Score of 62, living here is extremely convenient.
Across both the upper and lower east side, there are over 120 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, which means you’re bound to be close to one no matter where you live in the area. There is a wide selection of grocery stores as well, including Whole Foods Market and Walgreens.
The east side is also known for its craft breweries. There are tons of local brew houses to visit by foot, which means you don’t have to limit how much you sample.
In addition to all of these amazing amenities, this neighborhood is within walking distance to some of the city’s most loved beaches. Pleasure Point is only minutes away, as well as Twin Lakes State Beach and Main Beach.
East Santa Cruz real estate has a wide array of homes, from stately Victorian houses to beachside bungalows. Although many of the homes in the area have a rich history, plenty of them have been recently renovated to have modern amenities, like chef’s kitchens and spa-inspired bathrooms.
Since this area is located a little outside of the downtown core, you can expect properties to be larger than average, making them perfect for homebuyers who value large yards and outdoor living spaces.