The Top Towns Near Santa Cruz That You Need To Know About

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 at 2:07pm.

Santa Cruz County is one of the best places to live in California. The soaring redwoods, perfect beaches, and beautiful towns combine to make this a truly special place to be in.

And it's not just Santa Cruz itself that's hogging all the glory - scattered across the area are some exceptional small communities...

Not sure where to start? Well here is a list of some of the best towns around Santa Cruz to live in or visit.


Less than 20 minutes east of Santa Cruz, the beach town of Aptos overlooks a long stretch of beach around Soquel Cove.

The charming central village of Aptos hosts many one-of-a-kind stores, as well as some entertaining events throughout the year.

The area boasts a wide variety of properties, from beachside condos, to sprawling estates nestled in the nearby hills. Residents here enjoy quick access to Santa Cruz, as well as the Nisen Marks State Park.

Browse available Aptos real estate listings!

Bonny Doon

This small, hillside community northwest of Santa Cruz features many spacious properties distributed over a wide area of mountainous forest.

Here you can choose between stately working farms, or rustic cabins - whatever you fancy for your rural Santa Cruz getaway.

Residents in Bonny Doon also enjoy a quick back-route into the scenic San Lorenzo Valley, and a collection of quiet, secluded beaches in the other direction.

If you're looking for a bit of extra elbow room in the midst of California's majestic redwoods, then Bonny Doon may be your paradise.

Browse available Bonny Doon real estate listings!


At the gateway to the San Lorenzo Valley, just 15 minutes north of central Santa Cruz, the community of Felton has a quaint downtown strip with some top-notch eateries and cafes.

The hills around Felton crowd in close, providing natural getaways only a short distance from the town center. This mix of forested hills near Felton means that the real estate market sports a good mix of hidden cabins, and large suburban homes.

Felton is also an excellent location for convenient amenities, including great schools, banks, grocery stores, and city services. If you get to visit, make sure to take in the historic covered bridge built in the 1890’s.

Browse available Felton real estate listings!


Corralitos is a small inland community north of Watsonville, and east of both Santa Cruz and Aptos.

Residents here appreciate the extra space provided by the larger lot sizes and lower overall density.

This is an excellent area to start a hobby farm, or even purchase a working one. Nestled beneath the hills are vineyards, fields, and greenhouses, all mixed together with loosely congregated homes in a more suburban style.

If you're looking for some peace and quiet in a beautiful location, along with prices lower than many coastal properties, look no further than Corralitos.

Browse available Corralitos real estate listings!

If you're interested in learning more about any of these communities, you can contact Lauren Spencer online or call 1.800.226.4717.

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