Surfing world-class waves before breakfast or hiking among giant redwood trees at sunset are among the numerous outdoor recreation options in Santa Cruz, a robust city that offers natural beauty alongside quality-of-life conveniences.
Santa Cruz's higher education score was bolstered by local schools including UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College. The city also rated high is health care due to excellent medical services available at Dignity Health Dominican Hospital as well as Palo Alto Westside Center. Santa Cruz residents are known for rolling up their sleeves to volunteer for many local and national causes, which adds to a sense of pride and commitment to the community. The average home price here is a somewhat expensive $645,000, but city officials today are making concerted efforts to meet a demand for affordable housing.