Renting Offers More Versatility
Santa Cruz is the county seat and the biggest city in California's Santa Cruz County. The US Census Bureau projected Santa Cruz's population in 2019 to be 64,608. The city is located on the northern tip of the Monterey Bay, about 32 miles south of San Jose and 75 miles south of San Francisco. It is part of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which includes 12 counties. If you like the outdoors, Santa Cruz is a great starting point. Take a boat trip from the port to view whales—grays, blues, or humpbacks, depending on the season—or take a scenic drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains to see the old trees in Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
And hidden away in these hills is another nature-inspired treasure: a plethora of wineries, the majority of which specialize in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. But, at its core, Santa Cruz is a surf town, dating back to 1885, when three visiting Hawaiian kings rode the local waves on oak boards. And where today's best surfers seek out classic California breakers like Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point. Do you need further proof? The late, renowned surfer Jack O'Neill, a wetsuit pioneer and the elder statesman of all things surf-related, called Santa Cruz home.