About Living in Santa Cruz County
Tucked between the Santa Cruz mountains and the Pacific Ocean, California's second smallest county sits on 445 square miles of forests, mountains, ocean cliffs, beaches and farmland. The natural beauty, proximity to San Francisco and the great waves have made it a draw for surfers and others seeking a laid-back lifestyle.
But don't let the area's "Surf-city" reputation fool you. Santa Cruz is also home to researchers and inventors. In 2012, the county ranked fifth in the nation in number of patents per 1,000 employees.”
Indeed our own Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center was the setting of a big development in cell-phone camera technology in 1997. In the birthing center, proud dad and tech entrepreneur Philippe Kahn couldn't wait to share photos of his newborn daughter with the world. So he wired together his laptop, cell phone and digital camera to transmit pictures he'd just taken to friends and family — helping launch the camera phone.
Cities: The county encompasses four incorporated cities, Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Watsonville, as well as non-incorporated towns and communities such as Aptos, where PAMF has a medical office.
Schools: The Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE) serves the 10 school districts of Santa Cruz County. The graduation rate for the county is 81.4 percent.
Last year, Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz ranked as the best California school on the annual U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools List, and as the 11th best school nationally.
Housing: Median value of a total of 54,209 owner occupied houses in Santa Cruz County was $558,000 based on 2010 data.
Transportation: Santa Cruz County is served by the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District bus system. A "Highway 17 Express" bus between Santa Cruz and San Jose is jointly operated by the SCMTD and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Greyhound Lines bus service also serves the county. The nearest major airport is Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) in Santa Clara County.
Parks and Recreation: Tiny Santa Cruz County is home to no less than 14 state parks and beaches, including California's oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods. Residents enjoy hiking along trails that start in majestic redwood forests and end at the ocean, strolling the historic Santa Cruz boardwalk, and taking advantage of the area's coastal climate to enjoy year-round recreational activities.
Santa Cruz is also a Mecca for cyclists. The county offers long bike rides on scenic county roads through lush fields and into the redwoods. There are several popular and challenging mountain biking areas such as Nisene Marks and Wilder Ranch - site of the mountain biking nationals and the Xterra."
Surfing is what the county is best known for, but its varied geography also makes it an ideal place for many other sports. Along with world-class surfing events like the O'Neill Cold Water Classic and the Longboard Invitational, Santa Cruz hosts a stop on the Amgen Tour of California, the Wharf-to-Wharf Race, the Santa Cruz Triathlon, the Big Kahuna Triathlon and many other events.
Dog lovers find Santa Cruz County a haven with more than 25 pet-friendly beaches and parks, including dedicated off-leash dog parks.
Additional information: Santa Cruz County website
Santa Cruz Main Office
Santa Cruz County Clinics:
- Aptos Office
- Bay Avenue Office (Capitola) Sleep Medicine Endocrinology
- Chanticleer Office (2900) General Surgery
- Chanticleer Office (2907) -Obstetrics & Gynecology & Orthopedics & Podiatry
- Chanticleer Office (2911) - Physical Medicine & Rehab & Urology
- Commercial Crossing Office Hematology/Oncology & Infusion Services Palliative Care & Support Services
- Downtown Office
- Main Clinic
- Neurology Office
- Neurosurgery Office
- Physical Therapy
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Soquel Office
- Sutter Maternity and Surgery
- Scotts Valley Office
- Watsonville Office
- Westside Office