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Guide to the Westside of Santa Cruz, California

Welcome to the Westside of Santa Cruz.

I moved to the Westside of Santa Cruz in 1999

to attend college at the University of California

Santa Cruz.

Side note, I did actually go to Cabrillo,

which is also a fantastic college,

a junior college which is located

in Aptos, Santa Cruz, California,

and then I went to the University of California

in Santa Cruz.

It had been a longtime dream to live in Santa Cruz.

In fact, when I was on a family vacation

when I was only eight years old,

I decided Santa Cruz is where I want to live

when I grew up,

and I made that dream a reality.

Many, wink, wink, years later,

here I am, living my dream in Santa Cruz,

specifically on the Westside of Santa Cruz.

The city of Santa Cruz is comprised of

what to the locals is known as

the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz,

the Beach Flats community,

which is near the Santa Cruz Wharf,

and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk,

Beach Hill, downtown Santa Cruz,

the DeLaveaga area,

which is also near what is known as

the Santa Cruz banana belt,

and the Seabright area,

which is near the Santa Cruz Harbor and many,

a plethora of Santa Cruz beaches.

This area is within the city of Santa Cruz's jurisdiction

and has so much to offer.

We are on the Santa Cruz Wharf

right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz,

and right behind me is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk,

which is one of the oldest

and voted one of the best or the best

seaside amusement parks.

It was established in 1907

right here in Santa Cruz, California,

and it is a wide resource for fun for the whole family.

There are rides, there is a ice-skating rink

that they put up in the wintertime,

and in the summertime,

they have free concerts on Fridays

and they have free movies on Wednesdays.

If you want any information

on what the free concerts or movies will be,

let me know, I'll send you a list of that information.

Also, right behind me,

this is considered Main Beach right here in Santa Cruz

on the Westside of Santa Cruz in California.

Every year, we have,

every summer, there's the Santa Cruz Junior Guards

where they actually make the kids run and swim,

and my kid always complains, but she loves it.

Super fun.

Also behind you, do you wanna pan over there?

The Dream Inn, which is one of my favorite hotels.

I sometimes do staycations at the Dream Inn.

All of the rooms have ocean views.

they look over Cowell's Beach, they look over the break.

There's a swimming pool that overlooks

the ocean and the beach as well.

I have been living on and loving

the Westside of Santa Cruz since I moved to Santa Cruz.

The Westside of Santa Cruz is comprised

of the Upper Westside and Lower Westside.

The division is Mission Street or Highway 1,

which splits the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz

from the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz.

The Lower Westside of Santa Cruz is close

to scenic West Cliff Drive, Cowell's Beach, Main Beach,

Steamer's Lane, which is known to be one

of the world-renowned surf spots.

People travel from all over to surf

right here at Steamer's Lane,

right in Santa Cruz on the Westside.

Hi, guys.

I am right now on top of the cliff on West Cliff Drive

on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

and we're overlooking Mitchell's Beach,

which is a really awesome beach when the tide is low.

The beach is big and really fun.

It's also a little more gentle than Steamer's Lane,

if you are looking for a good wave to surf.

It's a fabulous place to come swim and surf

and enjoy a beach day on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz.

West Santa Cruz also has many

dog friendly beaches and parks.

I am right now in one of my favorite places,

which is right off West Cliff Drive

on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz.

I am in this beautiful park called Lighthouse Field,

which is a great place to let your children run.

People bike here in Lighthouse Field.

People run here in Lighthouse Field.

Dogs play and have fun in Lighthouse Field

on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

and we are right across from Its Beach,

which is a dog-friendly beach right on West Cliff Drive.

Dogs run and frolic, and they have a blast.

I don't know all the rules, but I believe you can have,

when I pass by Its Beach, there is no dog on a leash,

so I think that's a positive thing if you are a dog lover

on the Westside of Santa Cruz.

Right there at Its Beach,

you can let your dogs frolic freely and play in the ocean.

Generally, Lower Westside Santa Cruz homes,

other than the ones closest to West Cliff Drive,

will not have ocean views.

On the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz, however,

there are many homes with ocean views

due to the fact that these homes

are situated up on a hill.

The Upper Westside of Santa Cruz,

which, due to the geography of Santa Cruz,

is actually on a hill,

hence the given name Upper Westside.

It is closer to the University of California Santa Cruz,

and thus, there are many Santa Cruz student rentals.

Santa Cruz's University Terrace

is an area of homes and condos

on the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz

that caters greatly to University of California

Santa Cruz student rentals,

as well as owner-occupied properties.

The Upper Westside of Santa Cruz is close to hiking trails

such as Pogonip and Wilder Ranch State Park,

as well as Westlake Park.

At Westlake Park, there's a fabulous pond,

and kids under the age of 16

as well as seniors 65 years and older can fish.

The Upper Westside of Santa Cruz

as well as the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz

are both great places within the city of Santa Cruz

to live and become part of the Santa Cruz community.

Santa Cruz's Westside is a bustling commercial district

filled with local Santa Cruz restaurants,

local Santa Cruz shops,

and assortment of local Santa Cruz businesses.

Mission Street right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz,

which runs through the district,

connects motorists to Highway 1.

Densely populated traffic can be an issue

during commuting hours.

Remember that when you are shopping for a home,

especially if you have to commute over the hill

to Silicon Valley.

Notable sections of the Westside

of Santa Cruz neighborhood include

the mixed-use Swift Street development

with craft breweries, restaurants, wineries,

shops, and so much more.

Points of interest on the Westside of Santa Cruz include

Natural Bridges State Park, Derby Park,

Seymour Marine Discovery Center,

and Lighthouse Field State Park, West Cliff Drive,

Wilder Ranch State Park,

University California Santa Cruz,

Pogonip, Rincon trail,

and the Santa Cruz Wharf.

We are right here

on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz

right off of West Cliff Drive,

and this is actually my favorite beach.

We are at Natural Bridges Beach.

It's a super beautiful beach,

and it's a huge beach that even when the tide is high,

you'll still have sand to frolic on.

But if you can see right behind me,

the reason they call it Natural Bridges

is because there's actually a natural bridge

that has been carved out of that rock,

the one where all the birds are perched on top of,

creating a bridge.

There used to be a bridge in between those two rocks,

but that has now washed away.

So, this beach, Natural Bridges State Beach

right here on the lower west side

is a fabulous, fabulous beach.

We love flying kites down here 'cause it gets windy,

and if you go all the way over on a low tide,

it's great for tide pooling as well.

So, come check it out.

We love Natural Bridges State Beach,

and I think you guys will, too.

Lower Westside of Santa Cruz.

The Westside has a plethora of places to stay.

The Westside of Santa Cruz has a lot going on,

probably more than you can pack into one day.

Another one of my favorite places to frequent

is Companion Bakery on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz.

Their sourdough starter is off the hook.

Sourdough is my absolute favorite type of bread

of any kind, of any, of.

And here, they are knocking it out of the park,

so come, taste their bread.

They have gluten-free options if that's more up your alley.

They have such delicious breakfast items

and baked goods,

as well as coffee,

which Jason and I are about to go enjoy a cup of coffee.

At least I am.

Are you, are you allowed to have coffee on your diet?

I'm good.

Heck yeah, lots of coffee.

Oh, he's gonna have coffee.

The Westside of Santa Cruz has recently updated

Mission Street Inn.

They have a loyal following thanks to its tidy rooms,

comfy beds, and personable staff.

The Westside of Santa Cruz also has

the newly built in 2016 sleek Fairfield Inn & Suites.

It's a stone's throw away

from the Westside Farmers' Market

and earns rave reviews with free Wi-Fi,

clean, modern interiors,

and a hearty complimentary breakfast.

It is also a great place to stay

if you are visiting your children or child

who may or may not be attending

the University of California Santa Cruz.

This is one of my favorite subjects,

places to eat on the Westside of Santa Cruz.

It's impossible to talk about the Westside of Santa Cruz

without mentioning Kelly's Bakery,

the all-day cafe that revitalized the area

by converting a former Brussels sprouts packing facility

into a spirited hub of eateries, shops, and wineries.

At Companion Bake Shop,

which is also on the Westside of Santa Cruz,

a line forms early each morning

for a countertop filled with flaky, buttery pastries

and Cat & Cloud coffee.

Another one of my favorite places to eat

on the Westside of Santa Cruz

is Avanti Ristorante.

It is an Italian delicacy

right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz.

They have been serving our community for 30 years

with their rustic farm-to-table fare

and seasonal cocktails, all of which are delicious.

You can also snag expert cocktails

on the Westside of Santa Cruz at Bantam,

where a wood-burning oven churns out

blistered Neapolitan pizzas and seasonal organic plates.

Another one of my favorite subjects

which I love to talk about

right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz

are places and things to sip.

So, Jason and I have been touring around

on the Westside of Santa Cruz.

Right now, we are on the Lower Westside

at the Swift Street Courtyard,

which is a fabulous place for local wine tasting,

beer tasting, shopping, and dining.

We are in front of the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

We are in front of Sones Cellars,

we are in front of Equinox,

which, I like their champagne, it's fabulous.

The West End has really good food and drink options,

and then, if you're into beer,

we have the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company,

which, I don't really like beer,

but I'm not gonna tell you that.

But I will drink wine.

We also have MJA over here, which is fabulous.

They're so gracious and sweet.

And then my all-time favorite is Stockwell Cellars,

which we're gonna go inside and take a look.

Come with me, Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

right here in the heart of it all.

So, unfortunately, Stockwell Cellars is closed,

so I can't take you inside.

But we are right here

on the Westside of Santa Cruz in the heart of it all

in front of Stockwell Cellars,

which I love because it's kid-friendly.

They have little bites,

they have a food truck sometimes to visit.

They also have live music on a regular basis.

So, if you're thinking about things to do

and you wanna check out some wineries that are local

and on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

come to Stockwell Cellar.

It's a fabulous place to be.

Next time, I will take you inside

and we'll have a drink together.

From pour-overs to Pinots,

the Westside of Santa Cruz

is guaranteed to slake your thirst.

This little area right here

on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz

is one of my absolute favorites.

Sometimes I will run, bike, or walk over here

from my house,

which is also on the Lower Westside,

and in the morning,

I will enjoy a nice, fresh cup of Verve Coffee,

and in the evening, I enjoy Bantam,

which has fabulous drinks, appetizers,

fresh, organic, farm-to-table, delightful dinners,

three-course options,

as well as a wood-fired oven

that makes fabulous, blistering, bubbling, cheesy pizzas.

Yum!

Mmm, that was good.

For oenophiles, the Westside of Santa Cruz

is the next best thing to the vineyards

thanks to a cluster of tasting rooms

pouring local Santa Cruz wine.

You'll find rare Spanish and Portuguese varietals

at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard,

refillable bottles of easy-drinking red table wine

at Sones Cellars,

and robust cabs and aloha spirit

on the patio of MJA Vineyards.

One of my favorite things about living

and being a part of the community

on the Westside of Santa Cruz

is not just the eats, but the sips,

and we are going to go check out Venus Distillery,

which is a Santa Cruz, Westside Santa Cruz local distillery

owned and operated by Sean Venus

right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz

specializes in small batches

of organic, locally-sourced gin, whiskey, aquavit,

you say it like that.

A-kee-vit?

Aquavit and blue agave spirits.

It is one of my favorite places,

and I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.

Venus is about to open at a new location

still right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz

in the industrial area right by Delaware and Swift,

and it is going to be a restaurant

as well as a distillery and bar.

So, you are gonna be able to have

food with your spirit cravings,

and these spirits are delightful.

You should check it out

right here on the west side of Santa Cruz,

Venus Distillery,

soon to be Venus Distillery and Restaurant.

I don't need to say I'm Shemeika Fox, 'cause that's weird.

But I am, I'm Shemeika Fox,

and I'm gonna take Jason in right now

because he's probably thirsty

and I'm gonna buy him a drink.

We've just been schooled.

They do have vodka now, back by popular demand,

and we did also just find out that the restaurant

is scheduled to open in the spring

right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz,

we are at Venus Spirits.

You should check it out.

For all you Peter Pans of the world

and the real, true children,

the Westside has plenty to do and play.

At Natural Bridges State Beach,

gorgeous, sandy shores

and creature-filled tidepools lure beachgoers

while a lush eucalyptus grove

draws thousands of migrating monarch butterflies

each fall and winter.

Also, Natural Bridges State Beach

on the Westside of Santa Cruz

is my favorite place to fly kites.

Leading to and from Natural Bridges

is stunning West Cliff Drive,

a multi-use waterfront trail

that teems with joggers, cyclists, and pedestrians

basking in the glory of the Monterey Bay.

Go at sundown for the real show.

We are on the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz

at Pogonip, which is one of my favorite places

to hike and trail run.

It's absolutely beautiful up there.

There are breathtaking views of all of Santa Cruz,

the mountains, you can even see the ocean in some spots,

and the trail is very friendly.

You can decide to go up into the mountains.

It also connects to UCSC

if you wanted to go that far in.

But this is one of my favorite hiking trails

or running trails on the Upper Westside of Santa Cruz.

Come check it out.

You will not be disappointed.

Nearby on the Lower Westside of Santa Cruz,

the beautiful Natural Bridges Farm

invites visitors to wander its bloom-filled grounds

and fill a basket with fresh veggies, fruits, and flowers

plucked directly from the soil.

The Westside of Santa Cruz may be known

as a sleepy surf town filled with ex-hippies,

banana slugs, and throngs of tourists

reveling in its stunning beaches and historic Boardwalk,

but it's also a haven for passionate doers and dreamers.

Nowhere is that spirit more alive

than the Westside of Santa Cruz neighborhood,

located on the northern edge of the city

bordering where industrial buildings

and residential homes give way to coastal farmland.

The Westside of town has always been

a working-class neighborhood,

but warehouses that once held agricultural products

on their way north to San Francisco

now house creative new businesses

focused on food, craft beer, wine, and tech,

just to name a few.

Meet some of the hard-working, passionate innovators

who have led to the Westside to become

a tight-knit but welcoming community

dedicated to creativity and collaboration.

We welcome you with open arms and a loving heart

to the Westside of Santa Cruz.

Come enjoy what we love so much.