Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesSan Francisco · 1 decade ago

What is life in Santa Cruz, CA like?

Oh, before I forget - are the earthquakes there really bad?

Update:

I know they have tall trees and that "mystery spot" but that's about it.

If you can tell me anything about UC Santa Cruz that would be great too.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    So far, I love living in Santa Cruz. It gets kind of small feeling, though, because I'm from San Francisco, so there's not as much of a city feeling, but that's fine. Sometimes I prefer that.

    There are a few main shopping streets, Pacific being the best. The bus system is great and can take you all around! There's also Greyhound buses that can take you to San Jose or San Francisco if you don't have a car. There's easy connections to Fremont BART too (which you can take all around the San Francisco Bay Area).

    San Jose is about half an hour to forty-five minutes away, and San Francisco is about an hour and a half away. Santa Cruz is not in the SF Bay Area, by the way, it's right at the top of the Monterey Bay Area.

    There are lots of cute houses around town and since it's a vacation spot/college town, rentals are very popular. There are some really great restaurants: my favorites are Saturn Cafe, Pizza my Heart, Shadowbrook, Woodstock's Pizza, Kianti's, the Crepe Place, and Fro-Yo. There are also some really good shops for clothing, shoes... anything you need really! Lots of unique, vintage-type places but also newer chains.

    There are basically three places you can live in Santa Cruz (not taking into account the neighborhoods and stuff): the forest (up in the hills, near the campus), the city itself, or the beach. The beaches here are beautiful, though the main tourist beach is insane during tourist season.

    The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is really fun. It's small for an amusement park but has lots of history. There are two big roller coasters and lots of other fun rides, along with an arcade, bowling alley, and I think laser tag? Every Friday night, there are free concerts on the beach next to the boardwalk.

    The surfing here is pretty great. I think the legend is that surfing in the mainland of the US started here? Anyway, there are always tons of surfers out there. There are surf schools and stuff so you can learn if you want to! They're also just fun to watch. :)

    In general, the marine life is really good. Haha. Lots of divers, swimmers, sailboats. There's also Long Marine Lab which belongs to the university (by the way, while I'm mentioning this, the university also has an observatory and the best astronomy department in the nation, I hear). In case those are two fields you like.

    Santa Cruz is a liberal city, but you can find conservatives too (I don't know if you care about that?).

    As for the music scene, there's an awesome club called the Catalyst on Pacific street. It's a really old club and pretty small, but tons of big bands and famous artists come there! And there are a lot of different genres too, so you can find something you like!

    Okay, now for the university! It's been called the "most liberal, dangerous university in the country" I believe, which is funny because I'm a student and I didn't realize. Again, I definitely know conservative people here, but for the most part it's a liberal campus.

    The campus is BEAUTIFUL. Honestly, I'm not just saying this because it's my school but it is the most gorgeous campus I've ever seen. It's pretty much all in the redwood forest above the city, in the hills. It's a gigantic campus and has its own buses, nature preserve, waterfalls, caves, meadows, and... just tons more stuff. It has a really great feeling on campus. The food at dining halls is pretty great for college food.

    Basically there are ten colleges, and each has a "sister" college that they are close to and share a dining hall with: Cowell/Stevenson, Crown/Merrill, Porter/Kresge, Oakes/Eight, and Nine/Ten. They each have their own separate environments and stereotypes, i.e. "Eight is the So-Cal college because it's not in the trees, so it gets a lot of sun."

    Oh, yeah, I forgot!... Earthquakes. I've lived in Santa Cruz for a year and haven't felt an earthquake yet. The faultline nearest Santa Cruz, part of the San Andreas fault, is pretty far inland, near some farm town called Hollister (I think it's near Gilroy?). Anyway, that's pretty far from Santa Cruz. I guess earthquakes can be bad, but it depends on what you're used to.

    I've never been to the mystery spot, by the way, so I can't tell you about that.

    But there are lots and lots of fun things to do in Santa Cruz and in the surrounding area! It's a really beautiful place. It has forests you can hike through with amazing old redwood trees, the beach to visit and both ocean and bay to swim/surf/sail/etc. in, and pretty good nightlife for a smaller city. It also is a college town so it's more exciting than a lot of places and there are lots of young people to be found almost everywhere!

    Hope I didn't ramble about this great city too much and you found what you were looking for! :)

    Source(s): Student at UCSC. :)
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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    A bunch of left-over hippies from the Sixties, and their offspring. Can I star this question even though I've only passed through it a few times?

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