Ah, the West Coast. You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a more alluring location to move to. In fact, though I do not have the scientific studies to back it up, I would go as far as to say there probably haven’t been more than ten instances in the history of modern relocation in which someone said, “nah, I don’t like sunny weather and beaches”. Okay, I’m sure there have been some, but those will be chalked up to some sort of crazy personal vendetta against the Golden State, though I cannot imagine what that might be. For most of us, the weather in Santa Cruz alone is probably enough to be convinced of the benefits. There are those, too, who may see the draw, but are a little doubtful about the region as a whole. Nevertheless, if you’re in the market for a change in location, Santa Cruz, California may just be, and should be, your next home.
I figured I’d get this one out of the way. Truth be told, there isn’t much to explain about the climate in Santa Cruz. This city is pretty much in the Goldilocks zone. It’s just about perfect. On average, the temperatures only go as low as forty degrees at night in the winter, and no higher than seventy-eight degrees in the summer, according to the NOAA. It also only rains about forty-five days out of the entire year. That’s it. That’s all I need to say, really.
There are obviously a good number of beaches in the city, so I’ve decided to stick to a state park. No matter on which you choose to spend your leisure time, though, you will not be disappointed. Natural Bridges State Beach is a sixty-five-acre state park. As the name implies, there is a gorgeous natural bridge that spans across a section of the beach. But, not only do the scenic views provide a beautiful backdrop for a fun day and night, the added bonus wildlife will only serve to boost the experience for everyone. The area is perfect for viewing birds, migrating whales, even seals and otters. The tide pools then provide a glimpse into the tiny ecosystems of underwater life. But, perhaps my favorite of all is the winter butterfly migration. Up to 8,000 monarch butterflies call the park their home in the winter, and it is a sight you do not want to deny yourself.
While I firmly believe that most of the entertainment in Santa Cruz comes from the landscape of the region itself, you do not have to be an outdoorsman to have fun there. And even the intrepid hiker needs a day off every now and then. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk will be the ideal setting to wind down after a long day of work or just general stress. Yes, I know, this is still outdoors. But, since it only rains 12 percent of the year, the feeling of being outside isn’t really separate from being indoors. Take a slow and relaxing walk and enjoy the beauty of an iconic California image: a gorgeous sunset over a beach in the background, and the classic skyline of an amusement park at the end of the deck. Let the kids go for a couple rides at the amusement park while you and your better half grab a couple snacks and kick back. It’s enjoyable for any person, any age.
A second popular attraction in central to northern California are the numerous vineyards. Again, I know, this is also outdoors, but I have yet to hear a frequenter of vineyards refer to himself as an outdoorsman based on that alone. Cut me some slack, this place is just too beautiful not to be outside. Of course, drinking as an activity in and of itself is entertainment for many Americans, but visiting vineyards that rival the Tuscan countryside is an experience. Whether or not you’re a connoisseur of the fine fermented grape, there is not much in the beverage world that compares to strolling the vineyards with a fresh glass in your hand. MJA Vineyards in particular provides a unique and authentic approach. Sip into the sunset, and you’ll swear you took a wrong right turn somewhere and ended up in a villa in central Italy (though the wine may be a bit more Croatian). For these and other attractions, be sure to look for discounts on Groupon.
For the family looking to relocate, quality education is definitely at the top of the list in the must-have category. You want to be sure your children grow up in an encouraging and satisfying educational environment, and Santa Cruz can provide just that. With UCSC in the city, it is no stretch to assume that the education in the area will be top notch. The area includes nationally recognized public and charter schools, and you can attend a top tier college right from home. As a bonus to having a university in the area, the healthcare in the city is also top notch.
Moving to another city or state is no easy task, and that is just the leaving of it all. Determining where you want to spend possibly the next decade of your life is the decision that will motivate you to get it done. So, let Santa Cruz, California make that decision for you. Pay the city a visit and experience it for yourself if you still have any doubt, but do not be surprised if your other considerations fall to the wayside as a result.