Hailed as "Surf City USA," Santa Cruz is the perfect destination to enjoy the California sun. This beach city is home to the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and close to 18,000 students who flock here each year, adding exuberant energy and exciting nightlife to the streets.
The city's 60,000 permanent residents stay in town to experience the best mix of northern and central California, as the area is acclaimed as the perfect union between the two. Students aside, the city still has a relatively young population - the average age is 30 years old - making it a haven for laid-back individuals looking to have a good time while working in one of the city's booming industries. Rent a Santa Cruz apartment and experience all that the Monterey Bay area has to offer.
The first settlers near Monterey Bay were the Ohlone Native Americans, who were driven out of the area by Spanish soldiers and missionaries in the late 18th century. Santa Cruz, which means Holy Cross in Spanish, became the 12th mission to be settled in California. After being assumed by Mexico in 1820, the Mexican-American War led Mexico to cede the territory of Alta California, and Santa Cruz was flooded with immigrants from the United States before California itself became a state in 1850.
Santa Cruz has a large veteran activist community, and provides ample assistance to U.S. veterans who are having trouble re-entering civilian society. Rent a Santa Cruz apartment, and join in on one of the many movements happening here.
With the appeal of a liberal college town, Santa Cruz is home to a number of different colleges. The University of California, Santa Cruz, is the most well known school in town, but it's just one of many. Bethany University, Cabrillo College and the UCSC-affiliated Cowell College and Oakes College join a number of other schools in the area. Students from all over look for rentals near Santa Cruz, earning it the reputation of "The Beach Town That Doesn't Shut Down."
For those seeking jobs, Santa Cruz is a hub of the organic farming movement as the home of California Certified Organic Farmers. The city is also a center for tourism, education and high-tech companies. The Santa Cruz Operation, RF Micro Devices and Plantronics attract techies from all over the country to work in Santa Cruz, and join Giro bicycle helmets, Good Earth Tea and O'Neil's Surf Shop, all of which are also headquartered in the area.
Santa Cruz apartments are very popular, which is unfortunately evident in the area's high rent prices. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the average apartment here is $1,304 a month. Residents in the area are also prone to high living expenses, with a cost of living index score well above the national average. Whether it's the urban bustle of Downtown, foodie-allure of the Westside, laid-back atmosphere of Seabright, or serenity of Live Oak, all the neighborhoods here have a unique feeling that adds to the appeal of Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and local Farmers Market allow Santa Cruz residents to enjoy the beautiful California weather year round. The city also hosts a number of beach-related events throughout the year, including Oakley's Surf Shop Challenge, Big Kahuna Ocean Challenge Events and the Dip & Dash Aquathlon. Residents more inclined to Greek fare can head to the annual Greek Food & Cultural Festival which takes place in September.
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