Outside Magazine issue latest issue names Santa Cruz one of the nation's best cities.

Santa Cruz Home owners once again have proof they live in one of the best towns in America. The upcoming issue of Outside magazine names Santa Cruz in its annual list of the most desirable places to live.


The editors at Outside Magazine said they chose Santa Cruz for its mix of laid-back and cosmopolitan atmospheres. The story describes it as, "old-time hippie culture, complete with dread locked street urchins and lots of wheatgrass, blending with the Volvos and BMWs of the high-tech crowd".

John Bradley, a senior editor for Outside Magazine, said the magazine was looking for "smallish" towns that could blend outdoor treasures with an active nightlife.

"It's that juxtaposition in lifestyle of sports and culture that makes Santa Cruz unique," said Bradley. In its profile of Santa Cruz, Outside recommends hiking in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, surfing at Cowell's and tasting local wines at Soif Wine Bar.

Living in paradise does have its drawbacks, though.

Resident Kris Carson, 60, admitted it was hard to make a living in Santa Cruz, and the housing prices don't help.

Santa Cruz has one of the highest costs of living on Outside's list.

But Carson said it's worth it because, "Santa Cruz lets me be myself" As an avid sailor Carson said he loves being near the water. He also acknowledged Santa Cruz's proximity to San Francisco as a bright spot, especially because Santa Cruz "is a terrible town for restaurants," said Carson, a construction manager.

Even those who don't live in Santa Cruz are influenced by its charm.

"It's magical," said Stacie London, who attended UC Santa Cruz and is now an industrial design artist who lives in Los Angeles. "It has everything you'd want for a healthy lifestyle"

London and her husband said they are considering moving here after spending just a few days in town and driving Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay. They said they are impressed with the friendliness of the people and the diverse array of cultural and physical activities. "This would probably be a great place to raise children," said Luis Herrera, London's husband.

This is not the first time Santa Cruz has graced the magazine, popular with outdoor enthusiasts. In 2003, the magazine named Santa Cruz the best college town in America.

The editors at Outside chose one town with a population less than 100,000 in each of nine geographic regions. The August issue hits newsstands July 10.

Contact your real estate agent Patti@PattiLyles.com or look at her site at www.santacruzrealestatehomes.com or www.luxurysantacruzhomes.com for Vacation homes, beachfront and oceanview homes.

Best Towns in AmericaOutside Magzine selected the nation's best cities, with less than 100,000 residents, to live in by region. Santa Cruz was given the honor for the California coast. http://www.gadling.com/2007/07/17/outside-magazine-s-best-towns-2007/

 #1California Seaside: Santa Cruz.

  • Northwest: Bend, Ore.
  • Rocky Mountain: Jackson, Wyo.
  • Southwest: Santa Fe, N.M.
  • Midwest: Iowa City, Iowa
  • Northern Lakes: Duluth, Minn.
  • Southern: Asheville, N.C.
  • Atlantic Coast: Portland, Maine
  • New England: Burlington, Vt.