Digital Nomad Guide to Santa Cruz

Remote worker considering the move to Santa Cruz? Check out this guide to the neighborhoods, surf spots and coworking spaces in Santa Cruz.

Published on
January 7, 2021

Santa Cruz is a haven for surfers and digital nomads alike. Remote workers from San Francisco have always migrated here for the outdoor lifestyle and consistent waves. Thinking about doing the same? Check out our top tips for moving to Santa Cruz as a remote worker, and take a look at our two Santa Cruz houses.

Neighborhood Guide to Santa Cruz, California

Natural Bridges

Natural Bridges is one of the most popular places to stay in Santa Cruz. It's close to Natural Bridges Beach - a gorgeous beach with multiple surf breaks on the cliffs nearby. Check out Outsite Santa Cruz - Natural Bridges if you find yourself here.


The laid back and coastal neighborhood of Seabright sits on the east side of the city. It's popular among surfers with its multiple residential beaches. It's a particularly scenic area and also happens to be home to our newest Santa Cruz house, Santa Cruz - Seabright.

Pleasure Point & Opal Cliffs

Pleasure Point is the exact image that comes to mind when you think of California: beach side cottages, surf culture, and vast ocean views. 41st Avenue is full of indie boutiques, cafes and surf shops.

Getting Around Santa Cruz

The easiest way to get around Santa Cruz is driving, but it's still possible to visit without a car. Uber, Lyft and cycling makes it easy to get around your local neighborhood.

Cycling in Santa Cruz

There are some well known mountain biking and cycling trails around Santa Cruz. It's also an easy way to get around, the roads are not busy and the weather is (usually) mild.

Uber/Lyft in Santa Cruz

Uber and Lyft are widely available here.

Digital nomad and startup communities in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz benefits from a close proximity to San Francisco, which means there are plenty of remote workers here. Check out Outsite's local WhatsApp Groups to meet more people from around the area.

Coworking Spaces in Santa Cruz


Outsite has two spaces in Santa Cruz: Natural Bridges and Seabright. Coworking is included with any stay booked at Outsite Santa Cruz, day passes are not available.

Next Space

Next Space is a small community workspace, located in downtown Santa Cruz.

Satellite Workplace & Digital Media Studio

With multiple memberships, services, equipment, and facilities available, there's something for every remote worker here.

Startups in Santa Cruz

Due to Santa Cruz' proximity to San Francisco and Palo Alto, there aren't a great deal of companies based here. Many are local - like New Leaf Community Markets, or supporting tourism, like Santa Cruz Boardwalk. However, this is home to surf brand O'Neill, and it's where the first ever Outsite opened.

Coffee shops with WiFi in Santa Cruz

Verve Coffee

Verve Coffee is a local legend, there are 3 separate cafes in Pleasure Point, West Cliff and downtown Santa Cruz. Arrive early if you'd like a seat.

Cat & Cloud

Founded in Santa Cruz, you’ll feel more upbeat after savoring their excellent coffee and experiencing their fun, quirky brand. They have a cafe in Pleasure Point and their West Cliff cafe has a kitchen with great food.

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company

Their free and fast wifi, dedicated study room, and a great collection of coffee all make Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company a great place to plug in and set up shop for a while.

Firefly Coffee House

A great spot to work from, Firefly Coffee House has a plenty of seating, great bagels, and strong wifi (and coffee).

Gyms and yoga studios in Santa Cruz

As with the rest of California, Santa Cruzhas a healthy community - it's easy to find gyms and studios here.

CrossFit Santa Cruz

A standard CrossFit gym, offering lifting and strength classes in Santa Cruz.

Mark Stephens Yoga

An independently owned yoga studio, located in West Cliff.

Orange Theory

Orange Theory has a studio in Pleasure Point - expect high intensity classes based on rowing, running and weights.

Groceries and shopping in Santa Cruz

Farmers Markets

Santa Cruz is surrounded by agricultural land, which means there are plenty of farmers markets. If you're staying in West Cliff, check out the Market on West Side, and if you're staying in Pleasure Point, Live Oak is your local.

Grocery Stores

While there is a Trader Joes and Whole Foods in Santa Cruz, New Leaf is the 'local' grocery stores - born and bred in Santa Cruz. There are 4 locations in the area selling the best produce, healthy snacks and supplements, meat, dairy, and prepared drinks and food to take away.

Surf breaks in Santa Cruz

Unsurprisingly, surfing is popular here. Make sure to read the signs and the crowd before you jump in.

Steamer Lane

Leave this one for the pros - and the locals. There are a few surf breaks in one spot, offering excellent waves for confident surfers.


Long, small waves at Cowell's make the perfect place to try your hand at the sport.

The Hook

This right-breaking wave is often a perfect, racey wave. When it’s small it’s longboard friendly, but as it gains size and power this wave is known for its localism.

Pleasure Point

The breaks here are suitable for all levels, but this spot does get crowded. Head down earlier for space in the line-up.

Looking for a place to stay in North California? Check out Outsite Santa Cruz Seabright and Natural Bridges.

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