Surrounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains, the San Lorenzo Valley’s richly-forested landscape provides a perfect hiding place to some of Santa Cruz County’s most beautiful areas to live – and the largest redwood trees you’ll ever see! Historic little logging towns offer a lovely mix of shops and great restaurants, not to mention great music at the world-famous Henfling’s Tavern. From community get-togethers and local theater productions to discovering secret swimming holes along the creek, you’re sure to find lots to do and see in this stretch of civilized wilderness.
Visitor Attractions and Amenities
- Inns, motels, B&Bs, camping, RV
- Restaurants, shopping, wineries
- Hiking, biking, golfing, parks
- Special Attractions – Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Big Basin State Park, Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad
- Annual Events – 4th of July Parade, Redwood Mountain Faire, Memorial Day Parade, Lumberjack Festival, Run Through The Redwoods
Neighborhoods and Communities
The City of Scotts Valley is nestled between the coast and the mountains, with easy access to Santa Cruz and San Jose. Newer housing developments are built near expansive parks and forests, so there’s no lack of places to picnic, hike, and enjoy the sunshine. Great shopping and restaurants, too.
At 4.6 square miles, diminutive Felton is a peaceful mountain town surrounded by trees, creeks, and lush greenery. Enjoy great music at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall, grab a bite at one of the fantastic restaurants, or search for the Garden of Eden, a favorite swim spot along the river in Henry Cowell State Park.
Boulder Creek residents keep themselves busy with frequent festivals and music, great restaurants, and a little mountain night life. Take a day and venture into Big Basic State Park, then hike the 12-mile trail to the ocean.
The epitome of “adorable small town,” Ben Lomond has some of the best gift/homesteading/feed/garden/deli/produce stores around (according to folks who live there). Come for German cuisine at the Tyrolean Inn, stay in a real castle (available for rent), visit Highlands Park, or take a dip in the swimming hole that’s right in town.
Brookdale is home to the old Brookdale Lodge, which was built in 1890 over a brook that runs through its restaurant. Rumored to be haunted, the lodge enjoyed great popularity with celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, and President Herbert Hoover. Sadly, the lodge was closed down in 2011 after fire inspectors found numerous safety violations during an inspection.
With a name inspired by a Scottish ballad, Bonny Doon descends over the gentle, wooded foothills northwest of Santa Cruz toward the ocean. It’s a peaceful, secluded area with good neighbors, an all-volunteer fire department, and an airport.