Live Oak is the unincorporated area that lies between the city of Santa Cruz and Capitola.  Residents have a Santa Cruz address, yet rely on county services since they are outside of city limits. 

The area is a bit less congested than other areas of Santa Cruz and offers numerous beaches and neighborhoods.  Both locals and visitors enjoy the Santa Cruz Harbor and adjacent Twin Lakes Beach.  East Cliff Drive offers a path along the coastal bluffs to savor the beautiful views.  Pleasure Point is known for its surf breaks and Jack O’Neill’s residence.  41st Avenue has a chill atmosphere and offers funky shops and restaurants.  Locals enjoy running or walking on the trails of Arana Gulch, the greenbelt open space just north of the Harbor.  Families appreciate that Live Oak is home to numerous schools within walking distance from residential neighborhoods.

During summer months, the Live Oak parking program provides beach access while reducing traffic congestion in beach neighborhoods.  Residents are able to obtain 2 free permits and receive a reduced rate for additional permits.  Visitors pay $8 for the day or $35 for the season.



  • Calmer / less hectic

  • Great neighborhoods

  • World class surf spots
    Smaller beaches

  • Lagoons

  • Gorgeous ocean views


  • Beach

  • Lighthouse

  • Harbor

  • Pleasure Point

  • Surfing

  • Paddle boarding

  • Kayaking

  • Beach walking/ biking path

  • Skateboarding

  • Local shops & restaurants

  • Farmers market

  • Parks

  • Breweries