Santa Cruz is a small coastal city (population about 55,000) in Santa Cruz County, on the north end of Monterey Bay in California, about forty miles south of San Jose. While it gained some tech jobs during the boom, it is still best known for fun weekend tourist attractions like the Beach Boardwalk and the Mystery Spot, and its University of California campus.
The main downtown strip is pedestrian friendly, and it's only a 20 minute stroll from there to the beach. Walking to the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) from downtown, is little more difficult, with bad or non-existent sidewalks and a very steep climb up to the campus.
While driving is certainly an option (there is enough parking in most places), Santa Cruz Metro also provides bus service.
Especially during the summer, Santa Cruz is a wonderful town for bicycling. Cycling is often faster than cars in the summer, not to mention much more enjoyable. In and around town and up and down Highway 1 is easy, but roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains are steep and winding and will be challenging for many cyclists. Be careful. Collisions between bicycles and cars are often reported in the paper. Sadly a number pedestrian and car collisions have also happened in the downtown area.