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Each year, RelocateAmerica.com puts out a series of lists of “best places to live” for various categories.  Santa Cruz made the grade for the Top Ten Recreation Cities.

http://rismedia.com/2010-05-04/americas-top-places-to-live-for-2010/

This is no surprise to me (or probably to most of us who’ve lived in Santa Clara County for any length of time) that Santa Cruz is almost like a big playground.  We know it for the wharf, the beaches, the boardwalk, for kiting, biking, surfing, sunning, sailing, fishing, photography, loads of other sports and more. There’s no shortage of music or shopping, and in summer there’s a Shakespeare festival too.  Recreation? You bet.

In life before real estate, Jim & I lived in Santa Cruz for three years.  During that time he was working in Salinas all three years and I taught at Marello Prep (now a closed school) for one year, then two more at Notre Dame High School in Salinas.  The year I was at Marello was eye-opening.  Even though I’d spent a lot of time in Santa Cruz as a kid (mostly because my grandparents lived at Pasatiempo), it was a different thing to be teaching in a school perched on the cliffs of the west side and enjoying a view of the Monterey Bay and the Boardwalk.  Several times before class would start, someone – usually a student but sometimes a teacher – would check the waves from my classroom windows and hollar “surf’s up!”   At that point it would be harder to keep their attention…..

Yes, Santa Cruz is definitely a recreation-centered place.  The award is well deserved.  Congratulations, Santa Cruz!