Outsite Guide: Where to Stay in Santa Cruz

Your guide to where to stay in Santa Cruz, whether you want to be near the beach or the boardwalk.

Welcome to Santa Cruz California, the real surf city! A wild and dynamic place, both in nature and culture. There’s miles of preserved natural coastline and beautiful beaches, and you’ll notice a wide variety of lifestyles. For entrepreneurs and nomads, you’ll find yourself at home at our 3 different Outsite houses.

My name is Britt, and I’m the Community Manager here in Santa Cruz. Here's how to decide which of our Santa Cruz spaces is the right one for you.

1. West Cliff - the Oxford House

Oxford was the first Outsite location ever! There’s a feeling of roots there with the start-up style garage workspace and the giant eucalyptus trees bordering the front of the house. Just down the street 1 block is the ocean and West Cliff Drive, a curving route where you can walk, bike or skate along the ocean, take in panoramic views of Monterey Bay and experience the NorCal waves.


The front porch boasts a hammock next to the eucalyptus trees and lounge seating. The back patio has a bbq grill and firepit, great for summer bbqs, s'mores and stories.

Within a couple blocks there’s an organic market called New Leaf, coffee shops like Verve, local breweries like Humble Sea, and quality dinner spots like Bantam and West End. Overall, it’s a quiet yet cool neighborhood.


Oxford is a classic, cozy craftsman home, and you’ll feel that as you lounge in comfortable couches in front of the marble fireplace in the living room. There’s light, honey colored hardwood floors throughout the downstairs, which includes a separate yoga room with great morning light. The 3 bedrooms upstairs offer more privacy and have a softer carpeted floor. You’ll notice Japanese style printed art throughout the house from local artist Ethan Estess.

One main distinction for Oxford is the separate custom workspace. We’ve taken the separate garage building and converted it into a designated coworking space. It has an industrial wooden workshop look and gives you the environment needed for raw inspiration. There's a custom surf rack and lighting grid, vaulted ceilings, and a conference table paired with couches, standing desks, and bar tables. You can prepare or present on a large tv and whiteboard. It’s a great place for you to focus or meet with your team, without the distractions of the main house.

Choose Oxford House if you …

  • Need a separate designated workspace
  • Prefer cozy classic style homes
  • Practice yoga every morning

Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving Outsite
Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving

2. West Cliff - the Greenhouse

The second house in the West Cliff neighborhood is the Greenhouse, designed by Arkin & Tilt. We gave it that name because it’s a straw-bale insulated eco-house, designed with tons of south facing windows that allow sunlight to naturally warm the house. Combining cutting-edge mechanical technology with natural building techniques, passive solar strategies, and locally sourced elements, this house is designed for net-zero energy and minimal carbon footprint. It’s modern, colorful and has a very earthy feel.


A main focus of the property is the wrap around back patio facing the garden, which has fruit trees and a chicken coop with egg-laying hens. There’s a variety of seating and a hot tub, so you can relax and watch the birds or people passing in the greenbelt park. The backyard has a way of being the sunniest and warmest space around!

You can exit from the back driftwood gate and take a stroll through the park to the ocean, which is only a couple minutes away. If you come back from the beach or surfing, there’s a heated outdoor shower, perfect for rinsing off before soaking in the hot tub.


Inside the house you can relax in the open floor plan living space, where you’ll notice a preserved madrone tree arcing over the kitchen table!

Each space serves several functions, shifting and changing with the seasons as light and shadow play through it. You’ll notice a couple nice accents: signature art pieces from local artist Ethan Estess.

A walk up the stairs, glancing at all the reading options in the bookshelf wall, brings you to the bedrooms, or “bird nests” as I like to call them. There’s some variety in the bedrooms; a private queen bedroom, Cowells, with a private desk and balcony overlooking the garden, Natural Bridges, the king bedroom across a wooden bridge that overlooks the park. Wilder and Swift bedrooms have beds nestled next to windows, and Lagunas is shaded and cozy, surrounded by the thicker straw bale insulated walls.

Choose the Greenhouse if you …

  • Appreciate modern architecture and eco design
  • Thrive with plenty of natural sunlight
  • Like gardens, chickens and lots of color

Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving

3. Pleasure Point House

Our newest location in Santa Cruz is our house right on the point of the famous Pleasure Point, near Capitola. It’s separate from our other two houses on West Cliff, but has its own very fun, charming and walkable neighborhood. There’s world class surfing steps away, and a block in the other direction quality cafes and shops. Some of my favorites are Zameen’s Mediterranean and Penny’s Ice Creamery!


The entrance is framed by ivy and a succulent garden. After playing in the ocean, you can rinse off in the semi private and heated outdoor shower, set your surfboard and wetsuit on the rack, and thaw out in the hot tub or relax in the hammock with privacy provided by the bamboo and trees surrounding the backyard. String lights set the mood in the evenings.


The Pleasure Point house has a fresh coat of white paint, which provides a splendid canvas for the stylish neutral furnishings and local art by Ethan Estess. There’s a cozy living room with a giant tv and tower speakers, perfect for background tunes when you're cooking in the adjacent kitchen, fully equipped with a wooden butchers block island.

A doorway leads to separate 2 storey high ceiling common workspace, which seats 4 and is surrounded by bright windows and an array of plants. There are 2 bedrooms downstairs.

All the bedrooms have electronic locks, full length mirrors and stylish sustainable wood desks with accompanying yellow chairs, an attractive combination. Upstairs there the shared bedroom, Bomboras, which is one of the most spacious and nice shared rooms I’ve seen at Outsite. Rockview has partial ocean views and New Brighton room has mountain views.

Choose Pleasure Point House if you…

  • Want a coded lock for your room
  • Like everything close and walkable
  • Want to be in walking distance of longboard waves

Santa Cruz coliving
Santa Cruz coliving

Want to learn more about Santa Cruz? Check out Ethan Estess' interview here, or read a Photographer's Guide to Santa Cruz now.

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