Must-see attractions in Santa Cruz

  • Train tracks in Santa Cruz, California, USA.

    Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    Santa Cruz

    The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been an Americana classic like few others for over a century. Now as in 1907 when the amusement park first opened, the…

  • Gray Whale Display Skeleton

    Seymour Marine Discovery Center

    Santa Cruz

    This educational center is part of UCSC’s Long Marine Laboratory. Interactive natural-science exhibits include tidal touch pools and aquariums, while…

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    University of California, Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz

    Check it: the school mascot is a banana slug! Established in 1965 in the hills above town, UCSC is known for its creative, liberal bent. The rural campus…

  • The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, California USA

    Mystery Spot

    Santa Cruz

    A kitschy, old-fashioned tourist trap, Santa Cruz's Mystery Spot has scarcely changed since it opened in 1940. On a steeply sloping hillside, compasses…

  • USA, California, Santa Cruz County, Big Sur, Pacific Ocean, Natural Bridges State Beach, Natural Bridge in the evening light

    Natural Bridges State Beach

    Santa Cruz

    Great for sunsets, this sandy beach fronted by a natural sandstone bridge is a family favorite and tops for wildlife viewing. Scan the bay for whales,…

  • Sanctuary Exploration Center

    Santa Cruz

    Operated by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, this educational museum near the beach boardwalk is an interactive multimedia experience that…

  • Seacliff State Beach

    Santa Cruz

    Seacliff State Beach harbors a ‘cement boat,’ a quixotic freighter built of concrete that floated OK, but ended up here as a coastal fishing pier. During…

  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

    Santa Cruz

    A mile southwest of the wharf along the coast, this tiny museum inside an old lighthouse is packed with memorabilia, including vintage redwood surfboards…

  • Main Beach

    Santa Cruz

    The scene in Santa Cruz, with a huge sandy stretch, volleyball courts and swarms of people. Park on E Cliff Dr and walk across the Lost Boys trestle to…

  • Museum of Art & History

    Santa Cruz

    In Santa Cruz's downtown, rotating displays by contemporary California artists and exhibits that dive into local history are worth a quick look. Recent…

  • Its Beach

    Santa Cruz

    The only official off-leash beach for dogs (before 10am and after 4pm) in Santa Cruz is just west of the lighthouse. The field across the street is…

  • Santa Cruz Wharf

    Santa Cruz

    Seafood restaurants, gift shops and barking sea lions all compete for attention along Santa Cruz's wharf, the longest wooden wharf in the US.

  • Manresa State Beach

    Santa Cruz

    Near Watsonville, the La Selva Beach exit off Hwy 1 leads here to this sparsely populated beach.

  • Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

    Santa Cruz

    The collections at this pint-sized museum include stuffed-animal mounts, Native Californian cultural artifacts and a touch-friendly tide pool that shows…

  • UCSC Arboretum

    Santa Cruz

    Amble around this peaceful arboretum and picturesquely decaying 19th-century structures from Cowell Ranch, upon which the UCSC campus was built.

  • Sunset State Beach

    Santa Cruz

    The La Selva Beach exit off Hwy 1, near Watsonville, brings you here, where you can have miles of sand and surf almost all to yourself.

  • Moran Lake County Park

    Santa Cruz

    With a good surf break and bathrooms, this pretty all-around sandy spot is further east of 26th Ave off E Cliff Dr.

  • Twin Lakes State Beach

    Santa Cruz

    Big beach with bonfire pits and a lagoon, good for kids and often fairly empty. It’s off E Cliff Dr.

  • Cowell's Beach

    Santa Cruz

    Popular Santa Cruz surfing beach off WCliff Dr.

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