Santa Cruz is situated on the coast of the northern portion of Monterey Bay. Santa Cruz serves as the county seat for Santa Cruz County. In addition, with a population over 53,000, the city is the retail, entertainment, business, and educational center of the county. The major industries include agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and high tech, and food processing.
The city is home to the University of California at Santa Cruz, which serves over 10,000 students each year. Downtown Santa Cruz, known as, “The heart of Santa Cruz,” provides residents and visitors with the perfect mix of retail, entertainment, dining, and adventure. Pacific Avenue, with its modern style and Victorian past, is populated with galleries, theatres, cafes, and boutiques.
Combining this free and relaxed lifestyle with unparalleled natural beauty, Santa Cruz is probably best known for its white, sandy beaches. Recognized as the last of California’s beach towns, Santa Cruz affords its fortunate residents a pleasing blend of tranquility, sun, sand, and surf.
Celebrating its pristine coastal environment, Santa Cruz serves as the gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Long Marine Lab. Local artisans greatly appreciate the area’s undisturbed natural beauty. An array of studios and galleries showcase paintings, sculptures, and glasswork inspired by the surrounding vistas.