Things To Do in Santa Cruz

Looking for things to do in Santa Cruz with your student? Below are some suggestions of activities and locations to explore during your stay.

    UCSC Campus Events

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    9am - 5pm Monday - Sunday. 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, 831-427-2998
    The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is a research and teaching facility committed to plant conservation and serves both the campus and the public. Its rich and diverse collection, containing representatives of more than 300 plant families, provides beginning students with a broad survey of the plant kingdom. It hosts the largest collection of Australia/New Zealand native plants outside of those countries.
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    Alan Chadwick Gardens

    8am - 6pm Monday - Sunday. The Alan Chadwick Garden, an internationally known site for training and research in organic horticulture and agriculture. Students, faculty, and researchers use both the UCSC Farm and Garden as research and teaching sites. The Garen is located below Merrill Parking Lot 119.
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    Sunrise - sunset, Monday - Sunday. 333 Golf Club Drive, Santa Cruz, 831-420-5270
    Pogonip features approximately 8 miles of hiking trails. In the northernmost portion of Pogonip, a multi-use trail (approximately one mile in length) is open hikers, bicyclists and equestrians. This multi-use trail provides a connection between Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Pogonip, and the upper UCSC campus.
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    Women's Tennis - Arizona Christian, Mills v. UCSC

    12:00pm at the East Field House Tennis Courts. Support our home tennis team by attending their first game of 2016 on February 4th! Ticket info can be found at
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    Women's Basketball - Bethesda University v. UCSC

    5:00pm at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Support our home basketball team on February 4th! Ticket info can be found at

  • Art Galleries and Museums

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    Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery

    11am - 4pm Tuesday-Sunday. Art gallery located at Cowell College, UC Santa Cruz. Open through the academic year.
    The Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery's main focus is art of the Monterey Bay region, with occasional exhibitions added to the schedule from time to time, which focus on various subjects pertinent to the College. Among these exhibitions have been: UC Santa Barbara: "In the Edge of Knowing; The Human Genome" curated by Karen Sinsheimer, and curated by Linda Pope, "Reminiscing: Cowell College, The Early Years", "Satyajit Ray: Film Art" and "Origami: Art + Mathematics"
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    The Museum of Art and History

    11am - 5pm Tuesday-Sunday. 705 Front St., Santa Cruz, 831-429-1964
    Changing exhibitions of contemporary art and Santa Cruz history. Docent-led tours, lectures, family activities.
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    Seymour Marine Discovery Center

    10am - 5pm Tuesday - Sunday. 100 Shaffer Rd., Santa Cruz, 831-459-3800
    Exhibit halls, aquarium, tours, and discovery shop.

  • Attractions

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    Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

    307 Church St., Santa Cruz, 831-420-5260
    Author readings, concerts, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Civic Auditorium has events happening all the time! Check their website for upcoming events.
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    Beach Boardwalk

    400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 831-423-5590
    California’s oldest amusement park on the beach!
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    The Mystery Spot

    465 Mystery Spot Rd., Santa Cruz, 831-423-8897
    Perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned here.
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    Santa Cruz Wharf

    21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, 831-420-6025
    Take a fishing trip, rent a boat, eat fresh seafood, or do a little shopping.

  • Beaches and Parks

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    Natural Bridges State Beach

    8am - Sunset, Monday - Sunday. 2531 West Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, 831-423-4609
    Tide pools and seasonal Monarch Butterfly sanctuary! Check out the website for directions and seasonal events.
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    Seabright Beach

    8am - 10pm Monday - Sunday, East Cliff Dr. at Seabright Ave., 831-427-4868
    A mile of sandy shoreline popular for surfing, swimming, and campfires.
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    Neary Lagoon Park

    Open daily sunrise to sunset. 110 California St., Santa Cruz, 831-420-5270
    Abundant wildlife, trails, tennis courts, floating walkways and interpretive signage. No dogs allowed in wildlife refuge area.

  • Farmer's Market

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    Westside Farmers Market

    9am - 1pm, Saturdays on the corner of Western Dr. and Mission St.
    Going into its seventh year this market is proud to have been named best market by the Santa Cruz Metro’s, “Peoples Poll” multiple times. The market showcases a great selection of 100% certified organic produce, artisan foods, wine, sustainable seafood,pasture raised meats and eggs along with cook-to-order cuisine, live local music and full espresso bar operated by local coffee roaster, Lu Lu Carpenters.

    With easy access and an abundance of free parking, this market makes for a convenient and celebratory Saturday morning outing.

For a more extensive list of ideas for things to do, check out the links below!

See Also