Main Births etc
Santa Cruz
—  City  —
The "Town Clock" tower at the head of Pacific Avenue
Flag of Santa Cruz

Official logo of Santa Cruz
Nickname(s): Surf City[1]
Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of California

Santa Cruz, California is located in California
Santa Cruz
Location in California
Coordinates: 36°58′19″N 122°1′35″W / 36.97194, -122.02639
Country United States
State California
County Santa Cruz
 • Mayor Don Lane
 • Senate Joe Simitian (D)
 • Assembly Bill Monning (D)
 • U.S. Congress Sam Farr (D)
 • Total 15.828 sq mi (40.996 km2)
 • Land 12.740 sq mi (32.997 km2)
 • Water 3.088 sq mi (7.999 km2)  19.51%
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 60,049 [2]
 • Density 4,705.3/sq mi (1,816.7/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 95060-95067
Area code(s) 831
FIPS code 06-69112
GNIS feature ID 1659596

A surfer near Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz (play /ˈsæntə ˈkrz/, Spanish: Holy Cross) is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California in the US. It is located in Northern California As of the 2011 U.S. Census, Santa Cruz had a total population of 60,049.

Santa Cruz is best known to Californians and others for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, since 1907 a popular seaside amusement park, the Coconut Grove ballroom ("The Grove"), and seafood restaurants and cafes. Santa Cruz is located on the northern edge of the Monterey Bay, about 72 mi (116 km) south of San Francisco. The city is part of the U.S. Census-designated 11-county San Francisco Bay Area Combined Statistical Area but not within the traditional 9-county definition of the San Francisco Bay Area, as it is not in a county that touches the San Francisco Bay. Primarily, Santa Cruz is counted as part of the Monterey Bay region.

The present-day site of Santa Cruz was the location of Spanish settlement beginning in 1791, including Mission Santa Cruz and the pueblo of Branciforte. Following the Mexican–American War of 1846–48, California became the 31st state in 1850. The City of Santa Cruz was chartered in 1866. Important early industries included lumber, gunpowder, lime and agriculture. Late in the 19th century, Santa Cruz established itself as a beach resort community. Santa Cruz is now known for its moderate climate, the natural beauty of its coastline and redwood forests, alternative community lifestyles, and socially liberal leanings. It is also home to the University of California, Santa Cruz, a premier research institution and educational hub, as well as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park.


The Ohlone and pre-contact period[]

Prior to the arrival of Spanish soldiers, missionaries and colonists in the late 18th century, the Santa Cruz area was home to the Ohlone Native Americans. The Ohlone had no written language, and lived in small villages scattered around the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay regions. Within fifty years of the Spaniards' arrival, the Ohlone culture and way of life had virtually disappeared in the Santa Cruz area. The only remnants of their spoken language are three local place names: Aptos, Soquel and Zayante.

Mission and Pueblo period[]

In 1769 the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà accidentally arrived in the vicinity while attempting to travel to Monterey.[4] He named the river San Lorenzo for Saint Lawrence and he named a local creek "Arroyo de Santa Cruz" which translates as "Holy Cross Creek".[5] In 1791, Father Fermín Lasuén continued the use of Portolà's name when he declared the establishment of La Misión de la Exaltación de la Santa Cruz (also known as Mission Santa Cruz) for the conversion of the Awaswas of Chatu-Mu and surrounding Ohlone villages.[6] Santa Cruz was the twelfth mission to be founded in California.

In 1797, Governor Diego de Borica, by order of the Viceroy of New Spain, Miguel de la Grúa Talamanca y Branciforte, marqués de Branciforte, established the Villa de Branciforte, a town named in honor of the Viceroy.[7] One of only three civilian towns established in California during the Spanish colonial period (the other two became Los Angeles and San Jose), the Villa was located across the San Lorenzo River, less than a mile from the Mission. Its original main street is now North Branciforte Avenue. Villa de Branciforte later lost its civic status, and in 1905 the area was annexed into the City of Santa Cruz.

In the 1820s, newly independent Mexico assumed control of the area.[8] Following the secularization of the Mission in 1834, the community that had grown up around the Mission was renamed Pueblo de Figueroa. The name didn't catch on, however, and later reverted to Santa Cruz. After 1834, immigrants from the United States began to arrive in steadily increasing numbers. In 1848, following the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded the territory of Alta California to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. California was the first portion of the territory to become a state, in 1850. Santa Cruz became a city in 1866.

Civil War[]

California Powder Works began manufacturing blasting powder for California mining when normal supplies were interrupted by the American Civil War. A powder mill built on the San Lorenzo River upstream of Santa Cruz used charcoal and powder kegs manufactured from local forests. The mill later manufactured smokeless powder used in United States Army Krag-Jørgensen rifles and guns of the United States Navy Pacific and Asiatic fleets. The mill was heavily damaged by a series of explosions on the evening of April 26, 1898. The explosions caused flaming debris to fall on Mission Hill and caused fires threatening the city. The powder works employed 150 to 275 men until operations ceased in 1914.[9]

Recent history[]

Santa Cruz was hard hit by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It was also hit by ocean surges caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, wherein the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor sustained an estimated $10 million of damage, with another $4 million of damage to docked boats there.[10]

Social activism[]

The Veterans Memorial Building, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has an activist Veteran community.[11] The United Veterans Council sponsors a community-based program for Veterans dealing with re-entry into society as an alternative to government remedies.[12] The Bill Motto VFW post #5888 sponsors anti-war and peace efforts in Santa Cruz and throughout the country. The Veterans Memorial Building is host to punk, reggae, and hip-hop acts from Santa Cruz and around the world. It is also the home of the Bill Motto Post-sponsored Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. These dinners were started by post #5888 in the late seventies. In 2006, the Thanksgiving dinner served 1,400 people.[13] Founded in 1976, The Resource Center for Nonviolence is one of the oldest and most centrally located non-profit organizations committed to political and social activism in Santa Cruz County.[14] The center is "dedicated to promoting the principles of nonviolent social change and enhancing the quality of life and human dignity".[15] In 1998, the Santa Cruz community declared itself a Nuclear-free zone,[16] and in 2003, the Santa Cruz City Council became the first City Council in the U.S. to denounce the Iraq War.[17] The City Council of Santa Cruz also issued a proclamation opposing the USA PATRIOT Act.[18]

As a center of liberal and progressive activism,[19] Santa Cruz became one of the first cities to approve marijuana for medicinal uses. In 1992, residents overwhelmingly approved Measure A,[20] which allowed for the medicinal uses of marijuana. Santa Cruz also became one of the first cities in California to test the state's medical marijuana laws in court after the arrest of Valerie Corral and Mike Corral, founders of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, by the DEA.[21] The case was ruled in favor of the growers. In 2005, the Santa Cruz City Council established a city government office to assist residents with obtaining medical marijuana.[22] On November 7, 2006, the voters of Santa Cruz passed Measure K by a vote of 64-36 percent. Measure K made adult non-medical cannabis offenses the lowest priority for law enforcement; this does not apply to cultivation, distribution, sale in public, sale to minors, or driving under the influence.[23][24] The measure requests the Santa Cruz city clerk send letters annually to state and federal representatives advocating reform of cannabis laws.[25]

Notable feminist activists Nikki Craft and Ann Simonton resided in Santa Cruz where they formed the "Praying Mantis Brigade". This collection of activists organized the "Myth California Pageant" in the 1980s protesting "the objectification of women and the glorification of the beauty myth."[26][27] Myth California was staged concurrently with the Miss California pageant held in Santa Cruz since the 1920s. The protests ran for nine years and eventually contributed to the Miss California pageant leaving Santa Cruz.[28] Simonton founded and coordinates the non-profit group "Media Watch" which monitors and critiques media images of women and ethnic minorities.[29][30][31] Beginning in 1983 Santa Cruz has hosted an annual Take Back the Night candlelight vigil, rally, march, and protest focusing on the issue of violence against women.[32]

Riots occurred on May 1, 2010, sparked when participants threw jugs of paint at police cars and painted anarchist symbols and anti-capitalist phrases onto buildings. Property damages are estimated to top roughly $100,000. Prior to the riot, a May Day rally was being held for worker and immigrant rights.[33] According to police, the rally was infiltrated by a local anarchists group, who used the rally as a cover for attacking corporate premises.

The riots started when the protesters started vandalizing nearby buildings, by 10:30 pm, approximately, a dozen buildings were already vandalized.[33] It then intensified when a group of about ten people began breaking storefront windows at approximately 11:05 pm.[34] Police reported that some people in the group were carrying torches.[33] Several police officers were stationed downtown, but retreated after protesters threw stones at their vehicles. After calling in backup resources from around the county, law enforcement reached the riots at 11:23 pm, over 45 minutes after it began, this was due to a large number of phony 911 calls, which diverted the police force all around the county.[34]

Occupy Santa Cruz formed as an autonomous organization in solidarity with the worldwide Occupy movement, a broad-based protest against economic and social inequality. Occupy Santa Cruz was most active in the fall of 2011, and included over a thousand active members at its peak. The organization gained most of its publicity when members occupied an empty bank building owned by Wells Fargo at 75 River Street. A revolving cast of dozens occupied the building from December 1 to December 4, 2011. At time of writing, criminal charges against 11 activists involved in the occupation are ongoing.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city covers an area of 15.8 square miles (41 km2), 12.7 square miles (33 km2) of it is land, and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) of it (19.51%) is water.


Santa Cruz has mild weather throughout the year, enjoying a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) characterized by cool, wet winters and warm, mostly dry summers. Due to its proximity to Monterey Bay, fog and low overcast are common during the night and morning hours, especially in the summer.

Climate data for Santa Cruz, California (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60.6
Average low °F (°C) 40.8
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.40
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.6 10.9 10.0 5.9 3.3 1.3 0.3 0.7 1.5 3.5 7.5 10.7 66.2
Source: NOAA[35]


Flowering Proteaceae at the UCSC Arboretum

The principal industries of Santa Cruz are agriculture, tourism, education (UCSC) and high technology. Santa Cruz is a center of the organic agriculture movement, and many specialty products as well as housing the headquarters of California Certified Organic Farmers. Tourist attractions include the classic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on the beach, the redwood forests, and Monterey Bay, which is protected as a marine sanctuary.

Top employers[]

According to Santa Cruz's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[36] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 University of California, Santa Cruz 7,364
2 County of Santa Cruz 2,319
3 City of Santa Cruz 780
4 Plantronics 505
5 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 347
6 Costco 239
7 Threshold Enterprises 213
8 Community Bridges 212
9 New Teacher Center 211
10 Santa Cruz Biotechnology 204


Santa Cruz
Population by year[37]
Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 950
1870 2,561 169.6%
1880 3,898 52.2%
1890 5,596 43.6%
1900 5,659 1.1%
1910 11,146 97.0%
1920 10,917 −2.1%
1930 14,395 31.9%
1940 16,896 17.4%
1950 21,970 30.0%
1960 25,595 16.5%
1970 32,076 25.3%
1980 41,483 29.3%
1990 49,040 18.2%
2000 54,593 11.3%
2010 59,946 9.8%


The 2010 United States Census[38] reported that Santa Cruz had a population of 59,946. The population density was 3,787.2 people per square mile (1,462.3/km²). The racial makeup of Santa Cruz was 44,661 (74.5%) White, 1,071 (1.8%) African American, 440 (0.7%) Native American, 4,591 (7.7%) Asian, 108 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 5,673 (9.5%) from other races, and 3,402 (5.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,624 persons (19.4%).

The Census reported that 51,657 people (86.2% of the population) lived in households, 7,910 (13.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 379 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 21,657 households, out of which 4,817 (22.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,310 (33.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,833 (8.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 862 (4.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,802 (8.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 379 (1.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 6,773 households (31.3%) were made up of individuals and 1,862 (8.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39. There were 10,005 families (46.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.92.

The population was spread out with 8,196 people (13.7%) under the age of 18, 17,449 people (29.1%) aged 18 to 24, 15,033 people (25.1%) aged 25 to 44, 13,983 people (23.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 5,285 people (8.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.9 years. For every 100 females there were 100.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.

There were 23,316 housing units at an average density of 1,473.0 per square mile (568.7/km²), of which 9,375 (43.3%) were owner-occupied, and 12,282 (56.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.4%. 22,861 people (38.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 28,796 people (48.0%) lived in rental housing units.


Recorded from the census of 2000,[39] there were 54,593 people total with 20,442 households and 10,404 families residing in the city. The population density includes 1,682.2/km² (4,356.0/sq mi). There were 21,504 housing units at an average density of 1,715.8 per square mile (662.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.7% White, 17.4% Hispanic or Latino, 1.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 4.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.1% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races.

There were 20,442 households out of which 25.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.1% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.3% under the age of 18, 20.5% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males age 18 and over.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,605, and the median income for a family was $62,231 (these figures had risen to $59,172 and $80,496 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[40]). Males had a median income of $44,751 versus $32,699 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,758. About 6.6% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government[]

In the state legislature Santa Cruz is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 27th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning. Federally, Santa Cruz is located in California's 17th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17[41] and is represented by Democrat Sam Farr.

Sister cities[]

Santa Cruz has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc.,[42] including Alushta, Ukraine; Jinotepe, Nicaragua; Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela; Sestri Levante, Italy; Shingū, Japan; County Roscommon, Ireland; Galway, Ireland, and Kasese, Uganda.[43] A monument next to the downtown Santa Cruz post office has a small circular plaza surrounded by marble posts topped with bronze maps of several of the sister cities.


State Routes 1 and 17 are the main roads in and out of Santa Cruz, with the latter being the primary route north to San Jose and the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. Geographically constrained between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Monterey Bay, the narrow transportation corridor served by SR 1, California's Pacific Coast Highway, suffers excessive congestion. The ramp from SR 1 northbound to SR 17 southbound, onto Ocean Street, is commonly known as the "fish hook" due to its tightening curve. A project to widen the highway and this interchange was begun in 2006 and completed in the fall of 2008.[44]

No. 7 Sonora Class C Shay locomotive, Big Trees Railroad

The Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District provides bus service throughout Santa Cruz County.

Amtrak serves Santa Cruz via Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach from rail connections at Amtrak San Jose Diridon Train Station operated by the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District by way of a partnership with the Amtrak, Capitol Corridor, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Other rail connections such as ACE train and CalTrain are also available at Amtrak's San Jose passenger station.

Greyhound Lines bus service is another, albeit less commonly used, option for visiting Santa Cruz.

The nearest airports served by major commercial airlines are San Jose International Airport, Monterey Regional Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Oakland International Airport. The nearest public airport of any kind is Watsonville Municipal Airport, about eight miles to the southeast, which serves general aviation users.

Santa Cruz has an extensive network of bike lanes and bike paths. Most major roads have bike lanes, and wide bike lanes were recently installed on Beach Street, near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Additionally, there are levee bike paths along the San Lorenzo River. A Rail Trail – a bicycle and pedestrian path beside an existing coastal train track—is under consideration.[45]

The Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway operates diesel-electric tourist trains between the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Roaring Camp in Felton, through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, with its famous Redwood Grove walking trail.

House finch nesting in a whale vertebra, Long Marine Laboratory.


Santa Cruz is home to several notable educational institutions, including Soquel High School, Aptos High School, Harbor High School, Pacific Collegiate School (a grade 7–12 charter school), Cypress Charter High School, Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School (a grade 6–12 private school), Santa Cruz Montessori (an 18 months to 15 years private school) Monterey Coast Preparatory (also a 6–12 private school), Santa Cruz High School, the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College, (which is located in nearby Aptos and holds some classes within Santa Cruz city), and Five Branches University.

The Long Marine Laboratory is a marine research facility on the western edge of the city.



A Pacific Avenue street corner

By the 1860s, Pacific Avenue had become the main street of downtown Santa Cruz, and remains so today. Local architect Kermit Darrow and landscape architect Roy Rydell were engaged in 1969 to convert several blocks of Pacific Avenue into a semi-pedestrian street named the Pacific Garden Mall. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 destroyed nearly all of the 19th-century buildings in the downtown area, including the 1894 Richardsonian Romanesque-style former courthouse, renamed and reopened in the 1970s as the Cooper House. The Cooper House was at the center of the Pacific Garden Mall, and functioned as the heart of the downtown area. The outdoor patio restaurant featured music played each summer weekend day by Don McCaslin's band "Warmth". The Cooper House restaurant and bar went through several owners throughout the 1970s and 80s but consistently attracted locals, guests, and local characters such as "Rainbow Ginger" to the patio and adjacent sidewalks where cocktails, food, music, and people watching were always on the menu. After the earthquake, the Pacific Garden Mall theme was eliminated, and an updated downtown design plan by ROMA Design Group was implemented.[46] As of 2012, only one empty lot remains on Pacific Avenue from the destruction of the 1989 earthquake.

Parks, beaches, greenbelt districts, and marine protected areas[]

Natural Bridges State Beach

Santa Cruz is home to several state parks and beaches, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, Twin Lakes State Beach, and Seabright State Beach.

Santa Cruz has five greenbelt districts, including Arana Gulch, Lighthouse Field, Moore Creek, Neary Lagoon, and Pogonip. Pogonip is a city-run park and open space located adjacent to the University of California, Santa Cruz. It includes second-growth redwoods and meadows as well as several streams, and is crossed by several hiking trails. The Pogonip also includes a former country club, with its golf courses and polo fields. The park is named after a type of freezing fog called pogonip, that forms beard-like ice crystal accumulations on almost any surface, but especially on the branches of trees and bushes, where the ice crystals form hanging structures with a distinctly beard-like appearance. The name "pogonip" is descriptive of the characteristic, beard-like, ice crystal formations associated with this type of freezing fog. There are also three regional parks and twenty-one neighborhood parks.

Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area, Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area, and Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve are marine protected areas off the coast of Santa Cruz. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.


Roof of the Carousel building (the "Merry-Go-Round") at the Boardwalk

Santa Cruz is well known for watersports such as sailing, diving, swimming, paddling, and is regarded as one of the best spots in the world for surfing.[47] It is the home of O'Neill Wetsuits and Santa Cruz Surfboards, as well as Santa Cruz Skateboards and Santa Cruz Bicycles. Santa Cruz also houses Derby skate park. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is California’s oldest amusement park and a designated State Historic Landmark. Home to a National Historic Landmark, a 1911 Charles I. D. Looff Carousel and 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster, the Boardwalk has been owned and operated by the Santa Cruz Seaside Company since 1915.[48]

In one of the first published descriptions of surfing in California, three Hawaiian princes, Prince Edward Keliʻiahonui, Prince David Kawānanakoa and Prince Jonah Kalanianaʻole, surfed on locally milled redwood boards at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River in July 1885.[49][50] Santa Cruz has 11 world-class surf breaks, including the point breaks over rock bottoms near Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, which create some of the best surfing waves in the world.[47] The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at Steamer Lane is staffed by docents from the Santa Cruz Surfing Club who have surfed Santa Cruz waves since the 1930s. Santa Cruz hosts several surf contests drawing international participants each year, including the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, the International Longboard Association contest, and many others.

The Santa Cruz Wharf is known for fishing, viewing marine mammals and other recreation. Local parks offer many opportunities for birding and butterfly watching, as well as outdoor sports such as skateboarding, cycling, camping, hiking, and rock climbing. In addition to its reputation in surfing and skateboarding, Santa Cruz is known for other sports such as disc golf. The Santa Cruz Skatepark is open to the public 7 days a week and is free. The De Laveaga Disc Golf Course hosts PDGA tournaments, including the annual Masters Cup. De Laveaga was the disc golf and discathon venue for the WFDF-sanctioned World Disc Games overall event held in Santa Cruz in July 2005.

File:Sunset in santa cruz.jpg

Sun sets on the wharf and the city skyline

Cultural attractions[]

Santa Cruz has several smaller attractions, including the University of California, Santa Cruz, Arboretum, Mission Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Santa Cruz Art League (which includes an art gallery, theater, and classroom),[51] and the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum which is housed in a lighthouse near Steamer Lane.

Cultural events[]

Surfer Memorial, Lighthouse Field State Beach

  • Santa Cruz County Symphony — Founded in 1958, the Santa Cruz County Symphony is a fully professional ensemble of 65 members which presents an annual concert series at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and the Mello Center in Watsonville. Additional offerings include musician school visits, free concerts for area school children, family concerts, and pops concerts.[52]
  • Shakespeare Santa Cruz — An annual summer festival at UC Santa Cruz, the event typically performs two Shakespeare plays and one other play every summer, many of which are performed in a unique outdoor space among the redwoods.[53]
  • Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music - an annual festival of contemporary music for orchestra that has been called a "new music mecca" by the New York Times.[54]
  • Santa Cruz Film Festival — An annual event for independent filmmakers to share their work with film enthusiasts[55]
  • Santa Cruz Pride — The annual parade is a celebration of sexual orientation and diversity in Santa Cruz, held on the Pacific Avenue mall.[56]
  • Open Studios Art Tour — The art fair has been run for more than three decades and draws artists and patrons from around the area.[57]
  • First Friday Santa Cruz — Dozens of art openings in the Santa Cruz area on the first Friday of the month.[58]
  • O'Neill Cold Water Classic — An annual surfing event that draws crowds at the popular Steamer Lane.[59]
  • Wharf to Wharf Race — An annual race which has been held for more than three decades.[60]
  • Woodies on the Wharf — An annual woodies show that takes place on the Santa Cruz Wharf.[61]
  • Santa Cruz Farmers Market – Several year-round outdoor markets showcasing the agricultural diversity of the Central Coast region with emphasis on sustainable agriculture and organic food. Regional specialties include strawberry, apple, artichoke, artisan goat cheeses and brassica. The main market is held downtown on Wednesdays.[62]

Historic places[]

Golden Gate Villa

Neary-Rodriguez Adobe

  • Landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places:[63]
  • A. J. Hinds House (8/25/1983)
  • Allan Brown Site (6/25/1981)
  • Bank of Santa Cruz County (3/15/1982)
  • Branciforte Adobe (1/31/1979)
  • Carmelita Court (3/20/1986)
  • Cope Row Houses (1/28/1982)
  • Cowell Lime Works Historic District (11/21/2007)
  • Elias H. Robinson House (1/9/1998)
  • Garfield Park Branch Library (3/26/1992)
  • Golden Gate Villa (7/24/1975)
  • Live Oak Ranch (7/10/1975)
  • Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster (2/27/1987)
  • Mission Hill Area Historic District (5/17/1976)
  • Neary-Rodriguez Adobe (2/24/1975)
  • Octagon Building (3/24/1971)
  • Santa Cruz Downtown Historic District (7/27/1989)
  • US Post Office-Santa Cruz Main (1/11/1985)
  • Veterans Memorial Building (4/27/1992)
  • Landmarks on the California Register of Historical Resources:[64]
    • Mission Santa Cruz
    • Center of Villa de Branciforte
    • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk



The Monterey-Salinas metropolitan statistical (or service) area (MSA) is served by a variety of local television stations, and is the 124th largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 222,900 homes:

  • KLFB-LD – Channel 21: – Salinas
  • KOTR – Channel 2: – Monterey/Salinas-(Comcast Cable 11) Santa Cruz (Comcast Digital Cable 187)
  • KSBW – channel 8: – (NBC; ABC on DT2) – Salinas
  • KMUV – channel 15: – (Telemundo) – Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz (Simulcast of KSTS 48)
  • KQET – channel 25: – (PBS) – Watsonville (Simulcast of San Francisco's KQED)
  • KDJT – channel 33: – (Telefutura) – Monterey
  • KCBA – channel 35: – (Fox Broadcasting Company) – Salinas
  • KMCE – channel 43: – (Azteca América) – Monterey/Salinas
  • KION – channel 46: – (CBS) – Salinas
  • KSMS – channel 67: – (Univision) – Monterey
  • KYMB – channel 27: – (This TV) – Monterey


  • FRSC, 101.3 FM (Pirate Radio)
  • KSCO, 1080 AM
  • KUSP, 88.9 FM
  • KZSC, 88.1 FM
  • KHIP, 104.3 FM
  • KAPU, 104.7 FM
  • KPIG-FM, 107.5 FM
  • KDON, 102.5


The Santa Cruz Sentinel is Santa Cruz's only daily newspaper. The area is also served by weeklies: Santa Cruz Weekly (formerly called Metro Santa Cruz) and Good Times. University of California has its own publication, City on a Hill Press, and an alternative humor publication, Fish Rap Live!. There is also an online newspaper called Santa Cruz Wire.

Notable people and organizations[]


Notable businesses that are headquartered in Santa Cruz include Cruzio, Fullpower Technologies, O'Neill,[65] Plantronics, RF Micro Devices, Giro, and Santa Cruz Skateboards. Businesses which used to be headquartered in Santa Cruz include Odwalla and Santa Cruz Operation.

"Surf City" nickname Controversy[]

After Huntington Beach, California, trademarked the "Surf City USA" name, Santa Cruz politicians tried to stop the mark from being registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because of a 10-year-old controversy over Santa Cruz's nickname "Surf City."[66] Huntington Beach has obtained a total of seven registrations for the "Surf City USA" trademark.[67] None of these registrations of the trademark are on the principal register, but on the secondary register, which means that Huntington Beach has no exclusive right to assert ownership over the "Surf City USA" trademark. Two Santa Cruz surf shops, Shoreline Surf Shop and Noland's on the Wharf, sued the city of Huntington Beach in order to protect the public use of the term "Surf City."[68] The parties reached a confidential settlement in January 2008, in which neither side admitted liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed. The Santa Cruz surf shops continue to print t-shirts, and the Visitor's Bureau retains the right to use the trademark.[69] In 2009 Steve Marble, of Los Angeles Times' L.A. Now news blog, wrote an article The real Surf City? It's Santa Cruz, says magazine saying: "But Surfer magazine proclaims Santa Cruz to be 'The Real Surf City, USA,' after it considered the surf, food and vibe of the nations' best known surf towns." Steve Marble quotes Surfer: "Huntington Beach may have won the right to the name ‘Surf City, USA’ in the California courts, but any surfer who’s ever paddled out at Steamer Lane knows the judge got it wrong.”[70]

Pop culture references[]

California Sea Lions at Santa Cruz coast

  • In the 1963 Beach Boys song "Surfin' U.S.A.", one of the verses features the lyrics, "You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del Mar, Ventura County Line, Santa Cruz and Trestles."
  • Much of the Clint Eastwood movie Sudden Impact takes place in Santa Cruz.[71]
  • Irish indie/rock band, The Thrills, released a single called "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)," from their 2003 album So Much for the City.
  • Much of the 1985 Peter O'Toole film Creator was filmed at UC Santa Cruz.[72]
  • Several scenes from the 1987 film The Lost Boys were filmed at distinctive locations in Santa Cruz, including the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Pogonip club house and the Santa Cruz Wharf.
  • The 1988 film Killer Klowns from Outer Space had scenes filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, as well as in neighboring Watsonville
  • In the 1988 drama film The Boost, starring James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos, Steven Hill, June Chandler, Lenny and Linda move to Santa Cruz, after they have lost everything, to "clean up."
  • Fatboy Slim has a song named "Santa Cruz," from his 1996 album Better Living Through Chemistry.
  • Leo Kotke has a song named The Other Day (Near Santa Cruz) released in 1991 on the album "Great Big Boy"
  • Parts of the 1995 drama film, Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, were filmed at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.[73]
  • Quentin Tarantino references the City of Santa Cruz in Reservoir Dogs and the University of California, Santa Cruz in Pulp Fiction.
  • Gillian Welch references the destruction of the Santa Cruz Pacific Garden Mall in her song "Wrecking Ball," off her 2003 album, Soul Journey.
  • "Paddle Out" by Sublime is about surfing in Santa Cruz. It mentions Natural Bridges, Steamer Lane, Mitchell's Cove and Stockton Avenue.
  • JJ Cale sings a song about Santa Cruz
  • The 2008 Pearl Jam Christmas Single was a song named "Santa Cruz."
  • A 2009 video on YouTube depicted a woman struggling to make a speech at a City Council meeting. The woman is now known as the "Brilliant woman of Santa Cruz."[74]
  • Robert Earl Keen's song "I'm Coming Home" recalls a trip to Monterey Bay and includes the line "Life is good out in Santa Cruz."[75]
  • Todd Snider's song "Beer Run" includes the line "Was a beautiful day out in Santa Cruz" plus a reference to the "Robert Earl Keen song."[76]
  • The 2010 album Mojo from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers includes the song "The Trip to Pirate's Cove" which makes multiple references to Santa Cruz as well as other locations around California.
  • The American Dad episode "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" referenced UCSC when Stan Smith says he would have given his daughter an A for effort (for her Christmas decorations), but he is not UC Santa Cruz.
  • In 2012, Chasing Mavericks, a film based on the life of Jay Moriarity and filmed in Santa Cruz was released.
  • In 2012, Apple ran a nationwide TV commercial campaign for Siri, a voice assistant for the iPhone 4S, in which the user asks: "What's the best way to Santa Cruz, California?"[77]

See also[]

  • List of birds of Santa Cruz County, California
  • Pichilemu, Chile, called the South American Santa Cruz[78]


  1. ^ The Real Surf City, Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2009.
  2. ^ "Santa Cruz, California (CA) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  3. ^ U.S. Census
  4. ^ San Diego Historical Society – Gaspar de Portola
  5. ^ Santa Cruz City – History of Santa Cruz
  6. ^ California Missions Online – Mission Santa Cruz
  7. ^ Villa de Branciforte Preservation Society
  8. ^ Richman, Irving Berdine (1911). California Under Spain and Mexico, 1535–1847: A Contribution Toward the History of the Pacific Coast of the United States, Based on Original Sources (chiefly Manuscript) in the Spanish and Mexican Archives and Other Repositories. Houghton Mifflin. 
  9. ^ "The California Powder Works". Santa Cruz Public Library Local History Articles. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  10. ^ Tsunami Damages Santa Cruz, Crescent City Harbors, KSBW, 11 March 2011
  11. ^ "Letter to the Santa Cruz City Council". Veterans for Peace. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  12. ^ "Santa Cruz Community Veterans Program". Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  13. ^ "Thousands converge on Santa Cruz Veterans Hall for meals". Archived from the original on 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  14. ^ James Tracy (2005). The Military Draft Handbook. Manic D Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-933149-01-1. 
  15. ^ "History and Mission of the Resource Center for Nonviolence". Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  17. ^ "Support House Concurrent Resolution 35 – Withdrawal of U. S. Armed Force from Iraq". City of Santa Cruz. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  18. ^ "ACLU press release announcing that the City of Santa Cruz passed a resolution opposing the USA PATRIOT Act". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  19. ^ Hadley Robinson; Jim Seaman (2005). Uc Santa Cruz College Prowler Off The Record. College Prowler, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-59658-147-0. 
  20. ^ "Santa Cruz County Measure A Marijuana For Medical Use Initiative". Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  21. ^ "Federal Suit Charges DEA's Raids Of California Medi-Pot Patients Are Unconstitutional". National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  22. ^ "Nation's First Government Office to Provide Medical Marijuana Directly to Patients Established by Santa Cruz, CA City Council". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  23. ^ "Measure K: Marijuana Law Enforcement Priority - Santa Cruz County, CA". Smart Voter. Retrieved 2006-12-24. 
  24. ^ "Measure K: text of measure - Santa Cruz, CA". Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  25. ^ "Measure K - Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Initiative: FAQ". Santa Cruz Citizens or Sensible Marijuana Policy. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  26. ^ Bacon, Amity (2005-05-22). "Miss California Pageant united the community and served as a platform for protest". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  27. ^ Clarke, De. "MYTH CALIFORNIA: But Is It Art Or Is It Politics?". Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  28. ^ Dunn, Geoffrey (1987). "Miss... or Myth". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  29. ^ White, Dan (2003-09-07). "Santa Cruz makes its mark on the world". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  30. ^ Stoll, Michael (2004-01-21). "Getting results with low-budget media activism". Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  31. ^ Manheim, Camryn. "Myth America". Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  32. ^ Sonnenfeld, Josh (2006-05-27). "Take Back the Night 2006". Indybay. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  33. ^ a b c Wilson, Alia (May 3, 2010). "Riot breaks out in downtown Santa Cruz; windows broken on dozens of businesses, porch of cafe set on fire". San Jose Mercury News ( Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b Cain, Jenny; Reis, Julia. "Vandals Strike Downtown Santa Cruz". City on a Hill Press. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  35. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  36. ^ City of Santa Cruz CAFR
  37. ^ "Population Statistics for Santa Cruz County and Cities, 1850–2000". Archived from the original on 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  38. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  39. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
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  41. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
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  43. ^ "Online Directory: California, USA".,%20California. 
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  45. ^ Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, January, 2007, "Santa Cruz Coastal Trail Network Fact Sheet"
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  47. ^ a b Surfer Magazine picks Santa Cruz as top spot to surf 06/05/2009
  48. ^ "About Us". Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk web site. Santa Cruz Seaside Company. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  49. ^ Genevieve Bookwalter (November 25, 2009). "Hawaiian royals honor Santa Cruz surfing history". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  50. ^ Geoffrey Dunn and Kim Stoner (March 31, 2010). "Riders of the Sea Spray". Santa Cruz Good Times. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  51. ^ "SCAL website home page". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  52. ^ Mercury News – Santa Cruz County Symphony Appeals for Funds To Keep Season Afloat
  53. ^ SF Gate – Shakespeare Santa Cruz marks 25th season, and you'll like it
  54. ^ "New Music at Festival, but Familiar Players". New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  55. ^ Wallace Baine (May 20, 2010). "'Westsiders' highlight of successful Film Fest". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Santa Cruz Pride Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade". Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  57. ^ Jessica Lussenhop. "The Craft of The Cutback". Metro Santa Cruz. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  58. ^ "First Friday Santa Cruz". 
  59. ^ "O'neill Cold Water Classic Day Four Highlights". Surfing Magazine. November 9, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  60. ^ Jacob May. "Collegians abound in Wharf to Wharf". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  61. ^ Lisa Hirschmann. "Woodies line the wharf for 14th time". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  62. ^ "Santa Cruz Community Farmers Market". oficial web site. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  63. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
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  65. ^ Willis, Clint (2003). Big Wave: Stories of Riding the World's Wildest Water. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-56025-501-7. 
  66. ^ "A Tale Of Two Surf Cities". Surfer (magazine). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  67. ^ "Surf City USA? Huntington Beach lands trademark". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved 2006-05-14. 
  68. ^ Lisa Leff (2006-10-13). "Surf City Rivalry Gets Gnarly". Associated Press. Retrieved 2006-10-16. 
  69. ^ "It's official: Santa Cruz is not Surf City USA". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  70. ^ Steve Marble (2009-06-16). "The real Surf City? It's Santa Cruz, says magazine". LA Times' LA Now. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  71. ^ "Film locations for Sudden Impact (1983)". Retrieved 2013-04-20. 
  72. ^ Creator at the Internet Movie Database/
  73. ^ "Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Giant Dipper Roller Coaster". Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  74. ^ "Santa Cruz City Council Testimony 5/13/08". video. YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  75. ^ | Retrieved 18 Nov. 2009
  76. ^ | Retrieved 12 Jul. 2012
  77. ^ [1]
  78. ^ Surfin' in Pichilemu

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Coordinates: 36°58′19″N 122°01′35″W / 36.97205, -122.026252

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Santa Cruz, California. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.