Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Santa Cruz, California
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = Surf City
settlement_type = City
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption = The "Town Clock" tower at the head of Pacific Avenue, looking south toward Monterey Bay, Downtown Santa Cruz, CA.

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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Santa Cruz County and the state of California

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = California
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Santa Cruz
subdivision_type3 =
subdivision_name3 =
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ryan Coonerty
leader_title1 = Senate
leader_name1 = Joe Simitian (D)
leader_title2 = Assembly
leader_name2 = John Laird (D)
leader_title3 = U.S. Congress
leader_name3 = Sam Farr (D)
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title =
established_date = August 28, 1791
established_title2 =
established_date2 = 1850
established_title3 =
established_date3 = 1856
area_magnitude =
unit_pref =
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 40.4
area_land_km2 = 32.5
area_water_km2 = 8.0
area_total_sq_mi = 15.6
area_land_sq_mi = 12.5
area_water_sq_mi = 3.1
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
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area_blank1_km2 =
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population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 54593
population_density_km2 = 1682.2
population_density_sq_mi = 4356.0
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
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timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
area_code = 831 831
latd = 36 |latm = 58 |lats = 19 |latNS = N
longd = 122 |longm = 1 |longs = 35 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 11
elevation_ft = 36
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 95060-95067
area_code = 831
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 06-69112
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1659596
website =
footnotes =

Santa Cruz is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, Santa Cruz had a total population of 54,593. It is located on the northern edge of the Monterey Bay, about 72 mi (115 km) south of San Francisco.

The present-day site of Santa Cruz was the location of a Native American settlement since ancient times. It was also one of the earliest settlements of the Spanish during the exploration of Alta California in the later part of the 1700s. During the late 1800s, after California became part of the United States, Santa Cruz became widely popular for its idyllic beaches and Coastal Redwoods and became a popular resort community. Now known for its alternative community lifestyles and liberal political leanings, Santa Cruz is a bastion for many sub-cultures and counter-cultures.


The Ohlone & pre-contact period

Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the Eighteenth Century, the Awaswas people (a part of the Ohlone (Costanoan) Native Americans) maintained a settlement, Chatu-Mu, along the San Lorenzo River not far from the Monterey Bay.

Mission and Pueblo period

In 1769 the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà arrived in the vicinity of Chatu-Mu. He named the river "San Lorenzo" in honor of Saint Lawrence. He called the rolling hills above the river the "Santa Cruz" which means "holy cross."

Twenty-two years later, on August 28, 1791, Father Fermín Lasuén established "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 villages. Santa Cruz was the twelfth mission to be founded in California.

On April 1796, by order of the Viceroy of New Spain Miguel de la Grúa Talamanca y Branciforte, marqués de Branciforte, Captain Pere d'Alberní, and his First Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia, a 72-men irregular unit serving the Spanish Crown, were moved to California to take care of the Spanish military garrisons of Monterrey, Santa Bárbara, San Diego and San Francisco.

Across the San Lorenzo River, in what is now known as the East Side of Santa Cruz, Alberní founded a town called "Villa Branciforte" (Spanish for Branciforte Village), in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain. Villa Branciforte later merged with the Mission Santa Cruz community across the river, and together they formed what is today known as Santa Cruz. [Sources: [ "Catalans al Canadà"] , a study from the [ Fundació d'Estudis Històrics de Catalunya] which contains a biography of Pere d'Alberní and [ Complete biography of Pere d'Alberní] from the [ "Casal Català de Vancouver" (Vancouver Catalan Centre)] . Both documents explain this fact.]

By the 1820s Mexico had assumed control of the area and within the next twenty years, immigrants from the Unites States began to arrive in great numbers. California became a state in 1850, and Santa Cruz County was created in 1850 as one of the twenty-seven original counties.

California statehood

By the turn of the century logging, lime processing, agriculture, and commercial fishing industries prospered in the area. Due to its mild climate and scenic beauty Santa Cruz also became a prominent resort community.

Santa Cruz was incorporated in 1866 as a town under the laws of the State of California and received its first charter as a city in 1876. At that time the city was governed by a Mayor and Common Council consisting of four members. A walk down Walnut Avenue past the Sorbet Santa will show any passer-by the unique architecture from the Victorian period in Santa Cruz.

From 1880 to 1940, a narrow gauge railroad connected Santa Cruz with Los Gatos with standard gauge connections from Los Gatos to the other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. The railroad was acquired by the Southern Pacific in the early 1900s and carried freight and passenger trains. Excursion trains operated until the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which caused major damage to tracks, tunnels, and bridges. The Southern Pacific repaired the line and resumed operations until March 1940, following more damage by a major winter storm. With the completion of State Route 17 that same year, there was less reason to continue the rail operations.

In 1907, the citizens voted for a new charter designating a Mayor as chief executive and a City Council consisting of seven members. Subsequent charters gave a Mayor and four Commissioners both executive and administrative powers. At that time the city was divided into five departments: Public Affairs, Revenue and Finance, Public Health and Safety, Public Works, and Streets and Parks.

In 1948, the City of Santa Cruz adopted a new City Charter. This charter established a Council-Manager form of government, with a Mayor and six Councilmembers setting policy for the city and a city manager serving as the chief administrator of those policies. The Charter, with amendments, is still in existence today.

On October 17, 1989, the city suffered major damage from the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was centered on Loma Prieta, the highest point in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Many of the historic buildings in the downtown business district were damaged or destroyed; reconstruction of the district has continued in recent years, and some of the original buildings can be seen in Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" movie "Sudden Impact".

Historic social activism

As a center of liberal and progressive activism, Santa Cruz became one of the first cities in California to test the state's medical marijuana laws in court after the arrest of several medical marijuana proponents by the DEA. [cite web | title=Federal Suit Charges DEA's Raids Of California Medi-Pot Patients Are Unconstitutional|publisher="National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws" | url= | accessdate=2007-01-07 ] 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. [citeweb|url=|title=Nation's First Government Office to Provide Medical Marijuana Directly to Patients Established by Santa Cruz, CA City Council|publisher="American Civil Liberties Union"|accessdate=2008-10-03] In 2006, Measure K was passed by voters, making marijuana enforcement "lowest priority" for law enforcement.

In 2003, the Santa Cruz City Council became the first City Council in the U.S. to denounce the Iraq War. [citeweb|title=SUPPORT HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 35 – WITHDRAWAL OF U. S. ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ|url=|publisher=""|accessdate=2008-10-04] The City Council of Santa Cruz also issued a proclamation opposing the USA PATRIOT Act. [cite web|title=ACLU press release announcing that the City of Santa Cruz passed a resolution opposing the USA PATRIOT Act|url=|publisher="American Civil Liberties Union"|accessdate=2006-06-08]

Notable feminists 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."cite news| last =Bacon| first =Amity| title =Miss California Pageant united the community and served as a platform for protest| publisher ="Santa Cruz Sentinel"| date=2005-05-22| url =| accessdate = 2007-05-18] [cite web| last = Clarke| first = De| title = MYTH CALIFORNIA: But Is It Art Or Is It Politics?| url =| publisher = ""| accessdate = 2008-06-23] Myth California was staged concurrently with the Miss California pageant held in Santa Cruz since the 1920s. The protests, including women dressed in meat and pouring the blood of raped women across a pageant entryway, ran for nine years eventually contributing to the Miss California pageant leaving Santa Cruz. [cite web| last = Dunn| first = Geoffrey| title = Miss... or Myth| publisher = "New York Times"| date = 1987| url =| accessdate = 2008-06-23] Simonton founded and coordinates the non-profit group "Media Watch" which monitors and critiques media images of women and ethnic minorities.cite news| last =White| first =Dan| title =Santa Cruz makes its mark on the world| publisher ="Santa Cruz Sentinel"| date =2003-09-07| url =| accessdate = 2007-05-18 ] [cite news| last = Stoll| first = Michael| title =Getting results with low-budget media activism| publisher = ""| date =2004-01-21| url =
accessdate = 2007-05-18
] [cite web| last = Manheim| first = Camryn| authorlink = Camryn Manheim| title = Myth America| publisher = ""| url =| accessdate = 2007-05-18 ] 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. [cite web| last = Sonnenfeld | first = Josh| title = Take Back the Night 2006| publisher = "Indybay"| date = 2006-05-27| url =| accessdate = 2008-06-23] Santa Cruz has an active community of independent media makers as demonstrated by the Santa Cruz Independent Media Center and many other do-it-yourself media projects. A pirate radio station, Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC 101.1 FM), has been in operation in Santa Cruz for a decade, operating with active participation from a cross section of Santa Cruz residents. Incendio is a bi-lingual journal to connect English- and Spanish-speaking anarchists throughout the world to anarchist, indigenous, ecological, and social struggles occurring throughout Latin America. Santa Cruz also has an active independent media outlet.

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. [cite web | title=Santa Cruz Sentinel online edition | url= | accessdate=2007-01-07 ] The center is "dedicated to promoting the principles of nonviolent social change and enhancing the quality of life and human dignity". [cite web | title=Resource Center for Nonviolence homepage | url= | accessdate=2007-01-07 ]

Santa Cruz has an activist Veteran community. [cite web | title="The Good Fight", Good Times Santa Cruz | url= | accessdate=2007-08-01 ] The United Veterans Council sponsors a community-based program for Veterans dealing with re-entry into society as an alternative to government remedies. [cite web | title=Santa Cruz Community Veterans Program | url= | accessdate=2007-01-07 ] 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. [cite web | title=Thousands converge on Santa Cruz Veterans Hall for meals | url= | accessdate=2007-01-07 ]

Other non-profit organizations have been developed to address various issues in the community, such as The Santa Cruz AIDS Project, Barrios Unidos, and The Homeless Garden Project.


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

January is the coolest month with an average maximum of 59.8°F and an average minimum of 39.3°F. September is the warmest month with an average maximum of 75.7°F and an average minimum of 51.0°F. There are an average of only 5.7 days with highs of 90°F (32°C) or higher and an average of 12.7 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower. The highest temperature on record was 107°F on September 14, 1971. The lowest temperature on record was 19°F on December 23, 1990.

Average annual rainfall in Santa Cruz is 30.58 inches, with most of the rain falling from November through April. There are an average of 65 days with measurable rain annually. The most rainfall in one year was 59.76 inches in 1983 and the least rainfall in one year was 15.02 inches in 1989. In December 1955, 21.07 inches fell in Santa Cruz and the San Lorenzo River had one of its greatest floods in history. Heavy rains and high winds in the spring of 1958 caused extensive damage along the coastline of Santa Cruz County. The greatest 24 hour rainfall in Santa Cruz was 6.91 inches on January 5, 1982. [ [ Central California ] ]


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. The best known local high-tech companies are The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) (now Tarantella, Inc., a division of Sun Microsystems), RF Micro Devices, and Plantronics. Giro bicycle helmets, O'Neill Wetsuits founded by Jack O'Neill, O'Neill Surf Shops, Santa Cruz Skateboards, The Santa Cruz Guitar Company, Santa Cruz Mountain Bikes, Kestrel Bicycles, and Erik's Deli Cafe are also headquartered in Santa Cruz. Odwalla Juices and Good Earth Tea were also founded in Santa Cruz.

From 1970 to present, Santa Cruz has been the home to numerous boatbuilding companies, including Moore Brothers, Bill Lee Yachts, Wilderness Boats, Alsberg Bros. Boats, C&B Boats, and Pacific Yachts. A common theme amongst these builders was the influence of lightweight surfboard construction using foam and fiberglass, and the result was the creation of the ULDB (ultralight displacement boat). Classes such as the Santa Cruz 27 and 52, Moore 24, Olson 30, Wilderness 21, Monterey Bay 30, and custom boats like Merlin showed that exciting, fast, and seaworthy boats could be made out of materials far lighter than was common in that time. While many of these builders have closed, Santa Cruz Yachts and Moore Bros. still exist.


Recorded from the census of 2000,GR|2 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/sq mi (662.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.74% White, 17.39% Hispanic or Latino, 1.73% African American, 0.86% Native American, 4.90% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 9.14% from other races, and 4.50% 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. 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 John Laird. Federally, Santa Cruz is located in California's 17th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url= | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Democrat Sam Farr.

ister cities

Santa Cruz has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. [citeweb|title=Online Directory: California, USA|url=|publisher=""|accessdate=2008-09-08]

*flagicon|Ukraine Alushta, Ukraine
*flagicon|Nicaragua Jinotepe, Nicaragua
*flagicon|Venezuela Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
*flagicon|Italy Sestri Levante, Italy
*flagicon|Japan Shingū, Japan

A monument next to the downtown Santa Cruz post office has a small circular plaza surrounded by marble posts topped with bronze maps of each of the sister cities.

The sister city relationship with Alushta was established in the waning days of the Soviet Union before the fall of Communism and was controversial at the time.


State Routes 1 and 17 are the main roads in and out of Santa Cruz. Geographically constrained between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Monterey Bay, the narrow transportation corridor served by SR 1 suffers mild congestion. A highway widening project is underway. [citeweb|title=Highway 1 and 17 Interchange Project|url=|publisher="California Department of Transportation"|accessdate=2008-09-08] 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.

The Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District provides bus service throughout Santa Cruz County. Metro also operates bus service between Santa Cruz (city) and San Jose, thanks to a partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and Amtrak California; connections are possible in San Jose. (Complete transit itineraries between Santa Cruz and San Francisco Bay Area cities and major airports are available from; see External Links, below.) Greyhound Lines bus service is another option for visiting Santa Cruz.

The nearest airports for commercial travel are San Jose International Airport, Monterey Peninsula Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Oakland International Airport.

Santa Cruz has an extensive network of bike lanes and bike paths. Most major roads have bike lanes, and wide, luxurious 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. [ [ Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, January, 2007, "Santa Cruz Coastal Trail Network Fact Sheet"] ]

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.


K through 12

Elementary schools

Santa Cruz City Schools Elementary District is made up of elementary schools where a complete K through 5th grade program is offered.
* Bay View Elementary
* DeLaveaga Elementary
* Gault Elementary
* Westlake Elementary
* Monarch Elementary (alternative)
* Gateway School (private, K-8)
* Holy Cross School (private, K-8)
* Spring Hill Elementary (private, K-6)

Junior high and middle schools
* Branciforte Middle School
* Mission Hill Middle School
* Pacific Collegiate School (charter, 7-12)
* Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School (private, 6-12)
* Empire Academy (private, 6-12)
* Gateway School (private, K-8)
* Holy Cross School (private, K-8)

High schools
* Santa Cruz High School
* Harbor High School
* Costanoa High School (alternative)
* The Ark (alternative)
* Pacific Collegiate School (charter, 7-12)
* Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School (private, 6-12)
* Empire Academy (private, 6-12)
* Waldorf High School (private)

Colleges and universities

While there are several colleges and universities proximate to Santa Cruz, the city itself only hosts one: the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Points of interest

*University of California, Santa Cruz, Arboretum
*Mission Santa Cruz
*Natural Bridges State Beach
*Cocoanut Grove
*Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
*Santa Cruz Student Housing Co-ops
*Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
*Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
*Main Beach
*Pacific Avenue
*Mission Santa Cruz


tate parks & beaches

*Lighthouse Field State Beach
*Natural Bridges State Beach
*Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
*Twin Lakes State Beach
*Seabright State Beach
*Sand Hill Bluff

Greenbelt districts

* "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 name for the park is derived from the Shoshone Native American word "pogonip" meaning "cloud".

*Arana Gulch
*Lighthouse Field
*Moore Creek
*Neary Lagoon

Regional parks

*Harvey West Park
*DeLaveaga Park
*Depot Park

Neighborhood parks

*Beach Flats Park
*Central Park
*Cowells Beach
*Derby Park
*Frederick Street Park
*Garfield Park
*Grant Park
*John Franks Park
*Laurel Park
*Lighthouse Neighborhood Park
*Mike Fox Park
*Mission Plaza
*Moore Creek Overlook
*Ocean View Park
*Round Tree Park
*San Lorenzo Park
*Star of the Sea
*Tyrrell Park
*University Terrace
*Westlake Park


Santa Cruz is well-known for watersports such as sailing, diving, swimming, paddling, and surfing. 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 first public skate park in the USA as well as the brand new Ken Wormhoudt skatepark at Mike Fox ParkFact|date=August 2008. 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.

Santa Cruz is the reputed site of the first surfing in California in 1885, when three Hawaiian princes, Prince Edward, Prince David and Prince Jonah Kalaniana’ole, surfed on locally milled redwood boards at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. 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. Home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at Steamer Lane, which continues to be staffed by docents such as Harry Mayo and others 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. Santa Cruz was home to the Miss California Pageant, state finals to Miss America for six decades.

The Santa Cruz Wharf is known for fishing, viewing marine mammals and other recreation.

Many outdoor sports are popular in the area such as skateboarding, cycling, camping, hiking, and rock climbing.

In addition to its reputation in surfing and skateboarding, which now has the first full pipe in Northern California, Santa Cruz is known for other alternative 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.

The Ken Wormhoudt Skatepark is a 15,000 square foot park featuring a full pipe, two bowls with pool coping and tile, practice bowl and street course with steps, hubba ledges, wall-rides and metal rails. It is located at Mike Fox Park, 225 San Lorenzo Boulevard at Riverside Avenue along the San Lorenzo River levee. The park opened in March 2007. It is open from 9 a.m. to sunset daily. All skaters must wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads and have skateboards and in-line skates with composite wheels only. Bicycles, scooters, and metal skate wheels are not allowed in the skate park. The skate park will be closed during rainy or wet conditions. [ [ Wormhoudt Skate Park] ] There is also a Roller Hockey practice area here.

Santa Cruz provides many opportunities for birding and butterfly watching.

Many residents consider downtown Pacific Avenue to be the heart of Santa Cruz culture with its historic buildings, locally-owned businesses, and street performers. Representing an aspect of the "Keep Santa Cruz weird" [ [ Nüz of the Weird] ] contingent is Robert Steffen, a gentleman who walks slowly down Pacific Avenue dressed in pink women's clothing and makeup, including a parasol, thereby attaining the moniker "Slow Robert" and "The Pink Umbrella Man". [ [ "Contra Costa Times" Oct 26, 2006 "Growing pains for Santa Cruz"] ] [ [ "Los Angeles Times" Oct 17, 2006 "Which Way, Santa Cruz?" (copied onto University of Houston website)] ] [ [ "Metro Santa Cruz" Sep 28, 2005 "Santa Cruz: The Makeover"] ]

The city also is often said to be a huge hot spot for Volkswagen Beetle enthusiasts, featuring many in local auto shows annually. One of the Volkswagen Beetle's custom variations, the "So-Cal" Bug, has received nationwide attention as a true California surf car. Many of these are seen on the beaches in Santa Cruz, as well as the occasional Volkswagen Bus.

Cultural attractions

* 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.
* 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.
* Santa Cruz Film Festival — An annual event for independent filmmakers to share their work with film enthusiasts [citeweb|url=|title=This year's Santa Cruz Film Festival is as diverse as ever, but look closer and you can see the myriad local connections|author=Wallace Baine|publisher="Santa Cruz Sentinel|accessdate=2008-10-04]
* Santa Cruz Fungus Fair — Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz.
* Arts & Lectures Presents — Sponsored by UC Santa Cruz Arts & Lectures.
* Santa Cruz Pride — The annual parade is a celebration of sexual preference and diversity in Santa Cruz. The event is supported by the City of Santa Cruz and begins its route at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Cathcart Street on the Pacific Avenue mall. [citeweb|title=Santa Cruz Pride Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade|url=|publisher=""|accessdate=2008-10-03]
* Open Studios Art Tour — The art fair has been run for more than two decades and draws artists and patrons from around the area. [citeweb|title=The Craft of The Cutback|author=Jessica Lussenhop|url=|publisher="Metro Santa Cruz"|accessdate=2008-10-03]
* O'Neill Cold Water Classic — An annual surfing event that draws crowds at the popular Steamer's Lane. [citeweb|title=O’NEILL COLD WATER CLASSIC PRESENTED BY JEEP®|url=|publisher="Surfing Magazine"|accessdate=2008-10-03] The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is housed in a lighthouse there.
* Wharf to Wharf Race — An annual race which has been held for more than three decades. [citeweb|title=Collegians abound in Wharf to Wharf|url=|author=Jacob May|publisher="Santa Cruz Sentinel"|accessdate=2008-10-03]
*Woodies on the Wharf — An annual woodies show that takes place on the Santa Cruz Wharf. [citeweb|title=Woodies line the wharf for 14th time|url=|publisher="Santa Cruz Sentinel"|author=Lisa Hirschmann|accessdate=2008-10-03]

Historic places

* Landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places [citeweb|url= |publisher="National Register of Historic Places listings in California"|title=National Register of Historic Places|accessdate=2008-10-04] :
* 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)
* Glen Canyon Covered Bridge (5/17/1984)
* Golden Gate Villa (7/24/1975)
* Hotel Metropole (5/23/1979)
* Live Oak Ranch (7/10/1975)
* Looff Carousel and Roller Coaster (2/27/2987)
* 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 [citeweb|url=|publisher="California Department of Parks and Recreation"|title=California Register of historic Resources: Santa Cruz|accessdate=2008-10-04] :
** 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:
* KOTR - Channel 2: - Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz (Comcast Cable 11)
* ABC 7 - Channel 7 (cable-only): - (ABC) - Del Rey Oaks
* KSBW - channel 8: - (NBC) - Salinas
* KMUV - channel 15: - (Telemundo) - Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz (Simulcast of KSTS 48)
* KQET - channel 25: - (PBS) - Watsonville (Simulcast of San Jose's KTEH)
* 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-TV - channel 67: - (Univision) - Monterey

ABC affiliate

The Monterey-Salinas area lost its American Broadcasting Company broadcast affiliate in 2000, when KNTV was purchased, and then became the NBC station for the San Francisco Oakland San Jose metropolitan area. KNTV, now known as NBC11, later moved its tower from Loma Prieta Peak to San Bruno Mountain, ceasing its coverage in Monterey. At that time, ABC reached an agreement with Comcast Cable to provide a slightly-customized feed of San Francisco ABC O&O KGO-TV for the Monterey area, branded simply as "ABC 7" and occasionally referred to by the mock call letters "AABC".


*KSCO, 1080 AM
*KUSP, 88.9 FM
*KZSC, 88.1 FM
*Free Radio Santa Cruz, FRSC 101.1 FM
*KHIP, 104.3 FM
*KAPU, 104.7 FM
*KPIG, 107.5 FM

Notable Santa Cruzans and Santa Cruz-based organizations

Due to being the home of University of California, Santa Cruz as well as being bustling with local musicians, Santa Cruz has a number of notable residents.

Notable businesses headquartered in Santa Cruz

This is a list of businesses that headquartered in Santa Cruz city.
* Cruzio
* Plantronics
* Fullpower Technologies


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 10-year-old controversy over Santa Cruz's nickname "Surf City." [cite web | url = | publisher="Surfer (magazine)"|title = A Tale Of Two Surf Cities|accessdate=2008-10-04 ] Huntington Beach has obtained a total of seven registrations for the Surf City USA® trademark. [cite web |url = | title = Surf City USA? Huntington Beach lands trademark |publisher="Santa Cruz Sentinel"| accessdate = 2006-05-14] Importantly, however, 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. Indeed, trademark scholar and law professor Tyler Ochoa has called Huntington Beach's assertion of ownership over the "Surf City USA" mark "weak, dubious, and probably unenforceable." [cite web | url = | title = Tyler Ochoa: Stop dubious claims to intellectual property made by trademark bullies |publisher="Santa Cruz Sentinel" |accessdate = 2006-10-01 ] 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." [cite web | url = | title = Surf City Rivalry Gets Gnarly |publisher="Washington Post"| accessdate = 2006-10-16] 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. [cite web | url = |publisher="San Jose Mercury News"| title = It's official: Santa Cruz is not Surf City USA | accessdate = 2008-01-26]

Pop culture references

*In the 1963 Beach Boys song "Surfin' USA", one of the verses features the lyrics, "You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del Mar, Ventura County Line, Santa Cruz and Trestle."
*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".
*Several scenes from the 1987 film "The Lost Boys" were filmed at distinctive locations in Santa Cruz, including the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Pogonip clubhouse, and the Santa Cruz Wharf.
*Fatboy Slim has a song named "Santa Cruz", from his 1996 album "Better Living Through Chemistry".
*Quentin Tarantino references the City of Santa Cruz in "Reservoir Dogs" and the University of California, Santa Cruz in "Pulp Fiction".

ee also

* List of birds of Santa Cruz County, California


External links

* [ Santa Cruz City official site]
* [ Outside Magazine article profiling Santa Cruz as one of America's Best Towns]
* [ Pogonip web site]

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