Santa Cruz, the historically significant county located at the Pacific coast of the state of California USA is famous for its Mediterranean climate, Redwood forests, the socially liberal sentiment of its inhabitants and the prestigious University of California.
Its history dates back to 1791 when it was just a Spanish settlement. It was officially recognized in 1866 as a city. The nearest airports to the city are San Jose International Airport, Monterey Regional Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Watsonville Municipal Airport. The nearest major city is San Jose, which is 51 kilometres north of the city.
Santa Cruz is situated on the northern edge of Monterey bay. In 2013, the population of Santa Cruz was 62,864, and it has a very small land presence with an area of only 41 square kilometres. It is the hub for agricultural innovative techniques especially organic agriculture, and is headquarters the California Certified Organic Farmers office.
Santa Cruz is a major tourist attraction comprising of grand beaches, state parks and magnificent boulevards. The most significant of these attractions are Lighthouse Field State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach and Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. Pacific Avenue, which was built in 1860's holds the centre stage of the hustle and bustle of the city. Pogonip Open Space, located beside the University of California is a picturesque landscape that is crisscrossed with several hiking trails.
At the northern tip of the city, Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve is located, and is exclusively dedicated to the conservation of marine animals and the ecosystem. The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and the Santa Cruz Art League are other major tourist attractions. The city also boasts a unique museum for surfing enthusiasts, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.
Other attractions in Santa Cruz include the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Wilder Ranch State Park, Mystery Spot, Mission Santa Cruz, and the Santa Cruz Breakwater Light. If you fancy a round or two of golf, the Pasatiempo Golf Club is simply brilliant.
Santa Cruz is also famous for its water sports activities like sailing, diving, swimming, kayaking, snorkelling, paddling and scuba diving.