Discovering Northern California
Santa Cruz County

Visit Santa Cruz County from
Ag Land & Beaches to Redwoods & Zip Lines

Santa Cruz County is a strip of land about 10 miles wide that's bordered on the West by Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean, and on the East by the Santa Cruz Mountains.

And it's one of the few places along the Northern California coast where you can begin your hike in the redwoods and end it on the beach!

Beachcomb along 29 miles of sandy sun-drenched Santa Cruz beaches and keep watch for shorebirds, elephant seals, and migrating whales.

Shop organic produce, foods, and flowers by visiting the many farmers markets, or go direct to the farmers themselves.

Hike the trails,  ride the steam trains, or zip line through the redwoods.

These are just some of the attractions that await your visit to the county of Santa Cruz, California. Explore beach towns, a beach boardwalk, wineries and tasting rooms, a mission, museums and art galleries, wildlife, water sports, and more.

Santa Cruz County Fun Facts

Here are some of the fun facts and interesting info you'll want to know about the county of Santa Cruz:

The Santa Cruz Mountains wine appellation is one of the oldest appellations in the United States...

David Bruce Winery and Ridge Vineyards were selected to participate in the Paris Wine Tasting of 1987...

Santa Cruz may be the Surf City of beach towns, but it's not the only beach town in the county of Santa Cruz...

There's an experimental cement ship, the S.S. Palo Alto, docked near Aptos...

Whales aren't the only critters migrating through the Santa Cruz area - don't miss the Monarch Butterflies, October through February...

14 State Parks call Santa Cruz home, as does the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, and Roaring Camp Railroads...

Santa Cruz means "Holy Cross" in Spanish...

Watsonville - formerly known almost exclusively for its agricultural interests - is a treasure trove of wetlands, birding, history, artworks, AND agricultural interests...

Elkhorn Slough contains the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California except for San Francisco Bay...

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California's first and oldest state park...

University of California, Santa Cruz has an unusual mascot - it's called Sammy the Slug and Sammy is a Banana Slug, big and yellow and slimy! And lest you think someone made Sammy up, Banana Slugs are indigenous to the redwood forests of Santa Cruz!

What's Your Favorite Part of Santa Cruz County?

So, if you only had time for one short California vacation visit to Santa Cruz, what would it be? The classic Santa Cruz beach town fun? Camping in the redwood forests? Surfing? Kayaking? Birdwatching? Touring local farms?

Some of our earliest memories of Santa Cruz involve camping under the redwoods at Big Basin, renting a beach house along the long sandy beach in Aptos, crabbing off the municipal wharf in Santa Cruz... Pick a favorite? Probably not!

Please continue planning your Santa Cruz family vacation or Best Friends Forever outing by following the links below:

And check back often as these pages are coming soon:

  • Santa Cruz Co Attractions
  • Santa Cruz Co Beaches
  • Santa Cruz Co Camping
  • Santa Cruz Co State Parks

For even more about Santa Cruz County, check these links:

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