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Santa Cruz Museums & Historical Sites

Santa Cruz, California Hotels and Resorts

Santa Cruz Museums & Historical Sites

Our guide to Santa Cruz Museums and Historical Sites  will help you explore Santa Cruz’ history.

Click here to search  Half Moon Bay (45 miles north) or Monterey (40 miles south).

Santa Cruz Museums

Capitola Historical Museum

410 Capitola Ave., Capitola, CA  (831) 464-0322
The Capitola Historical Museum maintains an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts related to Capitola’s history, and offers quarterly changing exhibits on the history and art of the area, as well as on special seasonal and topical themes.

The Davenport Jail Museum

2 Davenport Ave., Davenport  (408) 425-7278
The Davenport Jail Museum features a historical perspective on native settlements, the natural environment, major industries, and community life.

Museum of Natural History – City of Santa Cruz

1305 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz  (831) 420-6115
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History has been bringing the delights and wonders of the natural world to Santa Cruz residents and visitors for 100 years. With it’s early beginnings in the Santa Cruz public library, the Museum collections and displays have been housed in various locations in the City.

Plans are underway to build a new, larger Museum at Depot Park. While construction is still several years away, we invite you to enjoy the exhibits and programs at our Seabright location, and keep checking back for news on our progress.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA    (831) 429-1964
The Museum of Art & History is a non-profit educational institution that promotes a greater understanding of contemporary art and the history of Santa Cruz County, through its exhibitions, collections, and programs, for the benefit of residents and visitors to Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz  (408) 429-3429
The Surf Museum covers over 100 years of  Santa Cruz surfing history.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center – at  Long Marine Lab

100 Shaffer Road Santa Cruz, CA    (831) 459-3800
Visit a working marine laboratory. Exhibit halls, aquarium, touch tanks, tours to marine mammal research overlook, Ocean Discovery Shop, and unsurpassed vistas of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Hold a sea star — marvel at the world’s largest whale skeleton — see full-size elephant seal sculptures — think like a scientist!

Santa Cruz Historical Sites

Evergreen Cemetery

Hwy 1 north of Bonny Doon Road, Davenport (831) 429-1964
The Evergreen Cemetery is one of California’s oldest Protestant grave sites.

Mission La Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz

Emmet and High Streets, Santa Cruz  (831) 426-5686
The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park sits atop Mission Hill offering a patio, gardens, and excellent views of the city.  The park features the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791.

Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow-Gauge Railroad

Graham Hill Road off Mount Herman Road, Felton  (831) 335-4400
The Big Trees Railroad takes visitors on a 75 minute trip through the redwood forest.

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

144 School St. at Adobe, Santa Cruz  (831) 425-5849
The site of a complex of buildings erected around the original Santa Cruz Mission.


What’s on Tap


Santa Cruz Festivals & Events:

Thunderbirds on the Santa Cruz Wharf! Sept. 29, 2018 at 9am to 3pm.

Featuring the classic 1955-1957, the 1958-1965 vintage and the retro, 2002-2005 Thunderbirds.

Open Studios Art Tour – First 3 weeks in Oct. 2018

Welcome Back Monarchs Day – Oct. 14, 2018 11am – 4pm.

Annual Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza! – Oct. 7, 2018

Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches—Oct. 2018

MORE Santa Cruz Halloween Celebrations—Oct. 2018

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival—Oct. 13 & 14, 2018

Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA



For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Santa Cruz.



Top Santa Cruz Attractions:


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Fun for all ages.

Santa Cruz Campgrounds

Ocean views or Redwoods? Over 27 campgrounds and RV Parks

Santa Cruz Fishing 

Fall is fishing and crabbing season in Santa Cruz!

Santa Cruz Surfing

With 11 world-class surf breaks such as Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, it is easy to understand why the greatest surfers in the world call Santa Cruz home!

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May


For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.




The Region’s Fall Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially along Mission Street and Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Capitols. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to to learn about road conditions.

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.