Santa Cruz County California Photos - California's Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County California

Santa Cruz County was created 1850 and named  Branciforte after the Spanish pueblo founded there in 1797. It then changed to Santa Cruz. Established in 1791 and completed in 1794, the Santa Cruz Mission was destroyed by earthquake in 1857, but a smaller scale replica was erected in 1931. Santa Cruz signifies "holy cross."  Santa Cruz County Historical Landmarks


Santa Cruz County is situated at the northern tip of Monterey Bay, 65 miles south of San Francisco, 35 miles north of Monterey, and 35 miles southwest of the Silicon Valley. Its pristine beaches, lush redwood forests and rich farmland, along with Mediterranean climate and sunshine 300 days a year make it both a top tourist destination andd  residential region. Four incorporated cities in Santa Cruz County include City of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Scotts Valley and Capitola.

This Gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers 29 miles of beaches, six state parks and six state beaches. Santa Cruz County's recreational activities include sailing, surfing, fishing, golf, tennis and hiking, provide a wealth of leisure activities. Santa Cruz County's quaint shops and restaurants coupled with its cultural amenities such as Santa Cruz County Symphony, the Cabrillo Music Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the McPherson Museum of Art and History, the University of California Performing Arts Center, and the Henry J. Mello Performing Arts Center, make it a place to enjoy the best of city life amongst the coastal shores that stretch into mountains with redwood forests. For those who love nature, it is one of the finest regions to explore in California.

Santa Cruz County is home to the famed University of California Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, the Lick Observatory, the National Marine Fisheries service, and the Oiled Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center. Technology, agriculture and tourism provide an interesting mix of economic bases, plus a diverse population.

Santa Cruz County is served by the San Jose International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Monterey Peninsula Airport, and the Watsonville Municipal Airport. Rail access is provided by Union Pacific Railroad, with a railhead at Watsonville Junction.

santa cruz county line signage

Photo shows Santa Cruz County line on Highway 101 at bridge crossing over Pajaro River on the

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