Visiting UC Santa Cruz

Friendly faces of our Campus Orientation Leaders. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

Q: How do I get to UC Santa Cruz?

A: Via car

Click here for our maps and directions web site.

If you are using an online service to get directions, enter the following address for UC Santa Cruz: 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.

If you're driving from Southern and Central California and:

You're closer to HWY 5: Take Route 5 North to Route 46 West to HWY 101 North. At Salinas, take route 183 West to Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

If you're closer to HWY 101 North: Take HWY 101 North, to Route 183 West to Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

From Northern California take Route 5 South to Route 80 West to Route 680 South to Route 280 North, then take Highway 17 South to Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

From the San Francisco Airport, take 380 West to 280 South to Route 85 South to Highway 17 South to Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

From the San Jose Airport take Route 880 South to Highway 17 South to Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

From the Monterey Airport take Route 1 North to Santa Cruz.

Once in Santa Cruz, exit Highway 1 North towards Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. Stay in right lane, turn right onto Mission Street (which is also Highway 1 North). Follow Mission for a little over 1 mile. Turn right on Bay Street. Continue on Bay for a little over 1 mile. Bay runs right into main entrance of campus-at the intersection of Bay and High Streets.

For local transportation information, Cal Trans traffic reports, etc., please visit Santa Cruz Transit Information.

For information about traveling between UCSC and various common destinations, including the local airports, please visit our Airports and Travel site.

From the San Jose Train Depot

If you are coming into the San Jose Train Depot via Amtrak or CalTrain, you can take the Amtrak bus, which will transport you directly from the San Jose Train Depot to the Santa Cruz Metro bus station. These buses operate daily. At the Santa Cruz Metro station you will want to connect to one of the University bus lines, which will take you directly up to the UC Santa Cruz campus.


Q: How do I arrange a campus tour?

A: The Office of Admissions offers campus tours year-round on weekdays. Reservations are required, and tours fill early (especially during spring holidays). Please make your reservation online.

Transfer Information Sessions

For prospective junior transfer students and their families, we offer transfer information sessions on selected Fridays. This is your chance to sit down with a small group and have your junior transfer-related questions answered by an adviser in the Office of Admissions. Please note that pre-evaluations of transcripts are not available as part of the session. Please sign up for transfer information sessions online.


Q: Can I talk to an adviser during my visit?

A: Advisers are available to answer your questions. We will be glad to refer you to the academic departments or other offices on campus that can advise you further. If you live in California, we encourage you to contact your Admissions Representative for more information. Find the Admissions Representative for your county or community college here. U.S. students outside of California may e-mail Patricia Gutierrez at outofstateadmissions@ucsc.edu, and international students may e-mail internationaladmissions@ucsc.edu.


Q: What if I can't get to UC Santa Cruz on a weekday?

A: 

Online Virtual Tour: We recommend that you take our online Virtual Tour, a guided, step-by-step virtual tour of the UCSC campus, including photos, videos, 360-degree panoramas, and audio in four languages.

Visitor Guide and Self-Guided Tour: UCSC publishes a Visitor Guide, which includes parking information, maps of the campus and the Santa Cruz area, and information on activities and attractions in the area. The Visitor Guide includes three self-guided tours of the campus.

You can download the Visitor Guide, or request one by e-mailing admpubs@ucsc.edu.

If you are only interested in a self-guided tour, UCSC also publishes an online-only Self-Guided Tour, including a map of campus, which you can download and print out. UCSC does not produce printed copies of this publication.


Q: What do the campus tours offer?

A: Campus tours are approximately one hour and 30 minutes long and combine walking and shuttle transportation throughout the 2,000-acre campus. Tours are led by current UC Santa Cruz students who are extremely knowledgeable about the campus and its programs.

All tours include a 30-40-minute Admissions information session prior to the tour.

Tours include a moderate to vigorous amount of walking, so we recommend that you wear comfortable walking shoes and layer your clothing to accommodate possible fluctuations in temperature.

If you have disability-related needs, we ask that you notify the Office of Admissions when making your reservation so that we may make arrangements to provide you with an enjoyable campus tour experience.


Q: Will the guide be able to answer my specific questions about my course of study?

A: Although the campus tour guides are extensively trained to have a general base of information on UC Santa Cruz, they are not experts in every one of our approximately 65 majors.

If you want information about a specific program that UC Santa Cruz offers, we recommend that upon making your reservation, ask for the telephone number of the department you're interested in. You may receive additional advising from the departments directly.


Q: What parking options are available to me while I'm visiting?

A: Visitors have several options for parking at UCSC. There are paystations and parking meters in a number of parking lots on campus, offering short-term parking (typically a two-hour limit, although some locations have one-hour limits). The cost is $1.50/hour.

If you want to park for longer than a few hours, you can purchase a one-day visitor permit for $6. From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can stop by the Main Entrance Kiosk to purchase your permit and obtain a campus map. From 1 to 5 p.m., the Kiosk dispenses information only, and permits and maps can be obtained at the TAPS Sales Office in Barn H.

Visitors arriving weekdays after 5 p.m., or on weekends, will need to either park in lots without permit requirements or rely on paystations and meters. Campus parking maps (which list permit requirements and paystation/meter locations) are kept in an accessible location at the Main Entrance Kiosk for after-hours pickup. A campus parking map can also be downloaded at maps.ucsc.edu under the "Printable Maps" tab.

Please see the following links for more information:

Guest and Visitor Parking

Disabled Visitor Parking


Q: What overnight lodgings are available in Santa Cruz?

A: For accommodation information, please see the web site for Visit Santa Cruz County.


Q: What else can I do while in Santa Cruz?

A:

On Campus

In Santa Cruz

Natural History

Local History

Visitor Guide [PDF]
Guide to UC Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz area. Maps, activities, list of local accommodations. Published in September 2016.

Self-Guided Tour [PDF]
Tour and map for families or small groups visiting UCSC on their own. Published in July 2009.