Santa Cruz Area

Paddle boarding near the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Photo by Laura Acevedo-Cabrera.

Located on the northern tip of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz is famous for its Mediterranean climate, forested state parks, miles of scenic beaches, and for its high-technology industry.

UC Santa Cruz is also located near San Jose, the 11th largest city in the U.S. and the heart of Silicon Valley, the worldwide hub of technological innovation. Many students find valuable internships and jobs in companies in Silicon Valley, or in the nearby Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The city of Santa Cruz, with a population of about 56,000, is a vibrant community with cosmopolitan appeal. Art exhibits, local theater companies, a symphony orchestra, fine restaurants, and a lively contemporary music scene combine to make Santa Cruz an enviable place to work and live.

The metropolitan centers of the San Francisco Bay Area are easily accessible. By car, San Francisco and the East Bay are less than two hours from campus; San Jose, Silicon Valley, and Monterey are within an hour's drive.

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