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Top recommendations from locals

Museum
“The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is a nonprofit educational institution in Santa Cruz, California, located at the downtown McPherson Center. Its mission is to ignite shared experiences and unexpected connections, using art and history to build a stronger, more connected community”
  • 71 locals recommend
Museum
“The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is a museum which was established in May 1986 to document the history of surfing. With collections dating back to the earliest years of surfing on mainland United States, the museum houses a historical account of surfing in Santa Cruz, California.”
  • 37 locals recommend
Science Museum
“Interactive marine science museum & aquarium, with hands-on exhibits, a touch pool & a gift shop.”
  • 41 locals recommend
History Museum
“Learn about the natural history of Santa Cruz and what created this paradise by the sea. Learn how and why the Monterey Bay depends on our sea otter population to stay alive or what a Thule reed is with a visit to the SC Museum of Natural History! Visit the life size model of a Blue Whale, great for kids!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Museum
“If you can't make it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey (about an hour drive) this is your next best bet to explore the wonders of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
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“This is where some of the local students hang out to study... of course other locals too! Nice decor and ambiance... quiet and peace... and excellent wifi...”
  • 8 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Art Gallery Shop downtown on the mall. Jewelry, painting, cards, sculpture and more.”
  • 6 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Fantastic tea and fabrics. Pat is completely knowledgeable in textiles and Chinese tea. My favorite spot in Santa Cruz”
  • 2 locals recommend
Science Museum
“A working marine laboratory. Exhibit halls, touch tanks, tours to marine research overlook. Hold a sea star — marvel at the world's biggest whale skeleton — touch a shark— think like a scientist!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Made locally, known the world over. Handmade, one of a kind glassware for tabletop and display. A great souvenir idea if you're looking for something produced locally!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Art Gallery
  • 2 locals recommend
Museum
  • 1 local recommends
Library
“A few steps to our branch library (Arts & Crafts Bungalow) - books, magazines and newspapers...friendly place”
  • 1 local recommends
Art Gallery
  • 1 local recommends
Art Gallery
“The best selection of Chinese tea and artifacts ever collected. Jewelry, fabrics, carpets and more from Kashmir, Tibet, Japan, China, India and beyond.”
  • 1 local recommends