About This Place
Santa Cruz ( /sÃ¦ntÉ kruËz/, Spanish: Holy Cross) is the county seat and largest city of Santa Cruz County, California in the US. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Santa Cruz had a total population of 59,946. It is located on the northern edge of the Monterey Bay, about 72 mi (115 km) south of San Francisco.
The present-day site of Santa Cruz was the location of an American Indian settlement since ancient times. It was also one of the earliest settlements of the Spanish during the exploration of Alta California in the later part of the 18th century, including a California Mission, Mission Santa Cruz. During the late 19th century, after California became part of the United States, Santa Cruz became widely popular for its idyllic beaches and coastal redwood forests, establishing itself as a resort community.
Santa Cruz is now known for its moderate climate, natural beauty, educational institutions, alternative community lifestyles, and socially liberal leanings. It is also home to University of California, Santa Cruz, a premier research institution and educational hub, as well as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an oceanfront amusement park.