Top Museums in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz (known to many as Surf City) is the ultimate Northern California beach town with its year-round recreation and mild sunny weather most of the year. From its vibrant seascapes and popular surfer haven to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the West Coast’s last remaining seaside amusement park, locals and visitors alike know how to have a good time.

Located 74 miles south of San Francisco and just 30 scenic miles from San Jose, California’s majestic redwood forests lead the way to more than just popular beach recreation. Santa Cruz’s rich history and acclaimed arts, as well as its vibrant shops, galleries, outdoor bistros, sidewalk musicians, and colorful nightlife downtown, add to its offbeat, yet ever-popular personality.

The well-known Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz is the cultural and social center of the city showcasing an upscale residential district, historic Victorians, galleries, and a modern art museum amid its natural beauty and style.

Bigfoot Discovery Museum

Felton CA

Phone: 831-335-4478

Bigfoot Discovery Museum is located in the San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California at 5497 Highway 9 in Felton. The main entrance to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park can be seen looking north out the front window. We opened the doors to the public on the fourth of July, 2004 but we had our Grand Opening in June, 2006 due a delay in getting approval from the Planning Department.

Evergreen Historical Cemetery

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 831-429-1964

Evergreen Historical Cemetery A California point of interest, Evergreen is a gold rush era cemetery established in 1850 as one of the first Protestant cemeteries in the state and is still an active cemetery. Special programs and tours are offered May through October. Octagon Building The Museum of Art & History is pleased to announce a new partnership at the McPherson Center with Lulu’s at the Octagon. Under the direction of Susan Hillhouse, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections for the Museum exhibitions featuring contemporary California art with an emphasis upon Santa Cruz artists will be installed in the new coffee house at 118 Cooper Street.

Santa Cruz Harley Davidson Museum

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 831-421-9600

Santa Cruz Harley-Davidson Museum in Santa Cruz (CA). Santa Cruz Harley-Davidson opened its museum store on December 12, 1997. Since then, thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts have traveled to the picturesque town of Santa Cruz to see this award-winning destination dealership. Freestanding exhibits throughout the store house vintage motorcycles, memorabilia, and photos from the Harley-Davidson Archives. Informative narratives accompany each exhibit. Visiting Santa Cruz Harley-D

Book a Motorcycle Now

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 831-420-6289

Located in the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum opened its doors in June 1986 as the first surfing museum in the world.

Aptos History Museum

Aptos CA

Phone: 831-688-1467

Welcome to the Aptos History Museum web site. I hope you will come to the site often for information about the museum itself as well as its programs and events. Our museum is focused on the incredibly rich and fascinating history of a relatively compact area – the few square miles that make up Aptos Village, Rio Del Mar, Seacliff, Seascape, and the surrounding hills and beaches. The Aptos History Museum is a wonderful community asset with a fantastic collection of local artifacts, photographs, and information. It is made possible by the many volunteers who continue to donate their time and talent. The museum operates financially solely from memberships and donations, and, if you have not already done so, I encourage you to become a museum member and/or volunteer with us in any capacity that you can. Your comments, ideas, or suggestions are always welcome.

International Paperweight Society Museum

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 312-583-1177

Welcome to L. H. Selman Ltd., a name that has been synonymous with the finest antique and contemporary paperweights for over 40 years. As the country’s premier dealer in fine art glass paperweights our mission is to promote the very best by exhibiting and selling through our gallery and at auction the finest examples made in centuries past, and by nurturing new talent emerging from contemporary independent studios. L. H. Selman Ltd. has a sterling reputation, forged through years of working together with our clients to help them build discriminating and sophisticated collections. We maintain an expansive paperweight.

San Lorenzo Valley Museum

Boulder Creek CA

Phone: 831-338-8382

The San Lorenzo Valley History Museum will host the San Lorenzo Valley Chamber networking mixer. Join us for this fun event, make some new connections and find out more about our local history. Our mission is to preserve the history of the San Lorenzo Valley through collecting and exhibiting artifacts, gathering historical information, and providing education through the San Lorenzo Valley Museum and our educational outreach programs.

Capitola Historical Museum

Capitola CA

Phone: 831-464-0322

The Capitola Historical Museum maintains extensive collections of photographs and artifacts related to Capitola’s history, and offers to change exhibits on the history and art of the area, as well as on special seasonal and topical themes. Museum grounds now include a reconstructed cottage from the era of the early 20th-century beach resort and a wash house.

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 831-420-6115

The Museum traces its beginnings to the late 1800s and the collection of naturalist Laura Hecox. Miss Hecox was born in Santa Cruz in 1854 and from childhood had a keen interest in the natural sciences. Her parents, Adna and Margaret Hecox traveled overland from Illinois to California in 1846 and settled in Santa Cruz the following year. In 1869 Mr. Hecox was appointed keeper of the original Santa Cruz Lighthouse and took up residence there with his wife and family.

The Museum of Art & History

Santa Cruz CA

Phone: 831-429-1964

The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center (the “MAH”) is undergoing a transformation. We have the vision to become a thriving, central gathering place for people who are passionate about art, history, ideas, and culture.

Agricultural History Project Museum

Watsonville CA

Phone: 831-724-5898

The Agricultural History Project is located at the entrance to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California. It is in the heart of the bountiful Pajaro Valley, midway between Santa Cruz and Monterey, nine miles from both Sunset Beach State Park and Mount Madonna County Park. AHP is a short drive from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Roaring Camp Railroad, Big Basin State Park and Gizdich Ranch (where homemade pies are baked daily). The historic Rodgers House, the Victorian home of John Steinbeck’s sister Esther Rodgers, is adjacent to the AHP site.

Share on: