Santa Cruz is a small coastal city (population about 55,000) in Santa Cruz County, at the north end of Monterey Bay in California, about forty miles south of San Jose and 75 miles south of San Francisco. It is best known as a countercultural hub, with a bohemian feel and youthful vibe, and fun weekend tourist attractions like the Beach Amusement Park and Boardwalk and the Mystery Spot. The relaxed beach lifestyle is supplemented by some high tech industry and a vibrant university culture. The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) is regarded as one of the premier centres of higher learning in the state and is especially known for its strong emphasis on the arts and humanities.
The beaches of Santa Cruz are considered some of the most pristine areas of natural beauty in the Western Hemisphere. A variety of conditions prevail, depending on the beach, as some are more suited for swimming, while others are a surfers' paradise. The beautiful beaches and the year-round summer-like climate play a central role in local culture. Most visitors leave Santa Cruz amazed by the city's beauty and ambiance.
Description is available from Wikitravel under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. A list of contributors is available at the original article.
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