1101 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831) 427-1616
Fax: (831) 427-9053
Arts & Museums
The vibrant, beach-side community of Santa Cruz is home to a wealth of cultural opportunities and businesses and the Museum of Art & History is a great example of this. The museum holds exhibits from both local and international artists with interactive displays, tours, and workshops. The museum also offers a host of classes and educational programs for children and adults and there is an archive library on-site that houses an incredible amount of historical books, maps and art from South County and Santa Cruz. Be sure to check out the Museum of Art & History website for a calendar of events, exhibits, classes and news. There is also a gift shop on the premises and the venue is available for private rental.
Established in 2004, the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Art led a nomadic existence as it moved many locations. It is now permanently placed at the Tannery Arts Center and features a big exhibition space. The aim of this institute and gallery is to promote awareness of this art form through displays, educational programs, community events and performances.
One of the most prominent highlights of the Santa Cruz region is its monumental Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. This museum was established in the year of 1986 and ably documents the entire history of surfing. It boasts of more than 70,000 visitors annually. It is well known for its historical account of the surfing and its evolution in Santa Cruz. It also swanks of surfing collections that date back to the earliest periods of surfing in the United States.
If you appreciate art and like to explore art galleries, a visit to the R. Blitzer Gallery is a must. This modern space that was formerly a warehouse is now a vibrant art space that invites artists from all over to display their collection. The focus here is mainly on local artists and apart from exhibitions, the gallery also hosts poetry readings and similar other events. Check website for more details.
Bigfoot Discovery Museum is the product of efforts by Mike Rugg, an anthropologist and curator of this museum. The museum hosts a library of books that are all dedicated to information relating to Bigfoot. Visitors can have a look at several footprint castings and listen to recordings of frightening Bigfoot howls. The museum is often visited by individuals who have had a Bigfoot encounter or have first hand experience with this ape-like animal. To know more about this frightening creature, visit this museum and listen to the fascinating reports of Mike Rugg.
Established in 1999, the San Lorenzo Valley Museum takes visitors through the rich history of the region. The museum occupies a beautiful early 20th-century church building, which was formerly the Grace Episcopal Church. The exhibits touch upon a wide variety of topics from industrial development to the cultural impact of the migrant population. The museum's rich collection is varied, and has everything from artifacts to original photographs. There are educational programs for school children as well. Check website for more.
A part of The Museums of Los Gatos, the Art Museum of Los Gatos was established in 1965. This small museum features between six to eight yearly exhibitions which includes regional, national and international artisans. Though there is no permanent collection, these temporary exhibits make an interesting stop to visit.
Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum is located outside the Almaden Quicksilver County Park in New Almaden, which was the site of famous mercury mines in the country. It is housed in Casa Grande, a white building that historically had 27 rooms and served as a hub for mining managers, their families and workers. It used to have a vault to store liquid mercury (quicksilver), a kitchen, servant quarters and food storage facilities. Today, guests can view the living rooms, parlors and libraries replete with antique furniture that afford a glimpse into the lives of mine owners and managers. This museum also provides free guided tours and takes visitors through the history of this mining region, as well as the unique technologies used to extract liquid mercury from cinnabar ore. It also consists of a three-dimensional replica resembling a mine shaft.
This slice of California history is located in an old firehouse that dates from the 1920s. Get an impressive glimpse of the 1920s life in Campbell through videos about the history of the area as well as hands-on displays about domestic life, recreation, work, community and culture of the time. Manifold photographs and artifacts narrate the story of the Roaring Twenties as they took place in Campbell. A gift store selling postcards and memorabilia is located around the corner. All proceeds go to the museum.
Learn about local history at the Morgan Hill Museum. Located in the Villa Mira Monte in a 1911 Craftsman style home, the museum has unique exhibits about local culture. See memorabilia, artifacts and maps and check at the fun temporary exhibits.
Artik Gallery is run by Artik Art and Architecture, an architectural firm specializing in public art and the design of schools and colleges. This gallery showcases a range of art forms including mixed media works, paintings and sculptures. Most of the artworks are minimalist, though-provoking and exhibit influences from the world of design and architecture. Hence, you might well have a sculpture of a man interspersed with buildings, depicting the effects of urbanization, or works created using engineering objects and everyday materials. Check the website to remain updated about the latest shows.
Children's Discovery Museum has two floors worth of exhibits and activities, including a history of bubbles, face painting and all sorts of things to keep children busy and thinking. The museum is a giant structure straddling the Guadalupe River Park, so picnics are common for visitors. It is located right on the light rail station, which makes public transportation a snap. The museum offers facilities for birthday parties and special events for all sizes of groups, from small gatherings of 10 to large groups of 1000.