Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Established in 1976, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events.
What Do You Want to Do?
Our diverse parks and beaches have something for everyone. Find your next adventure!
Hike Learn Bike Shop Surf Swim Dogs Camp Bonfires
Friends also operates six ParkStores
offering nature- and history-themed merchandise for sale to benefit local parks and beaches. ParkStore locations include Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Santa Cruz Mission, Seacliff, Wilder Ranch and Online. Learn more at www.ThatsMyPark.org or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History has connected people to the wonders of nature for over 100 years. Located above Seabright Beach, the Museum highlights the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities from the shoreline of Monterey Bay to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We strive to fulfill our mission of connecting people with nature and science to inspire stewardship of the natural world through an array of educational programs and exhibits focused on the natural and cultural history of our region.
Get wet — at least up to your elbows — in the touch pool, featuring live local inter-tidal plants and animals.
Framed by an enormous mural depicting everyday life in an Ohlone village, the Native Peoples of Santa Cruz exhibit explores life in Santa Cruz prior to the arrival of Europeans.
The far end of the Museum hosts many exhibits representing the ecosystems and native animal life of the Santa Cruz region. Visit the live honeybee display, giving you a peek at the inside of a working hive. A beautiful live “chocolate phase” king snake gives you a close-up view of a typical resident of the coastal California region.
On display you will find… Owls, Hawks and a Golden Eagle ~ Reptiles and Amphibians ~ Foxes and Coyotes ~ Bobcat and Mountain Lion ~ Jack Rabbits and Brush Rabbits ~ Great Blue Heron and Great Egret ~ California Quail and Hummingbirds ~ Song Birds, Nests and Calls ~ Squirrels, Raccoons and Skunks ~ Monarchs and Banana Slugs