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.
Dog Off-Leash Parks
Find off-leash parks and beaches for dogs and their people.
Branciforte Dog Park: Quarter acre fenced dog park. Open Sunrise to Sunset. Located at 200 N. Branciforte Drive.
DeLaveaga Park: Sand Pit Service Road into Lower DeLaveaga Park. Designated off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. Take Market Street past Gruenwald Court.
Frederick Street Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked by signs and a split rail fence. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 168 Frederick Street (Frederick at Broadway).
Grant Street Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked with signs. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 180 Grant Street.
Mimi De Marta Dog Park: Half acre fenced, off leash dog area. Open sunrise to sunset. Located at 130 Broadway.
Mitchell’s Cove Beach: Dogs are allowed off-leash before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. The beach is located near West Cliff Drive and Almar Avenue.
Pacheco Dog Park: This area is completely fenced and the off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at Pacheco Avenue and Prospect Heights.
Ocean View Park: The off-leash area is clearly marked with signs. Off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The area is located at 102 Ocean View Avenue.
University Terrace Park: Two off-leash dog park areas: one for all dogs and a separate park for smaller dogs. Both areas are fenced and off-leash times are sunrise to sunset. The designated off-leash area is located at the second entrance at Nobel Drive and Meder Street.
Dogs are not allowed at the Wharf, Cowell Beach, Main Beach, Laurel Park, or San Lorenzo Park.
Dog owners must be in full control of their dogs at all times. Control must be immediate. Dog owners are financially responsible for any damage caused by their dog to public property. SCMC 188.8.131.52
Dog owners must clean up all of their dog’s defecation and must carry dog defecation removal devices at all times. SCMC 8.14.215
Santa Cruz County “Where Can I Take my Dog?” Brochure
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
SANTA CRUZ PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM
The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) delivers information, education, enrichment and inspiration through a network of 10 neighborhood library branches, a web-based digital library, a Bookmobile and community-based programs. SCPL serves children, teens and adults with innovative programming, professional services and community facilities that spark imagination and support discovery.
Residents can explore a wide range of interests from academic research, book clubs and literacy programs to digital photography, locally-produced music and local history. Branch locations include Aptos, Boulder Creek, Branciforte, Capitola, Downtown Santa Cruz, Felton, Garfield Park, La Selva Beach, Live Oak and Scotts Valley. Learn more about SCPL at SantaCruzPL.org or via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.