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UCSC Arboretum, Santa Cruz

4.6
#4 of 11 in Parks in Santa Cruz
The Arboretum at UCSC is a research and teaching facility committed to plant conservation and serves both the campus and the public. Its rich and diverse collection, containing representatives of more than 300 plant families, provides beginning students with a broad survey of the plant kingdom. Facilities for growing plants offer students and research faculty opportunities to experiment with living plants. The Arboretum maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialties are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families. Large assemblages of plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California natives are displayed on the grounds. Many of the species in these collections are not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens and arboreta.

Arboretum events educate and engage the public about plant diversity and conservation. Of service to the public and the nursery industry are the Arboretum's activities in importing, selecting, and breeding choice ornamental plants, especially those that are drought tolerant and pest resistant. To date, the Arboretum is the original importer of more than 1,500 different selections of choice ornamentals. Many of these have been and will continue to be the plants of future California gardens.

Norrie's, the Arboretum's volunteer-run gift shop, supports the Arboretum and is open every day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Santa Cruz holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the UCSC Arboretum and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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UCSC Arboretum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
118 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a lovely arboretum with easy walking. A special bonus is that they have 2 white hummingbirds resident: an Anna's& an Allen's, both in the Australian section. If you miss them, they still have ...  more »
  • Visited one afternoon in July. Wish we had planned for more than one hour! Gates around the park close & lock at 5:00 pm sharp, so no arriving right before closing hours if you don't want your car loc...  more »
  • When I saw "what is blooming" on the website, I expected to see much more in bloom. What I saw was very nice and interesting. I wish I had had more time...and energy to see more. The map was helpful, ...  more »

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Most of the accommodations in Santa Cruz occupy a place near the beach and boardwalk. Inns and bed and breakfasts make up most of the selection here, but you'll also find a few motels and hotels sprinkled in. You might consider staying in one of the inns or bed and breakfasts located inside some of the Victorian houses downtown, which lies just to the north. A number of budget motels line both San Lorenzo Boulevard, which is just across Carbonara Creek from the main tourist area by the beach, and Ocean Street a little farther north.
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