Campus Destinations

Many UC Santa Cruz facilities and programs are open to the public for research, intellectual and cultural enrichment, recreation, and enjoyment. Here are brief descriptions of each, along with links for further information.


Located on Empire Grade one-half mile west of the main entrance to the campus, the Arboretum has extensive collections of plants from the South Pacific and South Africa, other exotic flora, a rock garden, and a eucalyptus grove. Call 831-502-2998 for more information; 502-2999 for Norrie's Gift & Garden Shop; or go to the Arboretum web site.

Art galleries

There are two major art galleries on campus: the Sesnon Art Gallery at Porter College and the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at Cowell College. Open throughout the academic year, both schedule exhibitions of work by contemporary artists and important collections of historic interest. In addition, the works of faculty, students, staff, and guest artists are displayed in these galleries and a number of other spaces around the campus, including several smaller galleries at Porter College, the McHenry and Science & Engineering libraries, the Women's Center, University Center, and college libraries and coffeehouses. For information about current exhibitions and gallery hours, call 831-459-3606 (Sesnon); 831-459-2953 (Smith).

Coastal Science Campus

The approximately 100-acre UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus—at the western end of Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz—is at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, three miles from the main campus. Facilities include UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory and its Seymour Marine Discovery Center and Center for Ocean Health; the National Marine Fisheries Service Santa Cruz Laboratory; and a California Department of Fish and Wildlife lab.

The newly constructed Coastal Biology Building is home to UCSC's department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and provides state of the art classroom and lab facilities for undergraduates, graduates, researchers and faculty focused on the study of biology, marine sciences, ecology and evolution, and plant sciences.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is open to the public. Visitors may learn about marine life in Monterey Bay and the Pacific through aquaria and other exhibits, including the skeleton of an 87-foot blue whale. Tours offer glimpses of research projects involving bottlenosed dolphins, California sea lions, sea otters, elephant seals, and harbor seals. For more information, call 831-459-3800 or visit the Seymour Center web site.

Farm & Garden

The 30-acre organic Farm, where the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems does much of its work, is located west of the main entrance road. Fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, herbs, berries, and other research crops are used to study nonchemical, organic methods of sustainable agriculture. Similar work is done at the three-acre Alan Chadwick Garden established in 1967 just below Merrill College. Produce from the Farm is marketed from late spring through early fall. Both facilities are open year-round. Open houses and public talks on techniques for growing plants and trees are also offered. For general information, call 831-459-4140; for group tours, call 459-3240.

Performances, film screenings, lectures

Theater, art, music, film, dance programs, and lectures are offered to the public throughout the academic year. For information, please go to UCSC's online events calendar.

Tickets to many events are available in advance at

University Library

The McHenry and Science & Engineering libraries house the impressive collection of UCSC's University Library, which includes approximately 2 million volumes, over 27,500 periodical titles (including online journals), over 650,000 microforms, and more than 430,000 nonprint items, including maps, slides, and audio and video recordings. Most of the library's resources may be used by the public; circulation privileges are available through membership in the Friends of the UCSC Library. During the academic year, the library is open every day except holidays. Special Collections at McHenry Library contains rare, valuable, and often fragile materials that do not circulate but can be viewed by appointment. Holdings include local history, 20th-century literature, book arts, and the archives of Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, poet Kenneth Patchen, composer Lou Harrison, the Grateful Dead and others. For library hours, visit the University Library's web site or call 831-459-4000. For more information, call 459-2711 (McHenry Library), 459-2886 (Science & Engineering Library), or 459-2547 (Special Collections).

Lick Observatory

A facility of UC Observatories, Lick Observatory is atop Mount Hamilton 19 miles east of San Jose. The observatory, open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, offers the public a view of the 120-inch Shane Telescope. The Shane visitor gallery is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gift shop and visitors' center in the main building, which was built in 1888, is open from 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Free guided tours of the historic 36-inch Lick refractor are offered during the visitors' center open hours. For information about Lick activities, call 408-274-5061 or visit the Lick web site.


See also