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Santa Cruz County

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Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County, California is a county located on the Pacific coast south of the San Francisco Bay Area region. The county forms the northern coast of the Monterey Bay, with Monterey County forming the southern coast.

Santa Cruz County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. In the original act, the county was given the name of “Branciforte” after the Spanish pueblo founded there in 1797. A major watercourse in the county, Branciforte Creek, still bears this name. Less than two months later on April 5, 1850, the name was changed to “Santa Cruz” (“Holy Cross”). Mission Santa Cruz, established in 1791 and completed in 1794, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1857, but a smaller-scale replica was erected in 1931.

Santa Cruz County was a Republican stronghold for most of the 20th century; from 1920 to 1972 the only Democrats to carry Santa Cruz were Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. But the opening of University of California, Santa Cruz in 1965 caused the county’s political landscape to dramatically change. Today, it is a strongly Democratic county in presidential and congressional elections.

Surfing – surfers come from all over the world to Santa Cruz for its excellent surf. You will find here all the possible types of spots: beach-breaks, reefs, big waves, crowded points, uncrowded semi-secret spots. The wind is always offshore somewhere (except S to SW winds). It pick NW to S swells. It’s a very competitive area.

 Winemaking—both the growing of the grapes and their vinting—is an important part of the economic and cultural life of Santa Cruz County. The wines of the David Bruce Winery and Ridge Vineyards were selected for tasting in the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 (Tabor, p.167-169).

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