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UCSC Arboretum

1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
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Ranked #13 of 33 attractions in Santa Cruz
Type: Gardens
Traveler Description: The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz is an unsurpassed garden with flowering plants from around the world, especially Australia, South Africa, New Zealand... more »
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Santa Cruz, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

I just love to walk around and look at what is blooming. They have a wonderful gift shop and you can purchase plants there as well. They are not just the ones you see in big box stores...they are unique and beautiful. I have a few in my garden that are doing very well.

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Bellingham, Washington
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
35 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

I came across a brochure at the hotel for the Arboretum and was looking forward to going as admission is free the first Tuesday of the month. Neither the address listed on the brochure, or the listing my GPS found got us there. Oh it got us to the campus, but there was no signage near the address listed to... More

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clovis CA
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
10 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

The idyllic UCSC campus has a 40 acre garden with tours! This is not your manicured yard with perfect little color-matched plantings! This is a real treat within a mile or so walking area. You wander from California terrain to South African to Australian ecosystems with most plantings identified. It is a treat to watch the hummingbirds in the open... More

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Santa Cruz, California, United States
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

The Arboretum is an excellent spot for a stroll amongst some amazing vegetation. The place is quiet and lovely although the verity of flowers is limited due to the smallish size of the place. Depending on what time of the year you visit you can find great things such as butterflies or hummingbirds in large numbers. Be sure to stop... More

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Newport Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

I stop here every time I come to visit my daughter attending UCSC. Great gardens, plants and trails, Well sectioned and a terrific shop. I purchase my succulent wreath frames here. Love this little gem.

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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

A wonderful self walking tour of world wide plants. Lots were in bloom. I was envious of many I can't plant because of frost in the central valley. Hilly walking and many paths. Souvenir shop had plants for sale. Bathrooms were creatively painted and clean, The paths were not crowded with people. I think there is a fee but none... More

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Silver Spring, Maryland
Top Contributor
224 reviews 224 reviews
52 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

We passed a lovely two hours touring unusual plants from South Africa, Australia, Latin America, Africa....all over. The place is about 48 acres. Lots of interesting blooms, cones, shapes, and inventive names. Hardly anyone was there besides us, so it was like having the top of the world all to ourselves.

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

A classmate from long ago, an adult daughter and I visited this one mid-morning in October. The gardens specialized in species very much like those in Santa Cruz and points south--South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Salinas, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

The UCSC Arboretum is a wonderful collection of trees, plants and flowers. This facility has one of the best protea collections in the region. It's amazing to see these wonderful plants growing in this moderate climate. I come here to photograph the proteas', they are simply beautiful in the spring time. The arboretum is self-guided and they just ask for... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
514 reviews 514 reviews
265 attraction reviews
276 helpful votes 276 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Folks visiting Santa Cruz are (appropriately) drawn to West Cliff Drive, the Boardwalk, and the Wharf, but after you've exhausted all of those then this arboretum is also worth a look. It specializes in trees and plants of Mediterranean climate regions and the Pacific Rim. Plotting a path through this arboretum is tough, since it is more of a maze... More

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