Echoing a sentiment that could be expressed by many Santa Cruz residents today, Sara White wrote this about Santa Cruz to a friend in 1896:
“The country is so beautifully bright and fresh … you will find many beautiful homes here and congenial people … I’ve never felt the slightest desire to go east again.”
Early settlers came to Santa Cruz for the temperate weather, fertile soil and abundant resources. Today, residents are drawn for the same reasons, but additional attractions include the 115-year-old boardwalk, surfing at Steamer Lane, the Mission State Historic Park, and the many shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the old downtown.
Inhabited by native tribes for over 1,000 years, Spanish Padres, Mexican soldiers, rough frontiersmen and New England pioneers in turn established homes and businesses in the area.
Now, tourist attractions, natural disasters, high-tech companies and the founding of University of California, Santa Cruz, continue to shape the area.