Combine mountains, miles of coastline, vineyards and a quirky small town and you’ve got an artist’s mecca. Welcome to Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz is, in fact, home to the fifth largest population of artists per capita in the United States. Art is life in Santa Cruz, there’s no doubt about it.
An ideal getaway for lovers and creators of art alike, Santa Cruz features enchantingly beautiful natural landscapes and a plethora of ways to enjoy the arts. Truly there are few places quite like it.
Artists are attracted to Santa Cruz in part because of the city’s supportive attitude. Simply take a stroll down Pacific Avenue and you’ll discover an abundance of art. Everything from installation pieces, sculptures, street artists, murals and more greet the eye.
Local businesses strive to feature local art, and there are numerous regular events, gatherings and institutions dedicated to art. For your enjoyment, here are a few ways to interact, enjoy and even purchase the art of Santa Cruz:
Take a Walk Around The Block
Of course there are galleries and museums aplenty, but one of the real treat is the art found across the city, such as – whimsical murals, distinctive sculptures and plenty more. Some of the public artworks have fascinating histories, making it quite the adventurous excursion, which anyone can embark on with this walking tour.
The Tannery Arts Center
This is the living, breathing and constantly evolving arts center of Santa Cruz. It’s a first-in-the-nation art community providing a sustainable, accessible and vibrant home for the arts in Santa Cruz County. It offers visitors a dynamic cultural destination. The Center is home to the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, Jewel Theatre Company and the Colligan Theater, the Tannery Lofts, the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center and Tannery Working Studios, which provides 28 separate studio spaces for professional artists. Visit the Tannery Center to create, display, sell or purchase art. It’s unlike any place you’ve ever been.
Founded by the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, First Friday is an independent event designed to support the strong cultural environment Santa Cruz enjoys, through the promotion of its artists. Every first Friday of the month, talented artists are exhibited to the public for free. A huge part of what makes this event possible, and such a success, are the participating Art Venues, which alternate month-to-month.
On deck to host in December is the elegant and iconic Chaminade Resort & Spa. A local institution well-known for its appreciation of the arts and local talent, Chaminade is a work of art within itself.
“The Spanish-mission style of Chaminade Resort & Spa is magnificent to look at, and the building itself has a rich history, which makes it the ideal setting for an art gathering,” explains Kevin L. Herbst, General Manage of Chaminade Resort & Spa. “Hosting First Friday is an honor, and feels like such a natural thing to do since Chaminade is surrounded by beauty. Many of the local artists come here to find their inspiration, and we’re excited to share all of that with the community.”
What better way to spend a weekend than by delighting the eyes with beautiful art, while staying at a luxury resort set on top of the Santa Cruz mountains and overlooking Monterey Bay? Absolute bliss. Autumn has arrived, the leaves are bursting into vibrant colors and the weather is becoming crisp and cool. This is the ideal season to stimulate the senses with art. Treat yourself to a getaway in the artistic haven of Santa Cruz, and find yourself creatively inspired and refreshed.