1305 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
The Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History, also known affectionately by locals as the “whale museum”, is one of the earliest museums in the state of California. Founded from the Laura Hecox collection in 1905, the museum’s collections grew extensively throughout the years, acquiring many Native American and archaeological artifacts, as well as natural history specimens of the past. Currently, the museum is housed in a Carnegie Library, named after the Carnegie philanthropic foundation that funded the construction of the library in 1915. This small and cozy museum offers something for visitors of all ages, including a tide pool touch tank and a life-size whale outside the front door – perfect for climbing. Just steps from Seabright State Beach!