Travel and Transportation


Santa Cruz is located at the top of the Monterey Bay on the Central California coast, just south of San Francisco. Getting here is easy since several major highways run to Santa Cruz and the San Francisco, San Jose, and Monterey International Airports are all nearby. Santa Cruz is best served by San Jose International Airport (SJC), just 45 minutes away. Travelers may also use San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 2 hours away, or Oakland International Airport (OAK), 2 hours away.


All participants are individually responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

Getting to Santa Cruz from the Airport

The UC Santa Cruz Parking and Transportation Office maintains a helpful site with information about the various ground transportation options to and from the San Jose and San Francisco airports. You can also use Google or TripAdvisor to find alternatives. Bus options are cheaper but more complicated and of course slower; one-way shuttles are the more expensive but truly more comfortable and convenient option. This is an excellent way to begin using your stipend.


You might also consider renting a car at the airport and driving yourself to Santa Cruz. This is a particularly good option if you want to have access to a car in the first few days after your arrival to run errands and pick up supplies. You may also wish to do a long-term car rental if you want to be more mobile during the month of the seminar.


Whichever transportation option you choose, I encourage you to share your plans on our Facebook group. It would be very helpful (and cost effective) for people who are arriving at the same time to share rides from the airport.

Transportation within Santa Cruz

For those without cars, the bus offers the most convenient and affordable option for movement within Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Metro is the city's transportation hub, linking busses that serve the campus to busses that serve the larger Santa Cruz area (and beyond). The summer campus bus schedule can be found here. All seminar participants will receive a one-month bus or parking pass. 


If you wish to rent a car, you'll find Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz offices in Santa Cruz. Long-term rentals that originate in Santa Cruz are generally less expensive than those that originate at one of the airports. So shop around a bit before you lock in a contract. 


There are several Zipcar pickup locations on campus and in town. If you're interested in this option, you should sign up for Zipcar membership well in advance of your arrival in Santa Cruz. Zipcars can be useful for day trips out of town on the weekends.