Santa Cruz Wharf


The Santa Cruz Wharf Celebrates 100 Years! Wharf 100th Anniversary YouTube icon

Check out our list of UPCOMING EVENTS

Relive the fabulous fireworks show filmed by MultiRotorCam here.

Santa Cruz Wharf Centennial Celebration and Fireworks Spectacular!

mayor toastThank you to everyone who came out to toast the Wharf and celebrate 100 years of memories on October 4th! It was a wonderful day for the Santa Cruz community. Thank you to our generous sponsors Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Whole Foods, Plantronics and Santa Cruz Wharf for bringing fireworks back to Santa Cruz. We also want to thank the Santa Cruz High Marching Band for kicking of the Procession in style along council applaudwith the Surfing Preservation Club, Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, Junior Guards, Mav'riks, Save Our Shores and amazing antique cars including the antique police car. Many organizations contributed to the day's festivities including MAH's Pop Up museum, Closet Caper's fabulous costumes, Catto's Graphic's historic photo stand, Dante Society's bocce court, Bob Pearson's Chasing Mavericks surfboard display, Whole Food's face painter and Booth Bus photo booth, Economic Development's Wharf Master Plan model and the Surfing Preservation Society's surf shack! Huge thank you to all! More photos are posted on the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation's Facebook page. Happy Birthday Santa Cruz Wharf!
happy birthday

Bocce Court on the Wharf
Bocce courtThe Bocce Court generously donated by the Dante Society will remain on the Santa Cruz Wharf temporarily. Check out bocce balls from Vino Prima and play a round while overlooking the gorgeous Marine Sanctuary.

View Wyland Mural at Centennial Celebration

Wyland 2Renowned marine life artist Wyland attended the Sanctuary Celebration on May 17th. Attendees got a rare treat as they saw this amazing artist paint a mural of one of our favorite marine friends, the sea otter. Wyland's name has become synonymous with the new generation of awareness about environmental conservation. Through his unique marine life paintings, sculptures, and photography, Wyland has inspired a generation about the importance of marine life conservation. We are honored to have this one-of-a-kind art piece currently on display at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Learn more about Wyland and see his other amazing work at 

Santa Cruz Wharf History

Composed of over 2000 70 ft. Douglas fir pilings driven 21 feet into the ocean floor, the wharf was 2,745 feet long. The wharf was actually the sixth wharf -- preceding it were the Cowell Wharf, the Gharky (yes, this is the correct spelling!) Wharf, the Railroad Wharf, the Connecting Wharf, and the Pleasure Pier. None of the existing wharves could serve deep-water ships. So, the current Municipal Wharf was constructed in 1914, with its end bent to the west for a steamship dock and freight warehouse. The wharf rail line was shifted to the Municipal Wharf, and the old Railroad Wharf became part of a sardine cannery before being demolished in 1922. Here are morehistory notes by local historians on the six wharvesGraphic of wharves timeline.

Santa Cruz Wharf Master Plan and Engineering Report

As the Santa Cruz Wharf approaches its 100th birthday in 2014, the City has embarked on a study of the half-mile long landmark to usher it into the next century of its existence. The Wharf Master Plan lays out a comprehensive vision for increasing public access and recreational uses on the Wharf; business and economic development opportunities; integration of scientific, educational, and research initiatives; parking and vehicular movement improvements; and the preparation of design and development standards for buildings and public spaces. In addition, the Engineering Report component identifies repairs and upgrades to the Wharf necessary to see it through to its next major anniversary.
The Wharf Master Plan and Engineering Report will be submitted to the City Council for acceptance on October 28, 2014. Once accepted, the preparation of environmental review documents will commence for the recommendations and improvements coming out of the Wharf Master Plan. Any modifications or updates required for the City’s General Plan, the Beach and South of Laurel Plan, the Local Coastal Plan will occur, together with the submittal of an application for a Coastal Development Permit to the Coastal Commission. During this process additional opportunities for public review and comment will be provided.

For more information and updates, please visit the Santa Cruz Wharf Master Plan and Engineering Report Resource Page at or contact the City’s project manager, Norm Daly, at or 831-420-5109.

Santa Cruz Wharf Videos

Check out the following videos for some unique looks at the Santa Cruz Wharf!

Santa Cruz Wharf video courtesy of MultiRotorCam (best viewed in full screen mode)

A fun-filled, fast-paced and informative look at the Santa Cruz Wharf - a landmark destination for locals and visitors alike!



The GreenWharf Project and the EcoTour

EcoTour web banner  

Started in 2011 as a partnership between the City of Santa Cruz and UCSC, the GreenWharf Project fosters the development and incorporation of innovative technology into the structure and operations of the Santa Cruz Wharf. Check out the Green Wharf website or scan the QR tag above for more information about this exciting initiative.

The Santa Cruz EcoTour is 5.5 mile stroll, bike or drive along the Santa Cruz coastline that showcases and explains the dynamic brand of environmental stewardship practiced in Santa Cruz. Download an EcoTour Map and Brochure to view “Green Spot” locations and topics featured on the EcoTour. Guided EcoTours of the Santa Cruz Wharf are offered year-round for free on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM for thirty minutes each. Extending half a mile out to sea, the Santa Cruz  Wharf is the longest Wharf in the U.S. and brings visitors into a true marine environment with whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters, fish, sea birds, and other marine life.

 Santa Cruz Wharf Brochure

The two-page Santa Cruz Wharf Brochure features the locations of the Wharf's restaurants, shops and restrooms, and lists special events, telephone numbers and other information you need to make your visit to the Santa Cruz Wharf one you'll never forget!

Shopping, Dining and Recreation

The Santa Cruz Wharf offers the best in seaside shopping, dining and recreation. You'll find everything from handmade arts & crafts to beach apparel, outdoor fresh fish markets to fine dining, whale watching, fishing trips and kayaking.

Critters and Creatures

Sea lionsThere's a wide variety of Critters and Creatures in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Check out the video links below and then visit the Santa Cruz Wharf to see these amazing marine mammals in person!

 Humpback Whale off of Santa Cruz by Michael Harris
 California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus).

Parking on the Santa Cruz Wharf 

You can walk, bike or drive your car onto the Santa Cruz Wharf. Pay for vehicle parking only at the Wharf gate when leaving. Be sure to view the latest city-wide parking information and get details about the Wharf Locals' Parking Pass.

Wharf Services

  • Wharf Headquarters is located at 21 Municipal Wharf. 831-420-6025.
  • Lifeguard Headquarters is located at 1 Municipal Wharf. 831-420-6015.
    Visit the Santa Cruz Fire Department Marine Safety Division webpage for more information.
  • Public restrooms are located adjacent to Wharf Headquarters and at the end of the Wharf.
  • A public boat landing is located on the Boardwalk side of the Wharf across from Santa Cruz Boat Rentals.


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