Did you recently visit UC Santa Cruz? Share your experience with the community! Post your review in the comments below.
Some ideas for what to share:
- When did you visit?
- Where did you stay? Would you recommend it?
- Where did you eat? Did you try any local specialties?
- How did you get there? What’s the best transportation mean to get to-from the campus?
- What was the campus vibe?
- What did you think of the dorms?
- What are some must-see things in or around campus?
- How were the school facilities?
- Did you like it more or less than you thought you would? Why?
- Did anything surprise you?
We’d love to hear any tips or recommendations you can share for people planning their UCSC visit!
My daughter and I visited UCSC this past weekend. She was accepted in the first wave, with CSP, and seriously considering the school.
When did you visit? On a Saturday during the quarter.
Where did you stay? Would you recommend it? We did not stay in town; many of the shops and restaurants close early so after we walked all over campus we headed in to San Francisco for the night. Windy road to the city.
Where did you eat? Did you try any local specialties? Pacific Thai downtown. Delicious and we went with a kid raised on Thai food, and he said everything was perfect and authentic. Vegan and gluten free options as well!
How did you get there? What’s the best transportation mean to get to-from the campus? We drove. The campus is a bit out of town. Once on campus we walked mainly but used the Night bus to get back to the rather remote parking lot after dark. Definitely a campus that discourages cars–lots are very distant from the main part of campus for the most part. We are both able to walk but we noticed it would be quite difficult for anyone with limited mobility. There were several areas of campus that would be all but inaccessible to wheelchair users. Hilly and foresty so bring good walking shoes.
What was the campus vibe? Chill. People dressed casually and warmly for the cool weather. Very very quiet on the weekend; we didn’t see very many people out and about and the cafes on campus were closed. So it was hard to get a very good idea of the vibes–however my city girl was able to see that the weekend vibes were not her idea of fun haha.
What did you think of the dorms? They were really cute. Many apartment style and some traditional dorms. Lots of new construction in Kresge (huge new dorm being built) and we were especially impressed with Rachel Carson dorms. Super cute and homey.
Did you like it more or less than you thought you would? Why? My daughter went in to the trip ready to SIR and left by all but crossing it off her list. The campus is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous, and she said it was a wonderful place to visit, but she wouldn’t want to live there. Just personal preference. She loves night life and museums and bustling cities, and Santa Cruz is definitely a chill rural beach town and the campus is literally in the middle of the forest. For the right kid, it would be paradise! I loved the campus but I see why she wouldn’t want to stay there.
Did anything surprise you? The way it was laid out and sprawled through the forest. Very clever and the buildings were harmonious with the natural environment. The paths were paved trails through the forest to get from one part of campus to the next. I knew there were lots of trees but I didn’t realize it would feel like a hike! Super fun place to visit. The students seem happy there.
Thanks for the detailed trip report! This shows why in person campus visits (when practicable) are often so important. She went in ready to SIR and left by all but crossing it off her list. . .teens get the “vibe” of what they want only after visiting–virtual tours on college websites just aren’t the same. We have a UCSC tour planned for next month. . .but I’ve been to the campus and agree with your description. Might have been more “vibrant” visiting on a school day but we can’t be taking our teens out of high school constantly, so weekends it is. . .
Any recommendations on where to stay in the area? I don’t drive well at night