The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History is located directly across from Seabright Beach, and is locally known as the "Whale Museum."
The Museum was born from the collections of Laura Hecox, a young naturalist who lived at the Santa Cruz Lighthouse in the late 1800’s. Visitors to the lighthouse awed at her Indian artifacts and shells. Scientists even named mollusk species in her honor. In 1904, Laura Hecox deeded her collection to the City of Santa Cruz to establish its first public museum. Today the Museum is an independent, non-profit organization and depends upon the local community to keep our natural history legacy thriving. The Museum cares for an extensive, local natural history collection, showcases both revolving and permanent exhibits, and hosts many field trips and events to connect people with nature and inspire stewardship of the natural world. Come visit!