If you are visiting Santa Cruz, odds are it is for entertainment and recreation, but not museum going. But if you want to learn a little more about the area, this museum is pretty good. This isn't a conventional art museum with dusty old artifacts and photos. Well, they have some of those also, but there are usually hands on exhibits and original displays that are quite interesting. It is worth a visit.
On West Cliff Drive, in the form of a Lighthouse, is the Santa Cruz Surf Musuem. This is a wonderful little musuem with great archieve footage, photo's, and articles of the history of Santa Cruz surfing. A great layout, and it's free. One thing though, this is run strictly by volunteers, so there are no regular hours, so you just have to get lucky.