Which University Of California Should You Actually Attend? University of California, Santa Cruz. Located in gorgeous Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz is nestled right in some redwood forests. It does have a reputation of being kind of crunchy, but it still means business in academics. Also, UCSC offers one of the top astronomy programs in the world. If you like Santa Cruz, you probably like nature a whole lot. You’re not a conformist and you’re not looking for a stereotypical college experience.