Travel and Accommodation

The Symposium will be held at University of California Santa Cruz in the Digital Arts Research Center, rooms 108 (The Dark Lab) and 306 (Light Lab).

1. AIR TRAVEL: Santa Cruz does not have an airport. The nearest airports are San Jose  (30 miles) and San Francisco (70 miles).

2. GETTING TO SANTA CRUZ: There are several shuttle services between these airports (SJC and SFO) and Santa Cruz. We recommend Santa Cruz Airport Flyer (group shuttle rides on a fixed schedule) or Early Bird Airport Shuttle (the same company, door-to-door private shuttle service).

There is also a Metro bus that travels from San Jose to Santa Cruz, over Highway 17. This bus is called the Amtrak Highway 17 express. It does not provide service directly from the airport. You can catch this bus at the San Jose Caltrain station.

It is also possible to use rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft from either airport to get to Santa Cruz or to use the symposium FaceBook page to look for participants offering rides.

3. FINDING ACCOMMODATION: Santa Cruz is a coastal town with a robust tourist industry. There are numerous hotels but they book quickly and many are, unfortunately, expensive. A few local hotels are listed below:

  1. The Dream Inn              
    175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060              831.426.4330
    (more expensive option)
  2. The Sea and Sand
    201 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060              831.427.3400
    (more expensive option)
  3. Hotel Paradox
    611 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060                   831.425.7100
    (mid-range option)
  4. The Holiday Inn Express        
    1410 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060                831.466.9100
    (mid-range option)

Beyond these options, there numerous other hotels in the area, including a number of budget motels. Be sure to ask about access to public transportation and getting to the university when booking.

If you need less expensive accommodations, AirBnB is your best option. The university is located on the west side and easily accessible by bus. If you are not planning to rent a car, finding a place on the west side and close to bus service will make your life easier. Ask your potential AirBnB host about ease of access to the university. If you will have a car with you, you may find the best deals a bit further away from campus, for instance on the East Side, in Live Oak or in Felton. feel free to email if you need advice about a rental location. Please join and use our symposium Facebook group to connect with other symposium attendees who might be seeking AirBnB roommates.

Regardless of your choice, please do not wait until the last minute to book your accommodations!

4. THE DARC (Digital Arts Research Center)is located in the theatre arts complex, at the center of campus [map].

5. CAMPUS MAPS: are available here


UCSC is located several miles from downtown in a non-residential, rural area of forests and meadows. While our campus is naturally beautiful, it is not easily accessible on foot.

BUSES: Santa Cruz Metro Bus Service provides service from Santa Cruz to the campus. You can use Google Maps to plan your public transit trip and view schedules. A free campus shuttle also services the campus itself, making a loop around the perimeter of the campus and joining up with the Metro Service.

ELECTRIC BIKE SHARE: Santa Cruz also operates an electric-assist (helpful because UCSC campus is up a long, steep hill) bike share program called JUMP.

ZIP CARS: are available on campus, cars that you can rent for the hour or for the day. Pickup and drop-off locations are close to symposium site

7. PARKING: On Thursday and Friday, parking attendants will be in the performing arts parking lot near the DARC (Digital Arts Research Center) building selling day rate parking passes for symposium guests:
Thurs 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Friday 8:30 am – 10 am
The attendants will be able to sell $5 day rate parking passes for Thursday evening and $10 all-day parking passes for Friday.
If you arrive after 5:30pm on Thursday you can use the paystation vending machine to pay for parking.
If you arrive after 10am but before 1pm on Friday (during the timeframe that the registration desk is running), you can buy a parking pass inside the DARC building at the registration desk (via cash or check made out to UC Regents).
If you arrive between 1-5 pm on Friday, you can buy a parking pass from the Parking Office at the base of campus on your way to the symposium.
If the performing arts lot is full when you arrive, you can use any other parking lot on campus designated for A permits.
On Saturday and Sunday, you can park anywhere in the performing arts lot and pay at the vending machine on site for $5 all day parking.
More parking details are at

8. CHECKING IN: We will have a registration table set up in the DARC lobby Thursday 4-8 pm, Friday 9-1 pm, and Saturday 9-1 pm. If you are a registered participant, pick up your symposium badge (that doubles as a lunch ticket) and program here. If you arrive outside of these hours, look for the student volunteers wearing yellow badges, and someone should be able to help find your registration materials.

9. CAMPUS STRIKE (THURSDAY 5/16): There is a campus strike planned for Thursday the 16th. Check for updates about strike impact on Thursday. Buses will not be running during the strike, so if you’ve planned to bus to campus, you may need to make alternate Thursday transportation plans (we encourage you to use the symposium FB page to arrange carpools so that everyone can get a ride onto campus OR consider Uber / Lyft / rideshare service for Thursday). We recommend using the West entrance of campus, as picketers may be at the main entrance (though we are told they will be winding down their activities by 5, when the symposium starts). We recommend checking the news link and planning ahead. We have alerted the union about our event and we will have information on hand for you to learn about the ongoing labor issues.

coffee shops and breakfast

Companion Bakeshop (West Side, delicious baked goods and coffee)
Verve Coffee (West Side and downtown, good coffee)
Cat and Cloud Coffee (downtown)
Zachary’s (downtown, sit down old school breakfast)
fine dining / higher end
Bantam (West Side, fancy pizza / 5-9Th or 9:30 F-Sat)
West End Tap and Kitchen (West Side, gastropub / 11:30-9:30Th or 10 F-Sat)
Ristorante Avanti (West Side, organic Italian-inspired, 5-9Th or 9:30 F-Sat)
Oswald (downtown, fine dining, “no hard close time”)
Soif (downtown, wine bar, 5-9)
Alderwood (downtown, fine dining, 4-10Th or 11 F-Sat)
Gabriella Café (downtown, local / seasonal, 5-9)
casual and cheaper
Taqueria La Cabana (West Side, closes at 9)
Malabar (downtown, vegan, South Asian fusion, closes at 9)
Mobo Sushi (downtown, closes at 9:30Th or 10 F-Sat)
open later
515 Kitchen and Cocktails (downtown, open until 1:30 AM)
The Parish Pub (West Side, pub food, open until 2 AM)
Saturn Café (downtown, retro diner with vegan menu / closes at midnight)