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For a century now, the Santa Cruz Wharf has shone as one of the crown jewels of the Pacific Coast, and today it serves as a gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. What began as a shipping pier quickly morphed into the home of the colorful and fabled Santa Cruz Italian fishing colony. In its most recent iteration, the wharf serves as the primary destination for upward of four million annual visitors to Santa Cruz County. Since the time of the California Gold Rush in the late 1840s, there have been six wharves, or wooden piers, along the Santa Cruz waterfront, providing critical links for the local community to regional and global markets. The Santa Cruz Wharf, and all the 4,528 wooden piles that compose it, provides both external and internal vistas not found anywhere on land and is a place for contemplation, reflection, and quietude.