Santa Cruz County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California, on the California Central Coast. The county forms the northern coast of the Monterey Bay. (Monterey County forms the southern coast). As of the 2010 U.S. Census, its population was 262,382. The county seat is Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz County is a member of the regional governmental agency Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments and is one of 11 counties in the U.S.