Santa Cruz County offers 29 miles of scenic coastline and over 14 state parks and beaches. Whether you’re looking to swim, camp, soak up the sun, or hike there’s a local spot that’s sure to inspire.
For beach-goers, the craggy cliffs of Davenport, the sandstone arch at Natural Bridges State Beach and the wide expanse of Sunset State Beach all offer plenty of options to catch some surf and sun. Santa Cruz’s Main Beach connects prominent county landmarks: the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Wharf, and the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. Centrally located within Capitola-by-the-Sea, Capitola Beach is the de facto playground for the charming village.
Hikers will love Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with its mellow, just-under-a-mile loop trail or the more challenging Pipeline Trail, which runs parallel to the San Lorenzo River. Explore remnants of old lime kilns at The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park or Fall Creek. Along with Wilder Ranch State Park’s Victorian homes, barns, living history demonstrations and tours, the park offers 34 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
Bringing Fido on your trip? Santa Cruz County offers a plethora of pet friendly beaches and parks for you and your four-legged friend: just look for the paw print below and start your adventure!
Tucked away in the mountains and dotting the landscape of the UC Santa Cruz campus stand the ruins of a once prosperous industry that helped put Santa Cruz on the map.READ MORE >>
The expansive coastline in Santa Cruz County offers endless options to explore coastal environments for tide pool treasures.READ MORE >>
When California’s coastal currents carry the frigid water of the deep to chill its saltwater surface, delicate wisps of moisture form in the warm air above: fog.READ MORE >>