(Last Updated: July 2, 2020)
***COVID Update: All beaches in Santa Cruz County are now open! To help curb the spread of COVID-19, California State Parks is temporarily closing vehicle access to all state beaches in Santa Cruz County in an effort to reduce the density of visitors over the Fourth of July weekend. The parking closure will remain in effect from Friday, July 3, 2020 to Sunday, July 5, 2020. State park beaches will be open to walk-in visitors only. At other beach locations, some parking lots remain closed or may be impacted, so please plan ahead. Visit Santa Cruz County asks that visitors enjoy our 29 miles of coastline responsibly and safely. Please remember to maintain social distancing, wear a mask in public areas and when physical distancing cannot be kept, abide by local health guidelines, laws, and regulations, refrain from traveling if you are ill, and be respectful of others. Safety must remain the top priority for the Santa Cruz County community and its visitors: if the beach looks too crowded to maintain physical distancing of six feet or greater, reschedule your visit. Stay safe and enjoy the beauty of the Santa Cruz County coast responsibly!***
Hit the beach! Santa Cruz County offers 29 miles of scenic coastline and beaches here are ideal for swimming, camping or soaking up the sun. From the craggy cliffs of Davenport, to the sandstone arch at Natural Bridges State Beach and the wide expanse that is Sunset State Beach in South County, Santa Cruz County offers plenty of options to catch some surf and sun.
Head up to North County for ancient coastal views in Davenport. Fronting the wild Pacific, as opposed to Monterey Bay, Davenport sports some of the most unique and striking coastline in the county. Davenport Landing is easily accessed via a short and level walk to the sand where visitors can admire a picturesque setting backed by dramatic coastal bluffs.
Visit Main Beach, the heart of Santa Cruz’s seaside action. This beach links to prominent county landmarks; including the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Wharf, and the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. Expect a bustling, vibrant scene on warm, sunny days as families congregate to enjoy the surrounding big-ticket attractions. Enjoy watching pros battle it out at beach volleyball courts, or take a scenic walk in the soft sand.
Centrally located within Capitola-by-the-Sea, Capitola Beach is the de facto playground for the charming village. Gentle waves provide plenty of warm weather fun, and the ideal conditions for pint-sized surfers learning the sport!
Bringing Fido on your trip? Santa Cruz County offers a plethora of pet friendly beaches for you and your four-legged friend. Its Beach, Seacliff State Beach, Rio del Mar State Beach, New Brighton State Beach, Manresa State Beach, Palm State Beach, Seabright State Beach and Twin Lakes State Beach all allow dogs, on leash, to enjoy the sun and sand! See below for a full list of beaches in Santa Cruz County!