It is unanticipatedly pleasant to visit the beaches of Santa Cruz, California. It’s exciting to discover that beaches in Santa Cruz are sunnier and warmer than other nearby beaches after being used to fog and windy beaches in the Bay Area.
You can always have fun at the beach no matter your life circumstances, and Santa Cruz country beaches offer spectacular coastlines to explore.
10 Best Beaches In Santa Cruz
- Main Beach Santa Cruz
- 26th Ave
- Natural Bridges State Beach
- Four Mile Beach
- Cowell Beach
- Twin Lakes State Beach
- Panther Beach
- Sunny Cove
- Capitola Beach
- Blacks Beach
Below is given a brief detail of the beaches in Santa Cruz that are worth visiting.
Main Beach Santa Cruz
It’s impossible to beat Mian beach when it comes to the best beaches in Santa Cruz for having fun in the sun. The colorful main beach Santa Cruz culture and noticeably warmer waters make this easily mistaken for a southern California beach.
Summertime at Santa Cruz Main Beach indicates long days spent relaxing, surfing, playing volleyball, and sunbathing. Visitors can’t only enjoy the incredible Big Creek Beach (Boardwalk Beach), Main Beach, and outdoor arcade games but also walk along the Boardwalk’s seaside promenade.
Main Beach Santa Cruz also offers kiddie rides and roller coasters, making it everything a classic seaside amusement park should have. Every summer, families flock to Main Beach. The vast sandy beaches and consistent gentle waves make it a favorite spot for bodyboarders and beach volleyball players.
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One of the warmest beaches in Santa Cruz is 26th Street, which is located on the east side of Santa Cruz. The beach is lined with many youngsters playing frisbee overhead or stretched out on blankets.
When the tide is high, the beach is covered with water, and there is little sand left. It is best to visit the part of this beach near the parking lot during high tide.
The 26th Avenue Beach is a beautiful beach for locals, especially for dog owners, bonfire lovers, and skateboarders. It has some small coves, so hiding from the wind in one of the coves is ideal on chilly days.
Natural Bridges State Beach
Santa Cruz is often called the “best beach town” of California. You’ll witness it just by stepping foot onto the Natural Bridges State Beach. It is considered among the top beaches in Santa Cruz.
The natural arches that have formed at Natural Bridges State Beach are beautiful spots to take some selfies. Natural Bridges State Beach is an untouched stretch of beaches in Santa Cruz that boasts some stunning rock formations.
It is home to many seabird species as well as butterflies and has beautiful hiking trails. A nature lover is sure to enjoy this Santa Cruz beach.
There is a butterfly preserve adjacent to the beach, where you can see Monarch butterflies. The area is where many orange and black butterflies make their home every year when migrating from north to south. A good time to go is generally in November, when the butterflies tend to migrate. For a more detailed discussion on tourist attractions in california, read this article.
Four Mile Beach
This destination is not to be missed when it comes to the finest beaches in Santa Cruz. The location is ideally located near several local shops and restaurants and is one of the most popular coastal areas in the area.
There is something for everyone at this beach in Santa Cruz, whether you are a family with young children or a couple looking for a romantic walk with their partner.
The four-mile beach is filled with colorful hotels and broad sand areas, but there is no shade. Remember to bring an umbrella or beach tent.
This beach has a variety of sunbathing and fishing opportunities, rocky cliffs, tide pools, and picnic sites, along with sand for sunbathing.
Several well-sheltered coves with sandy bottoms in the southern part of the island are primarily submerged at high tide. You can also see harbor seals and sea lions basking on the rocks and hunting in the shallows.
As the sands are finer in the northern area, it is a better place to swim as well as launch your surfboard into the waves compared to other beaches in Santa Cruz. Visitors arriving by car will find three parking lots. This beach does not allow dogs.
Twin Lakes State Beach
Next on our list of beaches in Santa Cruz is Twin Lakes State Beach. It is opposite to Santa Cruz harbor. It is often slightly less crowded than Seabright and is another favorite local beach.
You can get a good view of Walton Lighthouse at Twin Lakes State Beach, even though you cannot walk out to it. The nearby Schwan’s Lake is an excellent place for bird watching, beach volleyball, bonfires, kayaking, sailing, and island hopping.
Visitors can find one of Santa Cruz’s top dining venues near the harbor – The Crow’s Nest – which isn’t too far from Seabright. There’s also a taco stand close by and a coffee house to satisfy your coffee and food cravings at such City beaches.
Panther Beach is another name among beaches in Santa Cruz. It lies nestled among tropical parklands and ocean bluffs. Coastal prairie picnic tables provide panoramic views above the beach.
The golden sands of this beach are renowned for their extensive, unspoiled shoreline. However, with panther beach tides, rip currents, frigid temperatures, and other dangers to the ocean, swimming and surfing are not recommended.
It is not recommended to surf here unless you are incredibly experienced due to panther beach tides. Read this informative guide to choose the best Santa Cruz surfing spot.
Fishing and camping are also available at Santa Cruz County Beaches. Coastal scrub offers various birds to watch, such as finches, hummingbirds, and sparrows—nesting western snowy plovers nest on the beach in winter.
Among the famous sandy beaches in Santa Cruz for decades, Sunny Cove is one of the smallest sandy stretches in the county. You can’t go wrong with this beach if you’re looking for a beach that is very local to Santa Cruz.
It’s a little difficult to park close to the cove, especially during the weekend. As long as you can find a space, you can park for free. Sunny Cove is composed entirely of undeveloped land, and there are no facilities available anywhere on the beach.
After you have parked, wander down the southern edge of the cliffs to the cove below or take a picnic on the benches of the southside bluffs. Locals also like to play with their pets there in the sunshine.
Capitola Beach is nestled in coastal farmland north of Santa Cruz. The rolling hills that converge with the Pacific Ocean are spread with strawberry and artichoke fields.
While beaches in Santa Cruz are protected from the wind by Monterey Bay, Capitola beach is wilder and more exposed. The rolling waves of the ocean create a dramatic natural setting as spectacular ocean bluffs frame the shoreline.
The pristine environment is home to sea birds, dolphins, and porpoises. It is possible to spot whales off the coast during the migration season.
Another name among the best beaches in Santa Cruz is the black beach. Blacks Beach technically falls within Twin Lakes State Beach. The beach is located at the end of 14th avenue and lacks many facilities.
There is nothing better than avoiding a wretched port-a-potty to motivate you to jump in the cold Pacific Ocean.
The picnic potential makes up for Blacks Beach’s lack of clean bathrooms. People like to picnic at Blacks Beach in Santa Cruz because it’s a good beach for easygoing activities.
If you’re on 14th ave, walk a few blocks up and grab a burrito from Taqueria Michoacan. You won’t find a better deal in Santa Cruz than this.
Those who want to take out a boogie board in the ocean at Blacks might find the waves not ideal for surfing. There are some surfers near the cliff site. It is essentials. The main Beach to be careful because the waves can be exceedingly powerful.
In the summer, beaches in Santa Cruz come alive with thousands of visitors from around the globe. Santa Cruz is known for its beautiful beaches. Make sure you’re prepared and respect others.