10 Best Beaches in Santa Cruz and the Best Time to Visit

Best Beaches in Santa Cruz Country is home to those who want a vacation. You can do it here, from surfing, tide pooling, beach volleyball, sand castle contest, beach concerts, or enjoying the beautiful sunset views. But first, determine when you will visit there.

Santa Cruz beaches have something you need. Santa Cruz has become a tourist favourite place because of its proximity to hotels and shopping. Local favourites make people choose this as their best option when they want to go on vacation.

Apart from that, Santa Cruz is also known for its personality and charm. Santa Cruz is the quintessential beach town, especially for those who want the California dream. We mean the sun, sand, and surf, but that’s all life does.

However, because this is an exciting place, you will be satisfied the first time you set foot here. However, the best time to visit Santa Cruz is summer because the sun will appear ideally and make you comfortable.

Top 10 Best Beaches in Santa Cruz (From a Local)

We have asked the locals where it is interesting for you to go when you want to vacation. And the answers are varied, but each option will satisfy you. Visitors will enjoy everything they need for a vacation.

Santa Cruz is also famous as a place of incredible coastline, incredible weather, old-growth redwood forests, laid back lifestyle, and countless beach adventures. Only about 1-hour long drive from san Francisco, you will arrive at the following best beaches in Santa Cruz:

10. Bonny Doon Beach

Bonny Doon Beach
Bonny Doon Beach | Source: www.flickr.com

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Bonny Doon Beach is well known and could be one of your options because of its seclusion and relative remoteness. Bonny Doon Beach is only 10 minutes up Highway 1 from Santa Cruz. It only gets a little attention for tourists and wastes a day sunbathing.

The walk down to the surf from the cliffs above can be steep and treacherous, so you need to pack it tightly. Don’t obstruct the fantastic views or the therapeutic sound of crashing waves. Bonny Doon Beach will be a destination that is, of course, perfect.

9. Waddell Beach

Waddell Beach
Waddell Beach | Source: www.santacruzsentinel.com

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The best beaches in Santa Cruz has what you need about 20 miles from Santa Cruz in Big Basin State Park. If you are up for a scenic drive and looking to do a little fishing, then start choosing this place.

Waddell Beach provides access to find world-class windsurfers strutting their acrobatic stuff. Due to its remoteness, Waddell Beach is also an excellent place for a long walk or a romantic picnic under an umbrella, and start exploring more of the beaches in Santa Cruz.

8. Mitchell’s Cove Beach

Mitchell's Cove Beach
Mitchell’s Cove Beach | Source: tahquechi.com

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Mitchell’s Cove Beach is known for the dramatic views from the high bluffs behind the beach. This place also guarantees the perfect spot for those who want to enjoy the sunrise and sunset. Local artists also find this the ideal spot.

The trail and stairs leading down to the beach area are long and steep in places. Take your time if you decide to head down. This will be the perfect spot with famous beaches in Santa Cruz for swimming or sunbathing.

7. Sunset State Beach

Sunset State Beach
Sunset State Beach | Source: thatsmypark.org

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Another popular camping spot is Sunset State Beach, located between Santa Cruz and Monterey agricultural fields. This beach features giant dunes bordered by pine trees and is perfect for beachcombing.

It is located at 223 Sunset Beach Road, Watsonville. The best time to visit the best beaches in Santa Cruz is from sunrise to sunset, but you need to pay a $10 parking fee. Dogs are not allowed, but other amenities are a campground, picnic tables and lifeguards.

6. Cowell Beach

Cowell Beach
Cowell Beach | Source: www.vrbo.com

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Located on Pacific Avenue and Beach Street, this is also the best beach in Santa Cruz which is perfect for visiting from sunrise to sunset. Amenities provided are pier, volleyball courts, lifeguards and restrooms.

For now, Cowell Beach water quality may be in better condition. As the sun’s rays start to dim, get the perfect experience. The sky explodes with shades of red, orange and purple, and you can find it next to the best beaches in Santa Cruz.

5. Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach
Natural Bridges State Beach | Source: www.expedia.com

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With an entry fee of 10 dollars for one day, you will experience restrooms, picnic tables, lifeguards and trails. Natural Bridges State Beach is one of the most photographed places in the Golden State.

The incredible spot is wonderful for viewing shorebirds, migrating whales, playful seals and cheerful otters. Suppose you aren’t busy sunbathing, watching whales, bird watching, or taking photos. People visit natural bridges to view life beneath the sea.

4. Panther Beach

Panther Beach
Panther Beach | Source: www.btraut.com

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Located on Cabrillo Highway, Santa Cruz, this is the best beaches in Santa Cruz. No restroom facilities might be one of its weaknesses, and there is also a bike rack for a more interesting experience.

Panther Beach is a top choice in Santa Cruz; the optional clothing beach also has a beautiful rock arch and several caves that make it easy to explore. They have plenty of privacy, and you can even enjoy this beach alone by the water.

3. Capitola Beach

Capitola Beach
Capitola Beach | Source: secretsanfrancisco.com

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Capitola Beach is an urban beach full of energy. There’s always someone fishing, surfing, sunbathing, playing football, or watching birds. The vibrant and charming home is built on sand. Capitola Beach is the best beaches in Santa Cruz.

2. Seabright Beach

Seabright Beach
Seabright Beach | Source: www.bautrip.com

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Seabright Beach requires a long journey, and this will pass through a paid street and parking lots. Dogs are allowed here, and it makes you feel the perfect experience. Everyone will be waiting for the sunset here, and it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis.

1. Santa Cruz Main Beach

Santa Cruz Main Beach
Santa Cruz Main Beach | Source: www.worldbeachguide.com

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Santa Cruz Main Beach is located at 399 Beach Street, Santa Cruz. The amenities provided are the lifeguard, restrooms, boardwalk, pier, volleyball court, kayak rentals, and amusement park on the best beaches in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Main beach will indeed be bustling during summer. When they are not on the beach, visitors can head to the adjacent boardwalk and ride the rollercoaster. And there is nowhere else you’d rather be in the summertime.

Santa Cruz is the perfect place to feel your summer vacation. You can find another shore even if you don’t get a spot on that beach. You should explore the best beaches in Santa Cruz to get the perfect experience.

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