Santa Cruz is well known for its array of amazing beaches set between bluffs and large cliffs. Take in the ocean breeze after waking up in one of the beautiful Santa Cruz Coast vacation rentals. Whether you want to relax on the soft sand or swim in crystal-clear waters, there are several great beaches in this part of California.
These beaches offer options from lounging on the beach to world class surfing experiences.
Natural Bridges State Beach
This beach’s name derives from the big rock in the shore break that has a natural arch to it. In addition to laying on the warm beach, you can also check out the trails there. Be on the lookout for whales and take stunning photos of the place that is both idyllic and fun. Tidepooling is another activity to partake in, along with eating a meal at the picnic tables. Save money by making the dishes beforehand in the kitchen of your vacation house rental in Santa Cruz, CA.
Capitola City Beach
This beach in the center of Capitola Village is often named as a favorite amongst visitors to California. It is close to Capitola Wharf, where you can dine at great restaurants and bars, as well as perusing the shops. The Capitola Beach Company is a surf shop offering lessons for surfing and stand up paddleboarding, as well as rentals. The sandy beach is great for sunbathing and watching surfers if you’d rather not partake in the activity. You may even see birds putting on a show.
Twin Lakes State Beach
There’s also Twin Lakes State Beach with its bonfires and beautiful views at sunset. Just head south from Santa Cruz Harbor to find this beach paradise that is a favorite amongst swimmers, with Schwan Lake Park behind it that is great for birdwatching. Bonfires are fun activities there, and you can bring your dog, provided the animal’s on a leash. Nearby are volleyball courts, shops, and places to dine out.
This secluded beach close by in Davenport is well worth doing a bit of climbing along a trail to reach it. You’ll find Davenport Beach where the San Vicente Creek run into the sea. This soft sand beach is perfect for kids, couples, surfers, and anyone else wanting to enjoy the great Santa Cruz local weather. It is well worth the short drive from the Santa Cruz beach house rentals.
For experienced surfers, this surf spot may be one you want to explore. But Steamer Lane is not for beginners! The shoreline is primarily cliffs and large boulders, except when the tide is at its lowest. Come to watch the surfers and huge waves, but this won’t be a sandy beach where you’ll be relaxing. Instead, head to the other side of the point to find more open space, or head out on the local trails to enjoy nature.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Although many tourists flock to the rides at the famous oceanfront amusement park, you can also take the time simply to bask in the warm sand and cool waters. When you want surprising thrills, though, it’ll be time to head to the Boardwalk rides, including the 1924 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster with its huge dips and turns.
Or, try your hand at laser tag or the two-story miniature golf course that are also at the amusement park. Food vendors there serve up everything from deep fried Twinkies to classic corn dogs. Then again, you might want to wait and eat back in the comfort of your nearby Santa Cruz house rental.
Enjoying Santa Cruz Beaches to the Fullest
These beaches are just a few of the many to explore in and around Santa Cruz County during your glorious getaway. With all of the excitement of sun and shores, though, don’t forget to put on sunscreen liberally to protect your skin and clean up any wrappers or other materials before leaving the beach to help it stay litter-free.
Also, plan ahead for your trip by booking Santa Cruz Coast vacation rentals that are close to the best local beaches so that you can easily get to the sand and water whenever you want to go there. Book early to ensure you get the rental that meets your needs to the fullest!