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Santa Cruz Beaches

Santa Cruz boasts a stunning array of beaches suited to visitors interested in a wide variety of beach experiences. Below, we’ve put together a list of just a handful of our favorite Santa Cruz beaches. We hope you enjoy these pristine spots as much as we do!

Soak Up the Sun and Surf on the Beaches Near Santa Cruz

As we mentioned previously, the best beaches in Santa Cruz will depend on the type of experience you want to have, whether it’s a bustling beach next to shops and restaurants that offers plenty of activities and people-watching, a dog-friendly beach where your pet can run and play, or a secluded beach that hardly anyone knows about.

Cowell Beach, also called Main Beach, is located right next to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. You can swim in the refreshing waters of the Bay, play volleyball on the sand, sunbathe, or learn to surf, then have fun playing carnival games and riding rides on the boardwalk. While it draws quite a crowd, it’s also an incredibly family-friendly beach that will make for a memorable beach experience.

Natural Bridges State Beach is a beautiful state-run Santa Cruz beach that features a spectacular arched rock formation located just offshore from its soft sands. Tidepools and marine animals are plentiful here, as are Monarch butterflies during the cooler fall and winter months of the year.

Located across the road from the inland lagoon of Schwann Lake, Twin Lakes Beach has ample sand and fun waves on which you can go bodysurfing. You’ll also find bathrooms and fire pits here, making it a nice, scenic spot for bonfires on the beach.

Seabright Beach—also known as Castle Beach among locals because of the restaurant that used to be nestled along its bluffs—is a popular beach for sunbathing and picnicking near the Seabright district’s bars and restaurants. It’s also across from the boardwalk, making it easy to access to carnival-style amusements and vendors that populate the landmark.

Lighthouse Field State Beach, otherwise known as Its Beach, is a dog-friendly beach located below the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Dogs can be allowed on the beach anytime with a leash, but they’re allowed to be off-leash after 4:00pm.

Beach House Rentals – Bringing You the Best of Santa Cruz

Contact our office for more information on these beaches near Santa Cruz and other must-see attractions in Santa Cruz when you book your stay in one of our spectacular beachfront vacation rental properties today!