Beaches and Parks in Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County is home to 29 miles of beautiful beaches along the Monterey Bay, as well as more than 50 County and California State Parks. Whether you're looking for an active day at the beach or in a park or just a relaxing day in the outdoors, you'll find it in Santa Cruz.
View a map of Santa Cruz County Beaches
With 29 miles of Santa Cruz County beaches to choose from, you may have a hard time picking one or two to visit. Even harder might be figuring out what the real name of the beach is, as many Santa Cruz beaches go mostly by their nicknames. Don't know which beach to choose? Ask a local to point you to their favorite or take a look at the Santa Cruz County Beaches Google map. And, feel free to add more to the map if you find one you really like!
According to About.com, following are the best Santa Cruz beaches by type:
- Amusements: Main Beach. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is located at Main Beach. It's one of California's most classic oceanfront amusement parks.
- Beach Volleyball: Capitola and Main Beach. You'll find plenty of nets on both beaches.
- Bonfires: Seacliff and Sunset. These are popular places for beach bonfires, so arrive early to stake out the best spots.
- For Kids: Main Beach. With the boardwalk nearby and lifeguards on duty during the busiest times, this beach has lots to do.
- People-Watching: Main Beach. With all the goings-on a the adjacent amusement park, this place is people-watcher's heaven.
- Romantic: Seascape. The long, sandy beach just below this seaside resort is accessible to everyone, but it's seldom crowded. For a romantic, seaside, sunset stroll without getting sand in your shoes, try the walk along West Cliff Drive.
- Surfing: Steamer Lane. The place where pioneering big-wave surfers got their start still boasts the area's best surfing. Don't miss the nearby Surfing Museum.
- Beaches to Bare it All: Judging from the cars parked along Highway One Bonny Doon is the local favorite.
The Santa Cruz area is home to dozens of County Parks:
- Aldridge Lane Park - 20 Aldridge Lane, Corralitos
- Anna Jean Cummings Park - 461 Old San Jose Rd, Soquel
- Aptos Village Park - 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos
- Ben Lomond Park - 9525 Mill Street, Ben Lomond
- Brommer Street Park - 1451 30th Avenue, Live Oak
- Coffee Lane Park - End of Coffee Lane, Live Oak
- Davenport Landing - Highway 1, Davenport
- Dolphin/Sumner Beach - Dolphin/Sumner Intersection, Aptos
- Felton Covered Bridge - Graham Hill Rd at Mount Hermon Rd, Felton
- Floral Park - 656 38th Avenue, Live Oak
- Freedom Lake - Freedom Blvd, Freedom
- Greyhound Rock - Highway 1, Davenport
- Hestwood Park - 1230 Harper Street, Santa Cruz
- Hidden Beach - End of Cliff Drive, Aptos
- Highlands Park - 8500 Highway 9 Ben Lomond, CA
- Jose Avenue Park - 1435 Jose Ave, Live Oak
- Mesa Village Park - 790 Green Valley Road, Watsonville
- Michael Gray Memorial Field - 3650 Graham Hill Road, Felton
- Moran Lake Park - East Cliff Drive by 26th Avenue, Live Oak
- Pinto Lake Park - 757 Green Valley Road, Watsonville
- Polo Grounds - 2255 Huntington Avenue, Aptos
- Quail Hollow Ranch - 800 Quail Hollow Road, Felton
- Richard Vessey - Victory Ln./Maplethorpe, Soquel
- Santa Cruz Gardens - Katherine Lane, Santa Cruz
- Scott Creek Beach - Highway 1, Davenport
- Scott Park - 3101 Freedom Blvd, Watsonville
- Seascape Park - End of Sumner Ave, Aptos
- Simpkins Swim Center - 979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz
- Soquel Lions - Main/E. Walnut, Soquel
- Twin Lakes Park - 520 7th Avenue, Live Oak
- Valencia Hall - 2555 Valencia Road, Aptos
- Willowbrook Park - 2950 Willowbrook Lane, Soquel
- Winkle Farm - 3201 Winkle Ave.
- Veteran's Memorial Building - 846 Front Street, Santa Cruz
Look for the Chamber decal
For more than 120 years, Santa Cruz Chamber members have been committed to improving our community for everyone who visits, works, or lives in Santa Cruz County.
For a list of local Santa Cruz Chamber member attractions, visit the Attractions section of the Chamber business directory.
Events this Week and Beyond
For more ideas on what to do while you're in Santa Cruz, view the complete Calendar of Annual Events.
Looking for something to do this month? Check out the Santa Cruz monthly calendar of events»