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Best Beaches in Santa Cruz

Looking for fun in the sun? Here are our picks for the best places to hang out and enjoy the sand.

1. Natural Bridges Beach

This beautiful beach is home to the rock feature known as Natural Bridges. Seem weird? That’s because the beach was named back before erosion took some of the bridges away. You can still enjoy the beautiful scenery, the tide pools, and the nature trails here.

Located at 2351 W. Cliff Dr.

Natural Bridges

2. Scott Creek

It’s rumored to be a nude beach, so if you want to take it all off, feel free to! What I love about this beach is that it’s usually deserted but has all of the beauty of the Monterey Bay. So if you want a quiet place, check it out!

Located at about 3 miles north of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1 in Davenport

3. Año Nuevo State Park

This is the best beach if you want to visit with some elephant seals. Nearly 10,000 come every year to breed, birth, and (sun) bathe between April and August.

Located at 1 New Years Creek Rd in Pescadero

4. Pleasure Point Beach

This beach is my favorite because after watching the surfers, you can walk around Pleasure Point and visit the shops and eat delicious ice cream at Penny Ice Creamery.

Located at East Cliff Dr. and Pleasure Point Dr.

5. Main Beach

What list would be complete without Main Beach? Sure, it’s crowded but it’s the gateway to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Wharf, and lovely walks down West Cliff Drive.

Located at 400 Beach St.

Santa Cruz Main beach