Wander the Bay: Best Beaches in Santa Cruz

Seacliff Beach Aptos

Hey Hey! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then hopefully you know how much I love the Bay Area and being a Baydestrian so this post is WAY over due! I actually went to college in Santa Cruz (go banana slugs!!) and honestly didn’t get a chance to go to the beaches as much as I would have liked especially now that I look back on it, but……now I actually spend a few weekends in the summer and fall going back to some of my old spots as well as taking FULL advantage of the many beaches!

West Cliff Beaches and Cliffs

….oh the Cliffs! My absolute favorite place to go in Santa Cruz is along West Cliff Drive…something about the view of the cliff edges along the windy road is absolutely stunning to me. I used to live on the westside of Santa Cruz as a student and used to run down west cliff and stop along the rocks to take in the air and sometimes catch a glimpse of some dolphins!

West Cliff Drive

Natural Bridges

start your drive along West Cliff Drive at Natural Bridges. Not as

Lighthouse Field State Beach

located along West Cliff Drive you’ll spot a lighthouse. Below the cliffs of the lighthouse, you’ll see an open and inviting beach typically filled with surfers and many four legged friends! The inside of the lighthouse has been converted into a surf museum and filled with some cool local history from the area. I recommend checking it out if you have some time.

Capitola Beach

If you were headed to the Boardwalk because you wanted to have some kid friendly activities and food then keep driving south along Highway 1 and go to Capitola Beach. Although the Boardwalk is great if you’re looking to get on rides, the actual beach is pretty dirty and littered with garbage! I don’t recommend going there for a beach day and always recommend heading to Capitola Beach located in Capitola Village. Its literally a cute beach town with a chic downtown and restaurants with ocean views. There is also a cool river that is perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding that is right next to the beach.

Seacliff Beach

Great parking and a shipwreck! That’s why I added Seacliff to the list. Although the location isn’t near too many bars or restaurants I do like how vast it is and my top choice when I’m going with a group of friends for a picnic. They offer picnic tables with some grills but who needs that when you can have a traditional picnic on the beach!

Seabright State Beach

this beach is actually one of my least favorite beaches because it’s not near much buuuut it is one of the few beaches in the area that you can have a bonfire and for that reason it get a spot on the list!

<3 Happy Wandering!


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