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Address: Santa Cruz, CA
Activities: Surfing
Description: One of the best and most popular beaches in the United States for learning...
One of the best and most popular beaches in the United States for learning to surf.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 31 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 13
    Excellent
  • 8
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Fronts the Dream Inn Hotel

This beach is in front of the Dream Inn Hotel and is open to the public. Waves that break off the point 100 or more yards from the beach make waves that are perfect for novice... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 25, 2015
Arthur M
,
Arroyo Grande, California
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31 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Arroyo Grande, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

This beach is in front of the Dream Inn Hotel and is open to the public. Waves that break off the point 100 or more yards from the beach make waves that are perfect for novice surfers. You can ride almost a quarter of a mile.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Santa Cruz, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

The area directly in front is under construction. It looks like a new traffic pattern is developing. Parking is impossible. The effluent from the creek is putrid smelling. Great place to lay out to avoid the wind when the beach is more easily accessible. Come back in summer. Parking is very limited. 5 bucks will get you a place to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Santa Cruz, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is the beach and break I learned to surf at and I still surf here almost every day so that being said..It truly depends on why you are visiting the beach. Cowell's offer's an awesome long-boarding break for winter surfing, especially on the out side near Indicators and can get pretty big during NW swells that roll in.This is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
14 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

This is a nice beach right to the right of the Wharf, it is a little quieter and smaller then the Main Beach which is on the other side of the Wharf you can walk easier to each just under the Wharf and you on the main beach, Cowell is a lounging beach no volleyball nets, bring your chair or... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

The beach looks untidy and very dirty , not inviting at all . Hardly anyone on it during the day . The surfers seem to use it early morning only . Would highly recommend the beach over the wharf that has fab volleyball provision .

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Santa Cruz, California
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
55 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

I swim open water. This beach used to be a favorite. The water quality has been terrible for some time now. Santa Cruz Sentinel ran a story recently how bad it is. In addition, there are drug issues on land. Needles have been turning up. Stick to the other side of the wharf.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
Santa Cruz, California
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Beach is dirty and contaminated. Not safe usually for body contact. Check the local Sentinel which posts the water quality for beaches in the area. Wouldn't let anyone I know swim there. Watch for druggies and needles and syringes on the beach. Big problem.

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Warning. This beach has problems with drug addicts leaving trash and syringes/needles on the beach. The water quality has tested as one of the dirtiest in California. It's beautiful beach, but because of these problems many locals no longer allow their kids there. The Santa Cruz City Council has recently put a 10 pm curfew on the beach to prevent... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
Aptos, California, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I met my husband there 40 plus years ago, so I may be biased. Best part of Santa Cruz Main beach, imo.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
San jose
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Beach was dirty with litter. The surf was nice and great views but just clean enough for a family to feel comfortable.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5

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