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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 33 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 14
    Excellent
  • 8
    Very good
  • 4
    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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33 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 NEW

Popular beach right in front of Dream Inn, the only problem is there are times when bacteria count gets way high and you should not go in water when posted as such

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
11 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

Cowell's is a great spot for surfers of all ages and abilities, with many of the local schools offering excellent value lessons and friendly locals on hand to give advice to those brave enough to venture in on their own. Parking is available in front of the beach or in the surf shop across the road - rates in both... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Arroyo Grande, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 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
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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
154 reviews 154 reviews
56 attraction reviews
96 helpful votes 96 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

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
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