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Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

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Scotland, UK
posts: 3,307
reviews: 134
Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

Coming to visit in the summer and would like to know which beach is best for sitting down and watching the waves and not much else. Do the beaches get crowded in the summer months? Thanks

Santa Cruz...
posts: 64
reviews: 38
1. Re: Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

Wow, that's a tough one. It depends on what you want to watch while sitting, I suppose. We have miles of beach in Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz Main Beach is very large and the most crowded and lively. It stretches a long way from the beachside amusement park to the water.

There are many very quiet beaches. They are quiet because only the locals know how to reach them without trekking a mile in the sand. If that's what you want, ask a local and you are bound to get several possiblities. There are beaches surfers love and they can be fun to watch.

I'd say Santa Cruz Main Beach at the Boardwalk for an entertaining beach and Manresa Beach ten miles south of Santa Cruz in the town of La Selva Beach for a surfing beach. For a beach so long that you can always find a quiet spot if you are willing to walk, there's Seacliff State Beach 8 miles south of Santa Cruz at the end of Rio Del Mar Blvd. in Aptos. Seacliff also has a very nice little visitor center/museum.

Santa Cruz...
posts: 1,342
reviews: 110
2. Re: Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

I agree w/the previous posting by Maryb6, especially if you are coming as a tourist this summer. But I will add this to the recommendation: in the summer, Capitola beach is really polluted, not always posted but in the newspaper. People continually flock to this beach and let their children swim when it is really unsafe health-wise. No offense to Capitola residents, but you know it to be true. Enjoy your visit!

Portland, OR
posts: 199
reviews: 6
3. Re: Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

You can't go wrong with most of the beaches. All above is good advice. I'll just throw in Natural Bridges at the end of west Cliff Drive, Cowells, just on the other side of the Warf from Main Beach, and the stretch of Eastside beaches between the river and capitola - Castle beach, Twin Lakes, O' Neils (at the harbor), etc. (Sigh, this is making me homesick)

Santa Cruz, CA
posts: 239
reviews: 3
4. Re: Which beach is best in Santa Cruz area??

Does anyone really think a local will tell a tourist where the good, quiet beaches are?

C'mon, people. It's like Vermont: "You can't get there from here."