Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz: Hours, Address, Natural Bridges State Beach Reviews: 4.5/5

Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach
4.5
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tidepools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a bicycle path around the perimeter of the park.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
851 reviews
Excellent
466
Very good
280
Average
94
Poor
9
Terrible
2

wireless_in_CA
United States4,585 contributions
Friends
We’ve visited this beach a couple times and come back for its natural arch but also the tide pools. Parking was available for a fee and city decided to close all the street parking nearby (an annoyance). It you are short on time or don’t want to pay for parking then stop by the overlook. The parking lot is free for 20 minutes. This was also a good starting point for the West Cliff scenic drive or walk.
Written April 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fred L
San Jose, CA1,515 contributions
This was our first trip to Natural Bridges State Beach. It was a Saturday and we arrived ~1pm. The parking lot was full so we ended up parking on the street a couple of blocks away. We walked along the trail that runs along the cliff. It was crowded with pedestrians and bikes but the view was beautiful. The beach itself was small compared to other nearby beaches (like Seabright or Seacliff) and it was hard to find a spot with some space relatively close to the water. The natural bridge is the star of the show and It's definitely worth the trip to see it. I suspect that most weekends the beach will get crowded like we experienced. Our girls (6 & 8) enjoyed themselves but my preference is for a larger beach. I can see this as a great spot on less crowded days.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MJ S
1 contribution
Solo
Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve

What an amazing place! One of my childhood favorites. I remember coming here for field trips and thinking how amazing it is to have this so close at our finger tips. Being a local Realtor in the area, I wanted to start posting some helpful insights and photos of the local places to explore. The best of all is that they are free, unless you want to pay to use the park for the day. However, as a local I park outside and walk in to enjoy all the goodies this place has to offer.

If you love the beach and the outdoors, you’ll most likely end up in Santa Cruz. Natural bridges is located on the west side of Santa Cruz, at the end of the beautiful west cliff drive and Swanton Blvd.

They are a park and a beach with public access to tide pools. It is best to go during low tide to really see what this place has to offer: star fish, shore crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life. Moore Creek flows through the park.

This lovely place is also the home to the Monarch Butterflies. They have a store and a museum in the park with some history on the animals and these butterflies. It is a great place to take your kids and family to get some fresh air and beautiful views.

Have a great weekend!
Written February 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B v
San Jose, CA282 contributions
Family
Natural Bridges is a gem at the North end of Santa Cruz.

Large beach with views of the namesake natural bridge rock structures, access to extensive tide pools to explore the local ocean life from urchins to star fish, anemones, and other coastal creatures.

Check dates for the migrating Monarch Butterflies. At the right time of year and temps they are swarming all around with huge clusters hanging from the eucalyptus trees...it's magical

Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mini
Fremont, CA165,763 contributions
We had a good time visiting Natural bridges state park again, This is a beautiful park. The surfers were out in force as the waves were crashing in. There are good place for beach play, picnics, hikes. There is a visitor center. Also seasonally there are paths to see the monarch butterflies.
Written January 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mini
Fremont, CA165,763 contributions
we often go to Natural Bridges State Beach. This is a wonderful place to go. This time we went on a Sunday and there were lots of people there. People were enjoying picnics and beach play.

We like to see all the birds on the island.

There is also a butterfly secction where one can walk
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pzavella
15 contributions
I’ve been here many times and it’s always windy and cold even during summer when the sun is shining. So be prepared with jackets and other things to keep warm. There is a nice area to grill food nearby and the tide pools are lovely. You can climb the rocks and the pools reveal all sorts of colorful sea life. My favorites are the tiny crabs. This is one of my kids’ favorite places even as adults.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jan S
Oakland, CA462 contributions
Couples
This is my favorite state park because of the Monarch butterflies that you can see there. The guide was at the place where the butterflies were and he explained their life cycle. It was amazing to see them. Then we drove to the beach lookout. A beautiful view! Many people were on the beach and in the water. A worthwhile place to visit!
Written January 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jerry H
Monterey, CA60 contributions
Easily accessible and wide beach area to enjoy sun bathing, games on the beach and the great views. A perfect spot for families and large groups to enjoy the beach life. Even during January you can find some mild days to enjoy the beach.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

grits4
North Carolina279 contributions
Couples
The beach area was nice for families and the natural bridge we saw was picturesque. There were shaded picnic areas available. Adjacent to, and at the end of the parking lot, was a trail in which you could see monarch butterflies during the time of our visit. Though most had begun migrating on their journeys, we did see a few. The nature path was interesting and kiosks were informative. This was a nice stop along our coastal exploration. We spent about an hour and a half here.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM