Santa Cruz Main Beach
Santa Cruz Main Beach
4
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This popular beach, with killer waves, is known as one of the top surfing spots in the world.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles284 reviews
Excellent
114
Very good
104
Average
44
Poor
8
Terrible
14

Jill Balgje
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Family
Absolutely disgusting! Garbage EVERYWHERE! Sad its allowed to be so gross. Food wrappers, broken umbrellas, plastic toys abandoned, tweekers, alcohol containers. Just trashed. Smells like a dumpster. I wouldn't let kids play here. Just gross!
Written July 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mini
Fremont, CA205,212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We went to the Main Beach area at Santa Cruz. This beach is close to the fun Boardwalk area. There is sand volleyball.

We enjoyed wading in the Pacific Ocean water, taking a walk, and enjoying the views. Many were there too on a delightful sunny July Day.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lkonzen
6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Friends
Looked terrible with garbage everywhere. When the tide came in, full garbage cans went into the ocean. When I called guest services at the Boardwalk about the garbage they hung up on me. I asked the Boardwalk security to help me, but they gave me a citation banning me from the Boardwalk for a year.
Written June 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mperez4
Sacramento, CA86 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
We visit Santa Cruz pretty often. It holds a bit of sentimentality for us, as well as just being a nice place to go all around.. It has the beach, the food, downtown, and it doesn't all close down at 6PM. We like that we can enjoy the beach during the day, and then still have something to do at night.. Most coastal towns close down really early.. I love Capitola, but shops and stores are all shutting down around 6.. As much as we love coming here, the past couple times we have agreed that we wont be coming back... We have yet to stick with that. But reason being is the homeless activity... Santa Cruz is a family friendly area.. But the last 3-4 times we have been there, we have been overwhelmed with the amount of homeless, and not just there presence, but their obnoxiousness... We spent the Thanksgiving vacation there last year, and we Stayed at the Casa Blanca on the beach just so we could have our room right on the beach and listen to the waves... But instead... We heard the homeless fighting, the entire 4 days that we were there.... The cops came one time, and only because one of them fell and scraped his elbow... We got to watch the cops and ambulance waste their time on a drunken elbow scrape. It was just out of control, there was (no exaggeration) 15 of them living by the restrooms.. They fought constantly, yelling profanities all day and all night. When we got home I tried to find online where I could contact the county somehow regarding the situation, but lost patience with that. The last time we came was during peak season, which I assume they make more of an effort to keep the streets clean.. But still there were yelling homeless walking around.. The horror on families faces is what gets me... This is just not the place for that. Anyway, to end my rant... We love Santa Cruz and probably will never stop going there, but we are looking for other places to enjoy without the chaos of bum wars...
Written October 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SeaNSun515
Santa Cruz, CA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Family
Need to know where to rent metal detectors to use on Santa Cruz, CA Beaches, please respond if you have information.
Thanks!
Written April 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KniteRiter
Hickman, CA185 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
If you bring your dog, you may want to check ahead to see if dogs are allowed. It seems to vary from beach to beach. They are in Aptos, but aren't in Capitola. They are at Manresa, but aren't in Santa Cruz. Frustrating!
Written June 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

justshyla
jerome, idaho5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I thought that our trip to Santa Cruz was awesome. It wasnt that crowded when we were there, we got parking just fine, we didnt visit The Boardwalk but we spent plenty of time on the beach and eating out at restaurants. The dining out food was the best, I'm sure there are cleaner beaches than the santa cruz beach as well but it was still great, what can you expect from pure nature? I would have to say the highlight of Santa Cruz would have to be the HBQ grill that we had dinner at ...i'm sure I have the name wrong but its pretty close. It was the best place I have ever eaten at. We are coming back for another visit this weekend. Can't wait!

Written August 21, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary G
Santa Cruz, CA8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016
Wide beach, kid friendly waves, food, family games and fun steps away! The Giant Dipper roller coaster is a CLASSIC ride!
Written October 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeriLG
Santa Cruz, CA1,414 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016
This is THE beach in Santa Cruz. It is right in front of the Boardwalk, flanked by the San Lorenzo River and the Wharf. There are beach volleyball courts. Trash cans are offered. No pets or alcohol. Lots of families. Love walking it in the off season when the crowds are not there.
Written September 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

carmamarie
Santa Cruz, CA214 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Family
This is not a good representation of Santa Cruz beaches. It's crowded, dirty, the drug addicts shoot up and leave their needles in the sand to be stepped on....I could go on but no need. There are many wonderful beaches in Santa Cruz, this isn't one of them.
Written November 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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