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  • Excellent40%
  • Very good27%
  • Average16%
  • Poor7%
  • Terrible10%
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One of the best and most popular beaches in the United States for learning to surf.
21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5459
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Ways to Experience Cowell's Beach
from $109.00
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Reviews (68)
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All reviews great place to learn to surf great waves for surfing beginner surfers public restrooms surf lessons pollution tourists wharf debris parking ocean
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1 - 10 of 65 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My daughter decided to take a surfing lesson in Hawaii two days prior to arriving in Santa Cruz for...more surf lessons! She had so much fun in Hawaii that I signed her up for more lessons in Santa Cruz since we'd be in California for...More

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank HereWeGo39
Reviewed May 10, 2019 via mobile

I read that there have been some issues with pollution at this beach but I couldn't see anything. The sand and the water were clean, so I had no worries on that end. There are showers you can use and parking lots. Great waves for...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank 136tiad
Reviewed May 1, 2019 via mobile

This beach was in walking distance of my Santa Cruz hotel -the small section of the beach near the wharf. It’s right off a crowded city area, so there is some trash debris, and the public restrooms were painfully nasty, but you can walk down...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank misty_bee_Wyo
Reviewed October 20, 2018 via mobile

Since it's autumn. ... when we deep our feet to the water was sooooo cold. ... but it's worth it to play at the beach. ... The waves is amazingly calm than the others we been in California beaches. ... Since its very near the...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank 224phiav
Reviewed October 11, 2018

We just spent two days at the Sea and Sand Hotel on the bluff above Cowell's Beach. Beautiful clean beach with the waves lulling us to sleep each night and gently waking us up in the morning. Watched surfers and beach goer's all day long....More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank mrussell1932
Reviewed June 3, 2018

The spirit of Aloha in Santa Cruz....on a good day. Most days are. I learned to surf here. It's a really fun wave with a nice group of devoted Cowell's surfers.

Date of experience: June 2018
2  Thank abrams227ba
Reviewed December 26, 2017

the water is so bad at the beach no one outta be going into the water at all. the water is so polluted youd catch a virus from that filth

Date of experience: January 2017
1  Thank WillS1706
Reviewed November 9, 2017

This is where the surfers go, and the cliffs are a great spot to watch them, but it is not a nice beach, in front of the Dream Inn, with all the garbage from the homeless people.

Date of experience: October 2017
1  Thank John M
Reviewed October 5, 2017

Right in front of the Dream Inn, this beach is a nice little spot for beginner surfers. It's on the other side of the wharf from the main beach so its a little less crowded.

Date of experience: November 2016
Thank April V
Reviewed July 23, 2017

This was my least favorite beach in Santa Cruz. It wasn’t very clean or there must have been some kind of activity. We were there 10 minutes, there were more surfers and that was the end of that. Don’t waste your time here.

Date of experience: June 2017
3  Thank Daniel A
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August 29, 2017|
Response from douglas w | Reviewed this property |
Yes to all of your questions. Great beach and recommended.