Guide to the Best Santa Cruz Beaches

Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County is home to some of the best beaches on the West Coast.

Surfing?  Absolutely.

Tide pooling?  Check.

Miles of uninterrupted sand, and beautiful sunset views?  mmm hmmm.

Beach volleyball, Sand Castle Contests, Beach Concerts?  Got those too.

Nude Beaches?  Uh…

Guide to the Best Santa Cruz Beaches:

Santa Cruz beaches have something for everyone. Some are favorites with tourists due to proximity to hotels and shopping while others tend to be local favorites. Below you will find all the best Santa Cruz beaches. We’ve given you two options for navigating this post:

View on a Map

Santa Cruz Beaches Map

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Beginner’s Guide to Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Santa Cruz

Stand up paddle boarder at Natural Bridges

Stand-up paddle boarding is creating waves.

As one of the fastest growing water sports in the world, Santa Cruz locals interested in having a little adventure on the water need look no further than in their very own backyard.

In the last several years, stand-up paddle boarding has become increasingly popular. With roots in the Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands, stand-up paddle boarding has been around since the 1960’s but made it’s way to the coast of California in 2000.

It’s popularity has sky rocketed, partly because it is fairly easy to learn–within an hour of practice most people can manage to make their way through calm waters.

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Classic Beach Hangout: Seabright Beach

Seabright Beach

Seabright is the valedictorian of Santa Cruz beaches.

You know that kid who is just good at everything? Star of the basketball team and academic success, who aces the SAT, and somehow manages to look cool doing it?

Yup, that’s Seabright.

Seabright delivers on everything important in a beach. While it may not have the flashy attractions of the boardwalk or the unique wildlife of natural bridges, Seabright might just be the best classic beach hangout in town.

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