Davenport Landing Beach: For Surfers and Swingers

Davenport Landing Beach Swing

Are you into wild and rugged NorCal beaches but not so into roughing it down a sketchy cliffside?

Looking for a spot you can tow a full ice chest or access via wheelchair, that doesn’t require you to just “hold it” until you get back to civilization?

Davenport Landing Beach has all that, and  a swing set, which makes you wonder: Why don’t all beaches have swing sets?

Just a Swingin’

Revisit your childhood, grasp the metal chains, and start pumping. There’s nothing quite like flying through the air, your feet soaring up above the sand and the waves. Oh yeah, and this swing set is adult-friendly. That’s right, you don’t need to reverse-age Benjamin Button-style or be accompanied by a kid to legally have fun here.

Come for the sunset with a picnic dinner and dine on the bench swing (or one of the picnic tables if you don’t want to balance your food in your lap).

Talk about romantic. If you’re looking for a beautiful, unique place to put a ring on someone’s finger, this is it. It’s also the best way to relieve stress after a long day at work.

Local Surfing Haven

Davenport Landing Surfer

Local surfers can almost always find a good break at the north end of the beach by the rocky point.  Although this is a favorite surf spot, the surfers are usually too distracted by the waves to use the swing set, so don’t worry, you won’t have to wait your turn for a taste of nostalgia.

Fun for Fido

This beach is dog-friendly, but obey the law (I know it’s hard!), and keep Fido leashed. Most people let their furry friends run free here but be aware, there’s a chance for a ticket.

A Dark Past

Historians may never confirm if Davenport Landing was indeed used as a whaling port but we do know that the town’s namesake, Captain John Davenport, had a previous history of hunting the world’s largest marine mammal. One of the pioneers of shore-based whaling, some even conjecture he chose the settlement specifically for that purpose.

We do know that this cove served as the town’s main port from the 1870’s to the 1880’s, shipping lumber, tanbark, cordwood, and hopefully not whale blubber.

Can’t Bear to Leave? You Don’t Have To!

Davenport Landing House

Two houses, at least one a confirmed vacation rental, preside over the south end of the beach.  The renters spark pangs of jealousy in the rest of us whenever seen leaning on the deck railing, glass of chardonnay in hand, gazing out in reverie at the waves. Before you become green with envy, plan a private getaway or hold your next family reunion here.

Ocean views while eating breakfast or sipping cocktails, along with a variety of nearby activities to keep the whole family happy (multi-use trails, farm tours, tasting rooms, etc.) makes me wonder why I haven’t talked my parents into vacationing here yet.

For more info visit: The House at Davenport Landing.

How To Get There

From Santa Cruz take Highway 1 north, 1.6 miles past the town of Davenport.

Turn left onto Davenport Landing (this is a small road that is easy to miss and comes up quick after you pass through downtown Davenport).

Follow the narrow road around the bend until you see the ocean on your left and a dirt lot on your right.



Davenport Landing Beach Information

HoursSunrise to Sunset
ParkingLimited, free parking
DogsYes, on leash
Tide PoolsYes
Surf SpotYes
Vacation RentalsYes
Swing SetYes!

Photo Credit: Molly Lautamo & Eric Ressler

About Molly Lautamo

Molly Lautamo is a freelance writer and content strategist. She came to Santa Cruz almost ten years ago to attend UCSC and never left. To check out more of Molly's writing, visit mollylautamo.com

  • rina says:

    PLEASE. Take this off your site..the Davenport landing cannot support mass crowd’s and OVER EXPOSURE. .the trash cans are spilling over and people just pile their trash all around it..the parking is limited. .the swing sets are uninsured and already at risk by the county to be taken down..if this gets hit by the masses..we will soon have to pay to park..dogs will not be aallowed and the swings will be removed. .LET’S please keep this a local private spot. .

    • Dude says:

      I’m agreeing with Rina. Please take this off the site. Respect is critical. It’s not just the trash. Let’s leave some things off the Internet and to the feeling of pure exploration. Please take this off your site.

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