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Best Beaches of Santa Cruz County

Mar 12, 2008
The stretch for the best beaches of Santa Cruz County spreads out over roughly sixty miles of coastline of which twenty-nine miles are designated for beaches. Many of the beaches have two or three different names, so locating them may be slightly confusing. Locals can help dispel the mystery. Each one has differing qualities that are unique to each one.

The "Main Beach" near the boardwalk claims amusements for visitors to its shores. Cowell Beach starts at the opposite end of the pier. There is no admission charged and parking is cost free as well. There are outdoor shower facilities and bathrooms available along the shore.

Alcohol, glass bottles, and pets are prohibited throughout the area. Summer brings concerts along the boardwalk that are open to everyone. Watersports such as: kayaking, surfing, and fishing are available at the Main. Cowell is supposed to be known for being a decent place to learn to surf. They can appear foggy during the summer months and be subject to overcrowding.

Capitola is a sandy playground with scenic areas and bright colored cottages along the coastline. Monterey Bay can be seen from here with its many sailboats. It's almost always busy. There is no charge for admission and parking is either at the visitior's lot located on Monterey Ave. or at a meter in the downtown area.

Parking can be very hard to come by. Alcohol, glass containers, fires, and pets are all prohibited in the area. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, fishing, boogy boarding and wetsuits are up for rental.

Seacliff extends out between the cliffs and ocean, and many fishermen are in the area. The wharf has a cement ship as a landmark nearby, which was built around World War I. It is one of three that was constructed during the era in Oakland, CA. Since Seacliff is considered a state park, admission is charged which includes admission and parking together. Alcohol, fires, and glass containers are prohibited, but pets are allowed if they're on a leash. Camping, fishing, swimming, and a visitor center containing wildlife information are common activities.

Sunset has light colored sand that contains a lot of dunes. Admission is charged and parking is included in the price. Parking becomes packed early in the day. There are restrooms and sheltered areas to have picnics, but the water cannot be viewed from here due to the dunes. Bonfires are permitted in fire rings. A permit is required to catch perch and sardines.

Lighthouse Field is along the area of West Cliff Drive. The Surfing Museum is set here within the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse. Both admission and parking are free of charge. Walking along the cliffside, kayaking, and surfing are common activities. Many times noone is surfing because the waves are relatively calm throughout this area. Restrooms are available and pets are permitted along the cliffside area.

Waddell State is located in Davenport, CA. The area is home to several kite surfers. There are redwood forests nearby. Whales can be viewed in the water at various times. Admission and parking are both free.
About the Author
Seb Frey is a Capitola, California Real Estate Broker specializing in Santa Cruz Real Estate. He is fluent in Spanish and enjoys helping people find their piece of the American Dream in Santa Cruz. You can find Seb's blog at SantaCruzHomeBroker.com/blog.
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