Santa Cruz Main Beach

#2 in Best Things To Do in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Main Beach picture
slobo/Getty Images

Key Info

108 Beach St.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Sightseeing, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Santa Cruz Main Beach is also known as Boardwalk Beach since it stretches the length of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. In the summer, it's one of the busiest beaches in Santa Cruz thanks to its lengthy list of amenities, including lifeguards, restrooms, nearby food options and amusement park rides and games. During other seasons, it's a popular place to take scenic strolls. 

With its on-duty lifeguards and fairly gentle waves, travelers say this is a great beach for families. If you're visiting during the summertime, reviewers recommend arriving early in the day to stake out a prime spot, as the sand can get crowded quickly. 

The beach is free to visit year-round. Many travelers recommend parking your car in the metered spots behind the row of hotels that line the beach. Keep in mind that the swimming section is marked by buoys to prevent swimmers from colliding with nearby surfers. For more information, visit the tourism bureau's website

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More Best Things To Do in Santa Cruz

West Cliff Drive1 of 8
Santa Cruz Wharf 2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#1 West Cliff Drive

This 3-mile walking and biking path offers some of the best views of the county – and it's a great workout too. Along the way, you'll be treated to pristine vistas of the Pacific Ocean and you might even spot some surfers riding the waves at Steamer Lane or whales and dolphins cresting the water at Lighthouse Point. You can also stop in to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum along your stroll, which is stationed inside the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse.

Recent travelers and locals said West Cliff Drive is a must-do. According to reviewers, the beauty is unparalleled, and the benches that line the path are a nice pit stop along the 6-mile round-trip walk. To avoid crowded paths, some travelers recommend visiting on a weekday and also note parking can be difficult to come by on weekends. 

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Courtesy of Visit Santa Cruz County and Paul Schraub
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