Natural Bridges State Beach


Where? : The park is located at the north of Santa Cruz.

Google Map Link

What? : A relatively small beach park the offer all what an ocean beach park can demonstrate, a sandy beach, large rocky arch not far from the beach inside the water, rocky cliffs with tide pool, a small lagoon and stream of water flowing to the ocean and also small tree groove to explore. During the winter this park is also a place to see Monarch Butterflies.


When? : Year round


Due note 1: The Monarch Butterfly are staying at the park eucalyptus tree groove during the winter month (October and February), please see the separate blog dedicate to that.


Due note 2: There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee, but you can look for free parking at the streets nearby.


My thoughts: I visit this beach many times, both at summer for beach experience and winter for Monarch Butterfly viewing or just enjoying the bay view.


The visit:

You can park your car at the inner parking lot or on the streets nearby (usually you can easily find an available parking spots at Delaware Ave and have a short walk into the park.


At the higher level of the park you can find the tree groves, and few sideway trails to explore this area, you can also go down the shore boardwalk into the eucalyptus trees grove and the small pool.


Once going down to the small sandy beach, find your spot and enjoy the beach and the unique view of the large sea stack with the inside arch. On your right you will see the small water pound that attract birds.


The tide pools at Natural Bridges State Beach are located on the rocky section on the left (north) side of the bay, cross the small stream of water and climb the rocks. At low tide when the rock shelf is out of the water you can see marine creatures that adapt to live in this micro ecosystem.