Sunset State Beach is one of a string of state park campgrounds within a short drive of the amenities of the Santa Cruz area. Sunset is a bit further from civilization than New Brighton, Seacliff or Manresa and is located among agricultural fields of strawberries and artichokes. The beach itself is long and wide with huge sand dunes at the rear. Popular in warm weather, the beach nevertheless has a lot of capacity, and a short walk from the main entrance trail can lead to relative solitude.
The campground is comprised of three main loops: Dunes Camp, Pine Hollow and South Camp. Each has a variety of sites, but Pine Hollow is more of a tenting area than the others. Facilities also include a group camp, a hike/bike camping area and pay showers. There are restrooms in each loop along with potable water and a small amphitheater. While none of the campsites have a view of the ocean due to the high dunes, many have views of the surrounding fields, which can be quite pretty in spring and summer.