Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Cave Landing Beach, like it's off-the-beaten-path neighbor, Pirate's Cove Beach, is a stark contrast to the popular and family-friendly Avila Beach that is visible up the coast. Set beneath a bluff near several hiking trails, the appeal here are the rock formations, sea caves, and privacy.This last detail is something the clothing optional crowd has taken full advantage of, so visitors can expect to see locals that will make you feel severely overdressed for your beach day regardless of what you have on...

The other detail is that reaching the beach requires descending down a slick, nearly sheer rock face. There are usually several old ropes that have been tied in place to help with the descent (very weathered old ropes on my last visit, so inspect them well and try the descent at your own risk). However once you've made it down the 25 foot rock face, the beach lives up to all of the pirate's imagery that the area is cloaked in.

Rock formations just offshore are home to sea life and tide pools. There are several caves in the cliffs along the beach that you can climb into - some also have fixed ropes to help with navigating across the slippery terrain. The beach is narrow, and high tide may make much of it unaccessible. 

Visitors should prepare for a steep hike involving ropes to descend the cliff face, graffiti and litter from people come here to party, a clothing non-existent crowd, and the amount of actual beach to be affected by the tides. There are also no amenities of any kind located at the beach or parking area. There are no rules against pets, however the rope descent makes bringing them here not a great idea.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Unique formations.


Hard to reach. Access limited by tides.

Pets allowed



Big vistas
Clothing optional


Nearby Adventures

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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