Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
Yes
Surfing
No
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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Set just north of Davenport Beach, Davenport Pier is an isolated and hard-to-reach beach that combines a slowly crumbling piece of history with a popular social media spot.

The small community of Davenport, lying about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz, can trace much of its modern existence to the cement plant that stands abandoned immediately north of the village. While today, the town's economy is centered on tourism, for about a century the cement plant was the center of the area's economic and industrial efforts. Davenport itself was once named San Vicente, however, when the post office relocated from the nearby site presently known as Davenport Landing in 1907, it brought the name with it and has been known as Davenport to this day.

The cement plant closed in 2010, and the railroad no longer operates. Across Highway 1 from the plant in an isolated cove beneath the Davenport Bluffs are the remains of the Davenport Pier. Trails wind along the bluffs, set about 120 feet over the shores below, and the area remains a popular place to watch for birds and whales.

A steep path leads from the bluffs down to the beach. This path is slippery and should only be attempted by people with good abilities. Ropes have been precariously tied onto exposed pipe to allow for better grip on the way down.

The beach below is made up of a cove that is enclosed by the crashing waves at all but low tide. The primary attractions down here are the remaining cement pier pilings that sit slowly eroding into the waves, the nearest of which often has a homemade swing tied to it and has made the cove popular among photographers and the social media crowd.

An alternative to the steep climb down the cliffs is to approach the cove from Davenport Beach, however, crossing the rocks on foot can only be attempted at very low tide, and due to waves and a blowhole in the rocks along the way, attempting this walk can still be hazardous, and swimming along the rocky waters is dangerous.

There are no amenities of any kind at the bluffs or beach. Park in a wide dirt pullout immediately opposite the cement plant. Visitors should not take lightly the potential risk of climbing down to the beach or walking along the edge of the bluffs whose sedimentary dirt has given way in chunks before.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Very scenic. Less crowded than nearby beaches.

Cons

Lots of graffiti and trash.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Whale watching
Big vistas
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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