Sandy beach
No
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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.

The city of Santa Cruz was changed forever once Hawaiians brought surfing here in 1885. For the locals and the thousands who travel here, this water sport is an important part of daily life. There are many places in the area to surf, but there are a few that are considered world-renowned. Opal Cliffs, commonly known as The Hook, The Lane at Lighthouse Field State Beach, and Pleasure Point are just a few that are easily accessible from Santa Cruz.

Pleasure Point sets off of a cliff overlooking the bay; it is a great spot to watch the waves, and sunrises and sunsets are stellar from this location. The beach is only accessible during the low tide, so checking the tide chart before you come here is a good idea. 

Parking is off street, and if the waves are good you can expect a lot of traffic here, so parking may be difficult. A few picnic tables are set along the cliff rail and make an ideal location to relax and enjoy the ocean view. During whale migration, this is also a good spot to post up with a pair of binoculars or camera.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great views of Monterey Bay. Wildlife. Fantastic surf.

Cons

None.

Features

Picnic tables
Surfing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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