Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Situated just 20 minutes north of Santa Cruz, Scott Creek Beach is located directly adjacent to Highway 1 where Scott Creek flows into the mighty Pacific. This clothing optional beach is one of the Santa Cruz regions go-to wind and kite-surfing spots when the afternoon sea breeze picks up. The beach also hosts a right hand reef break on the north end that can hold some size on large winter swells. Swimming is not recommended here due to strong undercurrents.

Scott Creek attracts sea birds and waterfowl alike. Before reaching the ocean, Scott Creek creates a small estuary that cuts through tall marsh grasses that provide habitat for shore birds. Dune restoration zones have also been constructed to protect the snowy plover's nesting grounds.

Scott Creek is also a fantastic location to relax and watch the sun set (when the wind's not howling 20 knots that is). Parking for the beach is along the shoulder on Highway 1, so use caution when entering/exiting your vehicle and crossing the road. 

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Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Kiteboarding/windsurfing hotspot. Wide beach. Short drive from Santa Cruz.


Parking on the highway shoulder. No amenities.


Whale watching
Bird watching


Nearby Adventures

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


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