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Sandy beach
Yes
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.

Located off of the Santa Cruz Harbor, Twin Lakes State Beach is easily accessible and offers fire pits, restrooms, and great views of the sailing ships as they enter and exit the harbor. Being a moderately sized beach, crowds can become an issue, so arrive early if you want to take advantage of the fire pits. Be sure to watch for the area's abundant wildlife, including the gray whales that migrate off-shore each year. Across East Cliff Drive, the beautiful Schwan Lagoon offers wildlife viewing as well.

Note that parking at Twin Lakes State Beach is controlled by a seasonal permit, and this can become difficult to negotiate during the busy season. A kiosk stationed near the parking lot sells parking passes when they are available. 

 

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Seasonal Permit Parking

Pros

Fire pits. Wildlife.

Cons

Seasonal permit parking. Unsanitary water from the lagoon.

Address

E Cliff Dr
2631
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
United States

Features

Lighthouse
Surfing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Wildlife
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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

Comments

12/08/2015
Recent high tides have made a pool of water great for watching the sunrise!
03/16/2015
A stunning sunset at Twin Lakes had everyone stopping to take a moment to enjoy the days end!
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