Davenport is a small town located 15
minutes north of the city of Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County (check out our article, Davenport – Worth a Stop on California’s Slowcoast). Davenport enjoys
spectacular ocean views, open expanses of land and beautiful redwood
forests such as Waddell State Beach and Park. Very popular with kite
surfers, the offshore waters are often filled with sports enthusiasts. Reds,
oranges and yellows from the sails of extreme athletes who enjoy a
thrill of bouncing up and down on the Pacific Ocean waves can be seen
for miles along the coastline here. Several spots along the road provide
drive out areas where cars can stop to watch the action.
The same waves where locals once watched schools of
whales glide easily by provided the dreams that caused Davenport to
spring forth at a city (see Davenport History below). Even today,
migrating whales are seen passing by and provide delight to those who
enjoy watching them and their flumes in the distance.
Though the cement plant north of Davenport does not blend
esthetically with the surrounding landscape, Davenport retains a charm
that befits artisans and craftsmen typically drawn to locations that
inspire. Two world class glass studios are located in Davenport,
featuring the works of a variety of artists. We recommend you call ahead
to obtain hours of operation or even a viewing of their products.
You can actually stay overnight in Davenport at the only
hotel establishment that includes a restaurant and bed and breakfast inn
with rooms upstairs above the dining area. Reviews from guests who've
stayed there include comments that it was fun and interesting.
Recommended as a weekend getaway or overnight experience,
BEACHCALIFORNIA.COM staff have not tried the accommodations. Opting for
a luxury room not far away in the towering redwoods at the Scotts Valley
Hilton, we would not be opposed to a new adventure and hope to report
back about it some day.
What is certain is that this stretch of coastline should
not be missed. There is something very special about the drive along
Highway 1 (called Cabrillo Highway in some regions). There are no Burger
Kings, McDonalds and Walmarts to clutter your thinking and vision.
A traveler has only nature and a limited palette of colors to absorb.
Rich blue skies and the deep blue ocean seem richer and deeper here.
Nothing compares with the splash of colors pink, yellow and red at the
Santa Cruz Boardwalk to the south or skyscape to the north in San
Francisco, but the tan grasses, brown cliffs, green trees and blue skies
of Davenport are simple, pleasing and relaxing. City warriors say that
after staying a day or two in Davenport, it is time to return to the
noise, the excitement of city life. Take the time to pass through and
see what it is like. You may decide not to stop at all but if you
do, below are a few points of interest you may enjoy:
Arro's Store and Tourist Bus Stop
is a convenient place to stop
for food and supplies.
Davenport Roadhouse at
the Cash Store, 31 Davenport Avenue, Davenport. Davenport
Roadhouse at the Cash Store
offers fine dining, a friendly bar, 8 individual guest rooms and a
delightful shop with wares from around the world. The inn is located in
a beautiful, unspoiled part of the California coast, halfway between San
Francisco and Carmel/Monterey and only 15 minutes from Santa Cruz. The
original Davenport Cash Store once stood in the same location as as the
restaurant. From gingham to gunpowder, the store was a wonderland of
products but sadly, was destroyed by fire in the early 1950's. A new
building with a pottery studio and New Davenport Cash Store opened in
1978. Today, it operates as a bed and breakfast, store and restaurant
all in one.
Tuesday- Sunday: 8AM- 9PM; Contact:(831)426-8801.
Eden Gallery, home of Aumware Glass, 500 Highway
1, Davenport, CA 95017 Call: (831) 429-5307. Josef Bear created a
line of fused glass dinnerware that involves melting two layers of glass
together and then in a second firing, slumping the fused blank into a
mold. This new fused dinnerware comes in an endless combination of
colors. His goal is to create sacred images and mythical symbols in
glass that evoke our connection with the world around, above, and within
us. Bear launched his Studio gallery in late 1997 with the help Susan
Tallarico and half a dozen local artists. Eden Gallery allows the public
to see Josef work and buy direct from the artist. The gallery also
features over three dozen local artists whose work covers the spectrum
of fine art and craft. Eden Gallery is located at 500 Highway One in
Davenport at the yellow blinking light. Call for hours.
Fambrini's Farms -
3 miles south of Davenport on Highway 1. (831)
423-5891. A certified organic farm features a stand that sells a variety of
vegetables and herbs, mostly grown on the farm and neighboring farms.
Strawberries are John Fambrini's pride and joy. He grows three varieties and
he sells them very ripe, to be eaten within two days. Call for hours.
- 131 Old Coast Road, Davenport, Ca. Call: (831) 423-2532. Lundberg Studios
some of the finest art glass of our times. Lundberg Studios is located in
the small coastal town of Davenport, California. They began in the backyard
hot shop of its late founder, James Lundberg, in 1970. Master craftsmen
individually create an exquisite array of vases, scent bottles,
paperweights, lighting and custom commissions on a limited production basis.
Design styles range from antique to contemporary, from Tiffany to Art Deco.
Lundberg Art Glass is made entirely at the studios in Davenport
Melting all its own exotic colors, Lundberg Studios has refined the art of
making quality glass by using both traditional and innovative techniques.
Call for hours.
La Cabana Taqueria, Highway 1,
Davenport, California 95060 (831) 425-7742. This taqueria is known as
a dog-friendly establishment. It is located in Davenport, approximately 15
minutes north of Santa Cruz. The Davenport Beach is across the highway from
the restaurant. To get there from Hwy 17 south, exit Hwy 1 north. Drive
about 10-15 minutes until you reach the town of Davenport. The restaurant
will be on the right at the corner of Hwy 1 and Ocean Street.
Whale City Bakery, 490 Hwy 1
Davenport, California 95060 Call: (831) 423-9803. This bakery, bar and
grill is open early for breakfast and is also known for its dog-friendly
policy. Call for hours.
Davenport History: Captain John Davenport, a
whaler from Tiverton, Rhode Island, migrated to Monterey where he lived in
the first brick house in California. When he sailed into the San Francisco
bay in 1851 with a shipment of oranges, he passed by a school of whales
swimming not far from shore. Believing that they would be easy to capture
and process for oil, he dreamed of creating a whaling business. He started
the first coastal whaling business in California in Monterey but decided to
move it closer to San Francisco. In the late 1860's, Davenport built a pier
for his venture and the town of Davenport quickly grew as travelers
discovered this scenic coastal stop with its beautiful shoreline and
The original town was approximately a mile north of the
present location in a cove at the mouth of Agua Puerca Creek. Captain
Davenport built a 450 foot wharf and a house that stood on a high bluff on
the right side of the cove. The wharf became known as Davenport Landing and
was considered one of the best landings along the coast. A village sprang up
with hotels, a livery stable, blacksmith shop, cooperage and general store.
Whaling gear and the blubber melting pots were located near the wharf. The
whaling business was not a profitable venture and lasted only a decade. The
Davenport Landing wharf was abandoned in 1880. Captain Davenport moved to
Santa Cruz where he died at the age of 74.
In 1906 the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co., started
operation and the present town was developed by the Coast Dairies and Land
Co. Most of the old landmarks have been destroyed by fire, but the old jail
is still standing, built in 1914, situated off the main highway on Center
Street. The St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church is also considered a
landmark in Davenport; built in 1915, it is situated at the end of Davenport
Avenue. Both buildings were constructed of cement. In 1998, Coast Dairies
and Land's 7000-Acre Ranch was purchased for preservation, leaving Davenport
located in the middle of miles of open coastal space for all to enjoy.
Historical source: Davenport Inn.