Its Beach in Santa Cruz is a gorgeous enclave beach that is alive with local culture. It is a wide beach in the summer and fall but a very narrow beach in the winter, during El Niño conditions, it is completely submerged. To get to the beach you descend a long stairway along the side of a cliff. The vibe is very cozy and relaxed, the high cliffs that encircle this crescent-shaped beach tune out the rest of the world.
Its Beach is the perfect place to bring your dog. Although there are signs posted that prohibit dogs being on the beach between the hours of 10am-4pm, and signs that prohibit off-leash dogs, Santa Cruz locals treat this beach like a dog park. At any given time you will see find dogs of all breeds frolicking freely on the beach. If you don't like dogs this is surely not the beach for you, but if you have a friendly pooch this is the perfect beach for a game of fetch.
Another unique feature of Its Beach are the nudist hippies who prefer to enjoy the sun in their birthday suits. The west section of the beach is the unofficial "clothing optional section", if you'd like to shed your swim suit you will not be alone. The local hippies also host drum circles which can last for days once they get started good. To catch the drum circle and meet some really interesting people, try coming on the weekends during the summer.
In addition to really laid back people and wild running dogs, Its Beach has killer waves for body boarders. Its located just around the corner from Steamer Lane, a legendary surf spot in Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is located in the lighthouse there. Its Beach is a great place to learn how to surf or for beginners to hone their skills.
Its Beach could not have a better location, it is close to downtown Santa Cruz, which is the heart of this surf city. Downtown is less than a block from the boardwalk and pier which is packed with games, rides, eateries and shopping. The BeachCalifornia Santa Cruz Hotels page has a range of lodging accommodations as well, Babbling Brook Inn is a luxury B&B with a very romantic atmosphere. While Pacific Inn Motel is a casual get away that is walking distance to the beach. No matter where you decide to stay, make sure you enjoy some of the cuisine Santa Cruz has to offer. This is a great area for California cuisine and local wine. Aquarius and Cellar Door are two of the leading restaurants in this genre.
Its Beach is located on West Cliff Drive west of Lighthouse Point. In order to get into Santa Cruz from most directions you have to take the 17 which is the Santa Cruz Highway. Take the 17 Highway south, merge onto the CA-1 North via the ramp for CA-9 / Half Moon Bay / Boulder Creek / Ocean Street / Beaches, make a slight right at Mission, turn left at Swift Street, and make a left at West Cliff Drive.