South of Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Wharf, just beyond
the San Lorenzo River and hilltop in a protected expanse of beautiful
tan sand lies Seabright Beach. It sits below residential neighborhoods north
of a beautiful lighthouse called Santa Cruz Breakwater (Walton) Lighthouse
and the Santa Cruz Harbor in the Twin Lakes Beach area. Owned and operated
by California State Parks, the beach offers an incredible contrast to the
big beach just around the bend.
The view of the Main Beach is blocked by a huge jut of
land stretching in a thin extension toward the ocean and mounted with a
fence to keep tourists inside the walkway. While people in Santa Cruz seem
irreverent of fencing, climbing under just about any fence there is, the
best that can be said about this walkway rail is that it gives you something
to hang onto when one of the strong winds nearly knocks you down. At the
base of this hilltop piece of land is a picnic table with views of the ocean
and Boardwalk to the north. Surfers find this vista an ideal place to peak
at the water and judge the wave action below.
In the protected cove of Seabright Beach, the sand is
extremely fine and the views of the Pacific Ocean are striking. The location
is ideal for a picnic, a romantic hug or a walk with your dog (on leash.)
Seabright or Castles Beach (at the
foot of Seabright Avenue) is part of Twin Lakes State Beach. (831) 429-2850
Fire rings available. Dogs permitted on leashes. No alcohol. Open daily from
6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The
beach has a mile of sandy shoreline, popular for swimming and picnicking.
The park’s adjacent Schwan's lake is a good location for bird watching.
Location - Directions
The small craft harbor in downtown
is approximately in the middle of Twin Lakes State Beach, which extends for
a distance parallel to East Cliff Drive and Portola Drive.
It is a small portion of the Parks and Parkland amounting to 42,334 acres
owned and maintained by the State of California in coastal and mountain
areas. The County provides an additional 850 acres of parkland,
numerous city parks and miles of challenging trails for equestrian and
mountain biking uses.
Beaches - 29 miles of
coastline, free access to all public beaches. Santa Cruz beaches have a policy and one was chosen as a top clothing-optional beach in the United
States by Natur-ist Society Judi Ditzler, publisher of "The World Guide
to clothing-optional Beaches and Resorts." "Bonny Doon Beach in Santa Cruz is
really nice and quiet," she said. "It's got great views of the ocean,
but a bit cold for swimming."