parks - state parks

 

 

California State Beaches are operated as State of California lands for public enjoyment. The state acts as steward to watch over these natural assets through the California State Parks system..  As such, the prices for parking differ from the price structure of surrounding beach lands operated by cities, counties and private ownership.  Shown in photos above are: Train ride through Henry Cowell Redwoods SP, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial SP, Natural Bridges SP and Oceano Dunes SVRA

 

Facts: Over 6.7 million feet of waterfront includes 3.4 million feet of lakefront; 1.6 million feet (295 miles) of ocean front; 1.7 million feet of river front; 13,800+ camp sites; 662 overnight facilities; 7,000 picnic sites; 3,800 miles of non-motorized trails; over 77 million visitors annually.  Top Ten State Parks Attendance: 1. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park 2. Huntington State Beach 3. Sonoma Coast State Beach 4. Seacliff State Beach 5. Bolsa Chica State Beach 6. San Onofre State Beach 7. Doheny State Beach 8. Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area 9. New Brighton State Beach 10. Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Note: Abbreviated descriptions below include State Park = SP; State Beach = SB; State Recreation Area = SRA; State Historic Park = SHP.  parks.ca.gov

 

 

       
Auburn SRA  Big Basin
Redwoods SP 

 
California State
Capitol Museum
California State
Railroad Museum 

 

       
Bolsa Chica SB Carpinteria SB  Crystal Cove SP Santa Monica Mountains
National Recreation Area

 

       
Henry Cowell Redwoods

State Park

Yosemite National Park Burney Falls Bidwell Mansion
State Historic Park
       
Silver Strand

State Beach

Royal Palms State Beach Point Reyes

National Seashore

Point Mugu

State Park

       
   
Moonlight State Beach Marina State Beach

 

   

 

Asilomar (State Beach) County: Monterey
Conference Grounds, rolling dunes, rugged and sandy coastlines, and historical buildings on the Monterey Peninsula. Conference facilities and individual lodging: (831) 372-8016. Ranger’s office: 372-4076. *

San Francisco Bay Area Bean Hollow (State Beach) County: San Mateo
The beach features fishing, picnicking and beachcombing. Visitors can explore tide pools with anemones, crab, sea urchins and other marine inhabitants. The beach also has a self-guided nature trail. Swimming is dangerous because of cold water, ...

Bolsa Chica (State Beach) County: Orange
This wheelchair-accessible beach (call ahead to use the beach wheelchairs) is connected by a bike trail. Together with Huntington State Beach, form 5 miles of sandy beach. Wildlife viewing, surfing, and skating are among the activities of choice. Bolsa Chica , off Pacific Coast Hwy., about one mile south of Warner Ave., has camping for self-contained vehicles only; picnicking, restrooms, and food service is accessible (714) 846-3460. * Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 40'  Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 40'

San Diego County Cardiff (State Beach) County: San Diego
This level stretch of beach has some of the most popular surfing locations in the state, if not the entire western United States. Accessible restrooms are available, and beachgoers will appreciate the convenient, accessible parking. The park is 1 mile south of Cardiff on Old Hwy. 101. (760) 753-5091. *

San Diego County Carlsbad (State Beach) County: San Diego
This 14-acre beach is located at the foot of coastal bluffs just south of the town of Carlsbad. A gradually sloping shore and gentle surf make it popular with swimmers, surfers, picnickers and anglers. Accessible picnicking and parking. From I-5, take the Tamarack Ave. exit, and go southwest to Carlsbad Blvd/Hwy. S21. (760) 438-3143. *

Central Coast Carmel River (State Beach) County: Monterey
This coastal strand, near its charming namesake town, offers a lagoon, fishing, and birdwatching. Extremely dangerous surf. (831) 624-4909. *

Central Coast Carpinteria (State Beach) County: Santa Barbara
So named by the Spanish in honor of the Chumash Indian handimen who used the area’s oils to seal plank boats. This park offers a mile of swimming beach and tide pools. Call ahead for beach wheelchair. (805)968-1033. * Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 35'
Trailers /Pop-Ups max. length: 35'

North Coast Caspar Headlands (State Beach) County: Mendocino
These 2 park units protect about half a mile of sculpted rocks, crashing waves, and splashy displays of seasonal wildflowers. Surrounded by a housing development, the reserve’s entry permit can be obtained free of charge at the California State Parks district office 2 miles north of Russian Gulch on Pt. Cabrillo Dr., off Hwy. 1. (707) 937-5804. *

Central Coast Cayucos (State Beach) County: San Luis Obispo
Cayucos is a charming little beach town rich in history and popular for its great beaches. It is known for its fishing pier, beautiful beach and historical buildings. Many of the buildings left over

Orange County Corona del Mar (State Beach)
Corona del Mar State Beach is a popular place for swimmers. The half-mile long sandy beach framed by cliffs and a rock jetty that forms the east entrance to Newport Harbor. The beach is also popular with surfers and divers.
County: Orange

Los Angeles County Dockweiler (State Beach)
Dockweiler State Beach features a three mile long shoreline with a picnic area and concession stand. The wide beach is beneath the takeoff path from Los Angeles International Airport.

Orange County Doheny (State Beach)
This 62-acre park has 120 developed campsites, some only steps from the beach. Many campsites (some accessible) are within walking distance of picturesque Dana Point Harbor and only 4 miles from San Juan Capistrano Mission. The south day use area is popular for beach parties and evening campfires, and large groups can enjoy the shaded beach areas of the north day use area. Accessible picnicking, visitor center, indoor tide pool, aquariums, food service, and beach wheelchair. The entrance is on Dana Point Harbor Dr., off Pacific Coast Hwy. in Dana Point. (949) 496-6171 or 492-0802. *
Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 35'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 35'
County: Orange

Central Coast El Capitán (State Beach)
Rocky tide pools, a sandy beach, and stands of sycamore and oak make for great swimming, fishing, surfing, or beach-going afternoons. Call ahead for beach wheelchair. (805) 968-1033. *
Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 42'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 42' County: Santa Barbara

Central Coast Emma Wood (State Beach)
The ruins of a World War II artillery site occupy this popular beach just outside the quiet surf town of Ventura. (805) 968-1033. *

Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 35'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 35'
County: Ventura

San Francisco Bay Area Gray Whale Cove (State Beach)
The beach (a.k.a. Devil's Slide) features a sheltered cove surrounded by cliffs that drop abruptly into the Pacific. A steep trail leads down to the beach. There is a small picnic area on the bluff above Gray whales can often be seen close to the sho
County: San Mateo

North Coast Greenwood (State Beach)
Sea stacks and coastal bluffs make this a classic North Coast park. Once the site of a redwood lumber mill, now it is favored by picnickers and anglers. (707) 937-5804. *County: Mendocino

San Francisco Bay Area Half Moon Bay (State Beach)
Wi-Fi Service Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 36'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 36' County: San Mateo

Orange County Huntington (State Beach)
This wheelchair-accessible beach (call ahead to use the beach wheelchairs) is connected by a bike trail. Together, with Bolsa Chica State Beach, they form 5 miles of sandy beach. Wildlife viewing, surfing, and skating are among the activities of choice. The beach is opposite Magnolia Ave., on Pacific Coast Hwy and has a 7.5-acre preserve for the least tern and snowy plover. (714) 536-1454. *County: Orange

San Diego County Leucadia (State Beach)
Swimming, surfing, fishing and picnicking are popular at this small, rocky beach. The beach access is via an improved trail at the foot of Leucadia Boulevard. On the maps, it's “Leucadia State Beach,” but ask the locals, and they will just sa...County: San Diego

County: Santa Cruz  San Francisco Bay Area Lighthouse Field (State Beach)
Also known as Point Santa Cruz, this area forms the northern boundary of Monterey Bay. It is one of the last open headlands in any California urban area. Surfers, tourists, birds - including the rare Black Swift and wintering Monarch butterflies.

North Coast Little River (State Beach)
The park’s 112 acres of undeveloped expanses of flat sand and low dunes are located on the south side of Little River. (707) 488-2041. County: Humboldt

Los Angeles County Malibu Lagoon (State Beach)
Museum exhibits cover the Native American period through the mid-20th century when Rancho Malibu was a 22-mile-long, private coastal domain of 17,000 acres. The Adamson House is known for its decorative ceramic tiles and custom-built features. House tours are available Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (310) 456-8432. On the west side of Malibu Creek Bridge, enjoy nature trails, birdwatching, tide pools, surfing, and picnicking. Accessible: parking, a quarter-mile trail, and the first floor of the house. From Santa Monica, follow the Coastal Hwy. west 12 miles to 23200 Pacific Coast Hwy. (818) 880-0350. County: Los Angeles

Central Coast Mandalay (State Beach)
The purpose of Mandalay State Beach is to make available the sandy ocean beach and adjacent coastal dunes for public recreational day use and enjoyment. In general, all public beach-related recreational activities may be provided that can be accommodated. County: Ventura

San Francisco Bay Area Manresa (State Beach)
Manresa State Beach features a beautiful expanse of sea and sand, with surf fishing, surfing, and recreation. Location - Directions From Highway 1, south of Aptos, San Andreas Road heads southwest and continues for several miles to ...
County: Santa Cruz

County: Monterey  Central Coast Marina (State Beach)
This beach offers a ranger station, concession building, and accessible hang-gliding service. Hazardous rip currents. (831) 384-7695. *

Ventura County  Central Coast McGrath (State Beach)
This is one of the state’s best bird-watching areas, with over 200 species. Call ahead for beach wheelchair. (805) 968-1033. *
Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 34'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 30'

San Mateo County  San Francisco Bay Area Montara (State Beach)
This beach is a popular location for visitors who can explore the beach tide pools or go surf fishing. The beach is bounded by low hills both to the north and south. Restaurants and grocery stores are nearby.


Monterey County   Central Coast Monterey (State Beach)
Enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, surf-fishing, kite flying, an accessible boardwalk, and volleyball at this park’s 3 beaches. Please note: While impressive, the dark, churling water is known for its hazardous rip currents. (831) 384-7695. *

San Diego County Moonlight (State Beach)
This wide, sandy beach offers swimming, surfing and fishing. Facilities include volleyball and tennis courts, recreational equipment rentals and a snack bar. The "moonlight" in the name of this beach comes from the fact that local residents u...

County: San Luis Obispo  Central Coast Morro Strand (State Beach)
Kite flyers and windsurfers come for the reliable gusts; fishing enthusiasts come for the catch; anyone else may come for the beach and the view. (805) 772-7434. *

Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 24'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 24'

County: Monterey  Central Coast Moss Landing (State Beach)
East of the park, a reserve offers great opportunities for bird watching. Surfing and surf-fishing are popular here, but water recreation is hazardous. (831) 384-7695.


County: Santa Cruz    San Francisco Bay Area Natural Bridges (State Beach)
Named for picturesque rock formations off its coastal bluffs, the park is world-famous for its annual monarch butterfly migration (October to February). Picnicking, nature trail, visitor center, and exhibits are accessible. Call for beach wheelchair and tide pool tours. (831) 423-4609. *

County: Santa Cruz   San Francisco Bay Area New Brighton (State Beach)
The beach features picnic areas, swimming, fishing and a nearby forest of Monterey pine and Coastal Live Oak. The camping area is on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay.
Location -  The beach is in the town of Capitola,...Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 36'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 36'

County: San Mateo   San Francisco Bay Area Pacifica (State Beach)
This is a wide crescent-shaped beach that marks the northern gateway to the coastline stretching south of San Francisco. Location - Directions The beach is located off Highway 1 in downtown Pacifica.


Del Norte County -  North Coast Pelican (State Beach)
Travel north of Crescent City along California’s coastline to find this small, secluded beach, a quiet retreat for beachcombers. Pay close attention, as the road to the beach is easy to miss; take the last road before the agricultural inspection station, 21 miles north of Crescent City on Hwy. 101. (707) 464-6101, ext. 5151.

San Mateo County  - San Francisco Bay Area Pescadero (State Beach)
The beach has a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities.
Across the highway is Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. 

San Luis Obispo Countyy   Central Coast Pismo (State Beach)
With 6 miles of sandy beach noted for such activities as surf-fishing, hiking, and surfing, the park also offers an accessible nature center and one of the largest monarch butterfly over-wintering sights on the West Coast. (805) 489-2684. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 36'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 31'

Los Angeles County Point Dume (State Beach)
This undeveloped 32-acre beach and natural preserve is a small park with significant resources. It is the southern limit for a rare flowering plant, the giant coreopsis, and has an excellent view of the annual gray whale migration. Two miles of scenic trails traverse grasslands, southern coastal bluff scrub, and sand dune/coastal strand communities. Limited onsite parking on Cliffside Drive. Shuttle service available from Westward Beach Road. An accessible pay parking lot at Westward Beach just off Hwy. 1 gives access to a trail to the top of the bluff. (818) 880-0350.

County: Santa Barbara  Central Coast Point Sal (State Beach)
Point Sal State Beach is established to make possible the public outdoor recreational enjoyment of the sandy beach extending downcoast from the feature on the California ocean coastline known as Point Sal. Appropriate public outdoor 

County: San Mateo  San Francisco Bay Area Pomponio (State Beach)
This area provides access to miles of gently sloping, sandy beaches at the base of high sandstone bluffs. This day-use facility features a small lagoon, roaring surf - and a wide parking area, picnic tables, and barbecues.

County: Santa Barbara   Central Coast Refugio (State Beach)
Palm trees lend a tropical look to the beach’s campsites and picnic areas. Call ahead for beach wheelchair. (805) 968-1033. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 30'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 27'
 
Los Angeles County Robert H. Meyer Memorial (State Beach)
The incredibly scenic “pocket” beaches of El Matador, La Piedra, and El Pescador are great for sunbathing, photography, surfing, swimming, and diving. Parking is on the bluff, and the beaches are accessed by long descending staircases and trails. About 22 miles west of Santa Monica on Hwy.1, these beaches are within one mile of each other; but they make you feel a world away from everything. (818) 880-0350. *
 
County: Alameda   San Francisco Bay Area Robert W. Crown Memorial (State Beach)
This state beach was named in memory of State Assemblyman Robert W. Crown, who campaigned for the site's preservation as public parkland.
Known as Alameda Beach from the 1880s until the outbreak of World War II, it was an amusement center and ...

County: Monterey  Central Coast Salinas River (State Beach)
The park includes protected habitats of snowy plover and other native dune animals and plants. Swimming and water sports are hazardous. (831) 384-7695.

Ventura County Central Coast San Buenaventura (State Beach)
Picnic or surf on 2 miles of beach and dunes here. Call for beach wheelchair. (805)968-1033. *

Orange County San Clemente (State Beach)
San Clemente is a camping park along a scenic stretch of California coast that evokes the Golden Era of the 1920s. There are 157 campsites, of which 72 offer RV hookups. Trails lead to a mile of beach that is popular with surfers, body surfers, swimmers. Accessible camping, restrooms, picnicking, trail, and exhibits. Call ahead to use the beach wheelchair. Entrance via the Avenida Calafia exit off I-5 near the south end of San Clemente. (949) 492-3156. *

Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 30'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 30'

San Diego County San Elijo (State Beach)
San Elijo, located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, offers a prime camping location, with a beautiful view of sunsets, popular surfing breaks, and beaches for tidepool explorations. Accessible camping and restrooms. The park is on Old Hwy. 101 in Cardiff. (760) 753-5091. *

Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 35'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 35'

San Francisco Bay Area San Gregorio (State Beach)
The area includes a protected, driftwood-strewn estuary at the back of a wide, sandy beach - with grassy bluffs along the coast. The estuary is home to many birds and small animals. California Historical Landmark 26 commerates the passage of Spanish ...

San Diego County San Onofre (State Beach)
San Onofre is a 3,000-acre park with two campgrounds, The Bluffs and San Mateo. The Bluffs campground is located on Basilone Road and has 173 developed, non-hookup campsites. It is located on a sandstone bluff with beach access to 3 miles of unspoiled coastline and is popular with those who wish to surf and sunbathe. Dogs allowed in certain areas, no hot showers. The San Mateo Campground is located 1 mile east of I-5 on Cristianitos Road and has 65 campsites that offer water and electric hook-ups, and 90 tent campsites. There is a 1.5- mile trail that leads to Trestles Beach, one of the most well-known surf breaks in Southern California. Hot showers and campfire programs. Accessible camping, parking, and restrooms. (949) 492-4872. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 36'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 36'

Los Angeles County Santa Monica (State Beach)
This beach is two miles long, has a picnic area, shops and pier. Visitor activities include volleyball, basketball and a running strip along the beach. Location/Directions. The beach is located along Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Mo.

County: Mendocino Schooner Gulch (State Beach)
The beach and headlands preserve a scenic spot along the Mendocino Coast and offers a stunning perch for watching sunsets, or merely sitting in the grass as the afternoon sun glistens on the waters below. This small beach and headland is for picnicking, beachcombing, and surfing. (707) 937-5804.

County: Santa Cruz San Francisco Bay Area Seacliff (State Beach)
This long stretch of sand and bluffs has great accessible facilities including picnicking, an interpretive center, fishing pier, a stranded cement ship, and RV-only camping (reservations recommended year-round). Call for beach wheelchair. (831) 685-6500. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 40' Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 36'

San Diego County Silver Strand (State Beach)
This stretch of sandy beach serves as the peninsula separating the San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Nestled between natural dunes and endangered plants and species are recreational opportunities such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing, fishing, hiking, picnicking or just building a simple sandcastle. There are stretches of open beach to comb, nature trails, an overnight campground for recreational vehicles (motorhome & trailer only), and a new Aquatics Center specializing in instructional classes for select water sports. (619) 435-5184.

County: Sonoma North Coast Sonoma Coast (State Beach)
Spectacular views, sandy strands, and quiet coves invite exploration of 19 miles of coastline. Enjoy picnics, exhibits, and trails (accessible); spring wildflowers, colorful sunsets, and whale watching. Reservations (800-444-7275) recommended at the 2 popular coastal campgrounds: Bodega Dunes (wheelchair accessible) and Wright’s Beach. (707) 875-3483. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 31'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 31'

San Diego County South Carlsbad (State Beach)
A staircase leads down to the beach at this 110- acre park located 3 miles south of Carlsbad. Visitors can swim, fish, picnic, skin dive, and surf. Its 226 developed, blufftop campsites (some accessible) are a favorite. Accessible 200-foot paved path to the cobbled beach and restrooms. From I-5, take the Palomar Airport Rd. exit west to Carlsbad Blvd. (Hwy. 521), then go south to the park. (760) 438-3143. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 35'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 35'

County: Santa Cruz San Francisco Bay Area Sunset (State Beach)
Pines and dunes protect this beach’s accessible campground from stiff breezes. An accessible picnic area is close to surf fishing and beach combing. Strong currents make swimming hazardous. Call for beach wheelchair. (831) 763-7062. Campers/Motor Homes max. length: 31'
Trailers/Pop-Ups max. length: 31'

County: San Mateo San Francisco Bay Area Thornton (State Beach)
This beach is not available to the general public at this time.

San Diego County Torrey Pines (State Beach)
This park, together with Torrey Pines State Beach, covers over 1,700 acres of beach, marsh, and coastal bluffs. Hiking trails take in the picturesque pine trees, eroded bluffs, and a gloriously undeveloped set of sandy beaches. Accessible parking, restrooms, and visitor center (at reserve). Reserve entrance on North Torrey Pines Rd. (Hwy. S21) as it parallels I-5, south of Del Mar. (858) 755-2063.

County: Humboldt North Coast Trinidad (State Beach)
Tucked in a secluded cove in the small town of Trinidad, the small, sandy beach is a pleasant retreat from the traffic of nearby US 101. It’s a short hike through woods, across open bluffs, and past seasonal wildflowers down to the beach. There is a natural arch near the north end of the beach. Low tide is the best time to visit. (707) 488-2041.

County: Santa Cruz San Francisco Bay Area Twin Lakes (State Beach)
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 Santa Cruz is .

County: Mendocino North Coast Westport-Union Landing (State Beach)
This park has beautiful beaches and blufftop camping. The 41-acre park is a narrow, 2-milelong strip with camping. It is a haven for tidepool explorers, surf anglers, abalone divers, and spearfishing enthusiasts. (707) 937-5804.


Los Angeles County Will Rogers (State Beach)
Will Rogers State Beach extends one and three-quarters mile along the shore. The beach features swimming and skin diving. Facilities include volleyball courts, playground and gymnastic equipment, as well as a bike path and walkway.

County: San Luis Obispo Central Coast William Randolph Hearst Memorial (State Beach)
WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST MEMORIAL SB Attractions here include ocean kayaking, pier fishing, and a sportfishing concession. (805) 927-2020 or 772-1222.

Central Coast Zmudowski (State Beach)
Located south of Monterey, this park is popular with surf-casters, bird watchers, and equestrians. Fishing, hiking, nature gazing, and surfing are also available. (831) 384-7695.

 

 

 

 
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