Beaches and Coastal Access

Santa Cruz County beaches are vast and beautiful. From the pristine coast of north county to the long stretches of sand and beaches in south county, the coastline lining the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers breath-taking views and a variety of recreational opportunities.

The Santa Cruz County Parks Department has jurisdiction over a small percentage of beaches and beach access locations within the county which entails mostly maintenance of coastal stairways and trails, restrooms, parking lots and trash removal. Although the Facilities Office does regulate use through surf contest permits and the Adopt-A-Beach program, most recreational use of these areas are drop-in and do not require permits. Wedding ceremonies do not require a permit, however they may be held on a first come, first served, drop-in only basis, for groups of 30 persons or less maximum. The space would be shared with other beach-goers. In general, we do not allow bbq's, music or alcohol. Do keep in mind that parking is limited, and at Moran Lake street parking requires permits during the season.  Please contact the Facilities office with any questions in regard to beaches and coastal access as well as the permit process for surf contests and Adopt-A-Beach program.

For information on Coastal Encroachment Permits click here.

Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831)