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Santa Cruz is has some of the best beaches in all of California and several nude beach options too. It’s a short drive to this area of the coast for millions of people in San Francisco, San Jose, and the greater Bay Area. Even though so many people have access to this region, some of these beaches are still relatively unknown clothing-optional spots, except to the locals.

Right in Santa Cruz there is Private’s Beach, but it’s a locals beach that requires a key to access. If you live in the area, it would be worth the effort to get a key.

Bonny Doon Nude Beach Davenport Bryce (Custom)

Up the coast there are several options in Wilder Ranch State Park, such as Four Mile Beach and Three Mile Beach. Then there is the Coast Dairies area near Davenport. Here you’ll find such well-known beaches as Bonny Doon and Panther Beach. See the map above and the list below for all of the nude beaches in the Santa Cruz area.

Read all the signs at the beaches and know the rules and restrictions. Many of the beaches in the area, including some that are not on this list, have zones where park rangers typically won’t give out citations, but the state has been given more authority in recent years for stricter enforcement.

For more clothing-optional beaches, see the San Francisco Nude Beach List and the California Nude Beach List.

Beaches on this map

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    Davenport Cove Beach

    Davenport Cove is locally known by several different names including Shark Fin Cove and Shark’s Tooth Beach because of the huge rock in the mouth of the cove that looks like […]

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    Bonny Doon Beach

    Boony Doon Beach is a stunning beach backed by dunes and otherwise surrounded by high cliff walls. It is located at the intersection of the Highway 1 and Bonny Doon […]

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    Panther Beach

    Panther Beach is a popular sandy beach north of Santa Cruz near the hamlet of Davenport, CA. It’s part of the Coast Dairies State Park land acquisition and will eventually […]

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    Hole-in-the-Wall Beach

    Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is located immediately south of Panther Beach between Santa Cruz and the town of Davenport, CA. The only access to Hole in the Wall Beach is by walking […]

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    Laguna Creek Beach

    Laguna Creek Beach, near Santa Cruz, is a remote and wide sandy beach with a creek, wetlands, unique rocks, and wild waves. It is located just north of the infamous […]

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    4 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    4 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park is the most accessible beach open to the public in the park. Luckily this is one of the nicest and largest beaches […]

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    3 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    3 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park is a secluded sandy beach west of Santa Cruz. It requires quite a hike along the Ohlone Bluffs Trail from the Four Mile […]

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    Strawberry Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    Strawberry Beach is a remote sandy beach in Wilder Ranch State Park north of Santa Cruz, CA. It’s probably the least visited beach in the park and is a great […]

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    Privates Beach

    Privates Beach is a private beach in the Opal Cliffs area of Santa Cruz, CA. It’s known as a locals surfers beach. This great surfing spot requires a key to […]

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