About Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz, California
Cowell Beach, aka Cowell’s, is the name of the beach west of the Municipal Wharf pier in downtown Santa Cruz, CA. On the other side of the pier is the larger more popular Santa Cruz Main Beach. Cowell’s has a grand hotel, the Dream Inn, as a backdrop and has a great view of the pier jutting out into the Santa Cruz Harbor. Volleyball is popular here and there are many sand courts available on both sides of the pier. Surfing is also popular when conditions are right – it’s known as a beginner’s wave. The famous expert surf spot between Point Santa Cruz and Cowell Beach is called Steamer Lane. Cowell Beach is frequently one of the most polluted beaches along the California Coast so take that into consideration before swimming on this side of the pier. Talk to the lifeguards and check water quality before heading in.
Parking is available on the streets nearby and on the pier. Careful of permit-only parking areas between May 15 and Sept 30th when citations are issued.
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