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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.

Pacific Ave and Beach St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Other Names
Cowell's Beach
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Surfing, Volleyball, Sunbathing
Pier, Volleyball Courts, Lifeguard, Restrooms
Map of Cowell Beach
Santa Cruz, US
2:02 pm, July 18, 2024
temperature icon 85°F
L: 60° H: 85°
Feels like 86.34 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 1 m/s
UV Index: 9.91
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:02 am
Sunset: 8:25 pm
Humidity 52 %
Pressure1015 mb
Wind 1 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Santa Cruz Main Beach

0.3 miles away

Santa Cruz Main Beach is known as Boardwalk Beach because of the popular boardwalk and amusement park at the...

View beach

Steamer Lane

0.5 miles away

Steamer Lane is really just a surfing spot for experienced surfers near Point Santa Cruz. The shoreline here is...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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