New Brighton State Beach is a wide sandy beach at the north end of Monterey Bay. This state park has a large hillside campground in a wooded area surrounded by homes in Capitola and Aptos.
Inside the park there are hiking trails to explore and they are open to dogs if they are on a leash.
Since there are lifeguards in the summer months and protection from the west in Soquel Cove, this beach is safer for small kids and for swimmers most of the time.
North of the beach the cliffs are steep and the shoreline is narrow and rocky, but to the south you can walk for miles to Seacliff State Beach and far beyond.
To reach New Brighton State Beach, take the Park Ave exit off Highway 1 and head toward the water. Signs point you to the state park and then (after paying to enter) they will direct you to either the camping area or the day-use area.
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