About Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, California
Seacliff State Beach is a long sandy beach on the waterfront of Aptos, California. This is a great place for sunbathing and walking the sandy shores of Monterey Bay. It’s also the site of a rare concrete ship, which is one of the strangest things you’ll see at a California Beach.
Seacliff State Beach is a popular swimming beach and has shaded picnic areas, plus an oceanfront campground for RVs. Until recently this beach also had a fishing pier leading out to the concrete ship.
Unfortunately the long wooden fishing pier at Seacliff State Beach was removed in early 2023 due to severe storm damage. Located at where the pier formerly ended is an old rotting concrete ship called the USS Palo Alto . When the World War I era tanker was sunk at this location in 1929 the pier was built for access and the ship was used as an amusement venue with a dance floor, restaurant, and even a swimming pool. After a couple of years the ship was closed and sold to the state which opened the deck for public fishing. By 1950 the ship was considered unsafe so the connection from the pier was closed off and it remained as an interesting tourist attraction that also attracted birds. The pier might be gone but the ship remains.
To get to Seacliff State Beach from Highway 1, just take the State Park Drive exit in Aptos and follow it west a short distance to the park entrance station. The visitor center at Seacliff State Beach has a park store plus exhibits including a tide pool tank and a small aquarium.
- Santa Cruz Ave & State Park Dr
Aptos, CA 95003
- Park Name
- Seacliff State Beach
- Other Names
- Seacliff Beach, Las Olas Beach
- State Park
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Fees for day-use parking and camping
- Swimming, Sunbathing, Camping, Picnicking, Beach Walking, Fishing
- Campground, Former Fishing Pier Site, Historic Ship, Restrooms, Showers, Lifeguards, Picnic Tables, BBQs, Covered Picnic Areas, Driftwood, Cafe, ADA Access
Seacliff is one of our favorite beaches to walk in the evenings. It’s a shame that the pier is gone now. I’ve never understood why they don’t leave the supports for visual interest.