Coast Dairies State Park is a state-owned property with at least nine separate beach accesses that was acquired in 2006 from the Coast Dairies Ranch Company. The land was purchased by the Trust for Public Land, a non-profit organization, and gifted to the California State Parks and Recreation Department to save it from becoming a high-end housing development. This was done to ensure that the public would continue to have access to the shoreline in this area.
It’s still unclear if this will eventually become an official state park, but this state land spans about a six mile segment of Highway 1 north and south of the small town of Davenport in Santa Cruz County. Currently these lands are managed by the state as part of Wilder Range State Park which is closer to the city of Santa Cruz. Included in the Coast Dairies property are some well-known beaches such as Bonny Doon, Laguna Creek, Panther, Shark Fin Cove, Davenport Landing, and Scott Creek Beach. All of these beaches are a short drive west from Santa Cruz and just over an hour from the South San Francisco Bay Area.
More recently the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) purchased an even larger tract of land on the inland side of the highway. Before his final term was up in 2017, President Obama added the BLM portion of Coast Dairies to the California Coastal National Monument. Much of the land east of the highway will continue to be used for farming, but for the most part this entire area is now public land for our enjoyment. BLM is working on a plan to give everyone access to this new area known as Cotoni-Coast Dairies. The land between the highway and the ocean will remain a state property.
Below is a list of the beaches in Coast Dairies State Park (listed from south to north).