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Bonny Doon Nude Beach Davenport Bryce (Custom)

Santa Cruz is has some of the best beaches in all of California and several nude beach options too. It’s a short drive to this area of the coast for millions of people in San Francisco, San Jose, and the greater Bay Area. Even though so many people have access to this region, some of these beaches are still relatively unknown as clothing-optional spots, except to the locals.

Up the coast to the west of Santa Cruz there are several options in Wilder Ranch State Park, such as Four Mile Beach and Three Mile Beach. This park is nearby and has hidden spots that require hiking to.

Then there is the Coast Dairies area near the small town of Davenport. There you’ll find such well-known beaches as Bonny Doon and Panther Beach and Hole in the Wall Beach. The beaches in this area are below steep and colorful sandstone bluffs that provide seclusion in many areas. The setting is beautiful and so California.

Note that Red White and Blue Beach, a former popular clothing-optional beach near Santa Cruz, is not on this list. It has been closed to public entry and the property was sold for $24 million.

See the list below for all of the nude beaches in the Santa Cruz area organized from south to north (closer to the city at the top of the list).

Read all the signs at the beaches and know the rules and restrictions. Many of the beaches in the area, including some that are not on this list, have zones where park rangers typically won’t give out citations, but the state has been given more authority in recent years for stricter enforcement. Social acceptance changes over time too so be discrete and respectful.

For more clothing-optional beaches, see the San Francisco Nude Beach List and the California Nude Beach List.

Beaches on this list

  • Strawberry Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    Strawberry Beach is a remote sandy beach in Wilder Ranch State Park north of Santa Cruz, CA. It’s probably the least visited beach in the park and is a great […]

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  • 3 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    3 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park is a secluded sandy beach west of Santa Cruz. It requires quite a hike along the Ohlone Bluffs Trail from the Four Mile […]

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  • 4 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park

    4 Mile Beach at Wilder Ranch State Park is the most accessible beach open to the public in the park. Luckily this is one of the nicest and largest beaches […]

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  • Laguna Creek Beach

    Laguna Creek Beach, near Santa Cruz, is a remote and wide sandy beach with a creek, wetlands, unique rocks, and wild waves. It is located just north of the infamous […]

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  • Hole-in-the-Wall Beach

    Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is located immediately south of Panther Beach between Santa Cruz and the town of Davenport. The only access to Hole in the Wall Beach is by walking south […]

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  • Panther Beach

    Panther Beach is a popular sandy beach north of Santa Cruz near the hamlet of Davenport. It’s part of the Coast Dairies State Park land acquisition and will eventually be […]

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  • Bonny Doon Beach

    Boony Doon Beach is a stunning beach backed by dunes and otherwise surrounded by high cliff walls. A creek, Liddell Creek, flows through a tunnel in the rock wall at […]

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  • Davenport Cove & Shark Fin Beach

    This is a sandy beach in a small but deep cove south of the town of Davenport. Davenport Cove is locally known by several different names including Shark Fin Cove […]

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