Beaches & Programs

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Main Beach and Cowell Beach

The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf

MARINE SAFETY SERVICES
Lifeguard service is provided Spring Break, Spring weekends,
daily in Summer months and Fall weekends.
Service area is from Cowell Beach to the San Lorenzo River.
Service hours may vary depending on the weather conditions. 
Headquarters: #1 Municipal Wharf
Phone: 831-420-6015
Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

 Surf Schools
A permit is required to conduct commercial surfing lessons in the City of Santa Cruz. For surf school regulations see ordinance (13.14). Note that all surf schools are required to have their students and instructors wear colored vests while conducting lessons. Permitted surf schools with their vest colors are as follows:
Adventure Out - Red
Club Ed - Blue
Richard Schmidt Surf School - Purple
To report violations or for questions about concerns on the ordinance, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (831) 420-5270.

Reserve the Beach
Reserve the beach for everything from sporting events to weddings or corporate events. Check the Conditions of Use and call 831-420-5270 or email us. Click here to visit the Fire Department website for Beach Wheelchair information.

No Alcohol allowed on Santa Cruz City Beaches. No bonfire pits available on Main or Cowell Beach.

Links
The Surfing Way: Surf Etiquette Brochure
Beach Safety
Water Quality
National Weather Service Marine Forecast
Best Beach Towns

BBQ Regulations

  • Gas and charcoal grills are allowed on the beach but if the lifeguard or City staff deems the grill unsafe or too large, you will be told to leave.
  • Beachgoers will be cited if caught burying coals in the sand.
  • Used coals (after extinguished) MUST be transported off the beach.
  • Used coals can be taken to a dumping station located at Third Street and the Beach Boardwalk.  

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