City of Santa Cruz Beaches remain closed from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm during Memorial Day weekend
Allowed during beach closure from 11:00am-5:00pm:
- Crossing the beach to access and leave the ocean for water sports:
Allowed activities during beach open times:
- Active physical activity such as:
- Water sports
Prohibited on beaches ANYTIME by the Shelter in Place Order:
- Sedentary activities such as:
- shade structures/tents
- barbecues and grills
- any item for sitting or lying, ie beach chairs, blankets, towels
Parks, open spaces remain open: Outdoor exercise continues to be allowed in parks and open spaces while following safe distancing guidelines. However, large gatherings are a violation of shelter-in-place orders meant to protect public health. In consideration of everyone, if the area you want to visit is crowded, consider altering your schedule to do so when there are fewer people. Be advised that due to reduced staffing levels, shared park amenities are not being regularly cleaned or sanitized.
Skate Parks: City of Santa Cruz skate parks are open for active recreation. Visit for updated information.
Disc Golf Course: DeLaveaga Disc Golf course is open with restrictions. Visit for updated information.
The following amenities have been closed until further notice at all City parks:
- Playground Areas and Equipment
- Basketball Courts
- Exercise Equipment
- Lawn Bowling
- Parking lots along West Cliff, East Cliff Drives and parking along Swanton Drive near Natural Bridges State Beach
- The Depot and Sanctuary Exploration Center parking lot
108 Beach St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
21 Municipal Wharf
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Cowell Beach closed midnight to one hour before sunrise.
Beach visitors are allowed to cross the beach to access the water.
#1 Municipal Wharf
Lifeguard service is provided daily in summer months (Memorial Day-Labor Day) and on the weekends in spring (Easter-Memorial Day) and fall (Labor Day-October). Service hours are 10:00 am - 7:00 pm but may vary depending on the weather conditions. Service area is from Cowell Beach to the San Lorenzo River.
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
Surf School Santa Cruz - Gray
To report violations or for questions about concerns on the ordinance, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (831) 420-5270.
Public transit nearby
16 Volleyball Courts
When visiting our City beaches, please follow the rules below. Rules have been established to enhance your beach experience, preserve the environment and provide for your safety and the safety of others around you. Thank You!
- Propane and Butane barbecues are allowed if they have stable legs that can be raised six inches off the ground and the gas cylinder is not exceeding 20 pounds. As of 2016, coal-burning barbecues are not permitted.
- Glass is not allowed.
- Alcohol and Smoking are not allowed.
- Dogs and other Pets are prohibited.
- Please clean up after yourself so that others may enjoy the beauty of these beaches.
- Fireworks are not allowed.
- Open flames, including candles, tiki torches and Sky lanterns are not allowed.
- Camping is not permitted.
- Campfires are not allowed on Main or Cowell beaches.
They are allowed in fire rings at the following State Beaches:
New Brighton State Beach Twin Lakes State Beach
Seabright State Beach
- Wildlife is best left alone and unfed. If an animal is in distress or needs aid you can contact one of the following:
Marine Mammal Center Native Animal Rescue
Reserve the Beach
Reserve the beach for everything from sporting events to weddings or corporate events. Call 831-420-5270 or email us. Visit the Fire Department website for Beach Wheelchair information. Main Beach is open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Cowell Beach has a 12:00 am to one hour before sunrise curfew. If you are driving to these beaches, to the Boardwalk or Wharf you might want a closer look at the roundabout at Ocean Street and Front Street.
Junior & Little Guards
Main Beach Volleyball 2020 Tournament Guide
Main Beach Volleyball Tournament Application Packet
The Surfing Way: Surf Etiquette Brochure
National Weather Service Marine Forecast
Best Beach Towns