Santa Cruz County boasts a plethora of gorgeous beaches just waiting to be explored, and several of them allow you to hit the sand with your furry friend in tow. New Brighton State Beach, located on the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary in the city of Capitola, is one of the best.
This beautiful beach stretches for miles and backs onto a 93-acre campground. As long as you keep your dog on a six-foot leash and under your control at all times, you and your pooch can explore this spectacular destination all year round.
The best way to explore New Brighton State Beach is to take a hike. If you like long, meandering walks with your dog by your side, this is the spot for you. You can do a little beachcombing, splash around in the shallows, or just stretch out and relax on the sand with your dog by your side. You can even walk all the way around to Seacliff State Beach, where leashed dogs are once again welcome.
Swimmers, kayakers, sunbathers, fishermen (and women) and walkers all frequent this popular beach, so there's usually plenty of activity going on for you and your dog to check out. Of course, you'll need to make sure your dog is well socialized and on their best behavior around other beachgoers, and remember to always clean up after your furry friend.
Away from the sand, the 93-acre bluff-top campground is also a popular spot with holiday-makers. There are over 100 developed campsites available as well as hook-up sites for RVs, while the Pacific Migrations Visitor Center is located nearby.
There's plenty of parking available, though spots can be a little hard to come by on weekends. A $10 vehicle day use fee applies, but for the chance to take in some beautiful coastal scenery with your dog, it's well worth it.