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Review Highlights
One of the finest beaches I have ever visited

This beach is near my family's California home and I go there to ru the dog whenever I visit. Saw a... read more

Reviewed 7 September 2018
Larchmont, New York
This Beach Deserves its "certificate of excellence"

Rio Del Mar State Beach on Beach Dr, Aptos, CA 95003 Deserves its "certificate of excellence" Sand... read more

Reviewed 30 August 2018
Read all 64 reviews
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Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good29%
  • Average7%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“free parking”(6 reviews)
“rio del mar”(11 reviews)
“state beach”(8 reviews)
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
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Beach Dr, Aptos, CA 95003
Reviews (64)
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All reviews free parking rio del mar state beach santa cruz county bon fires picnic tables low tide across the street either direction paved path sunken ship parking lot long walk sea lions monterey bay sidewalk driftwood
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1 - 10 of 64 reviews
Reviewed 7 September 2018

This beach is near my family's California home and I go there to ru the dog whenever I visit. Saw a whale yesterday!

Thank mfranz02807
Reviewed 30 August 2018

Rio Del Mar State Beach on Beach Dr, Aptos, CA 95003 Deserves its "certificate of excellence" Sand, walking path, a cafe or three in the Beach Flats area... great sunsets and dolphin viewing. Parking can be a problem.

Thank AptosAmy
Reviewed 26 August 2018 via mobile

We stayed in a marvelous condo w/floor to ceiling glass doors and an amazing view of the beach. If you are a family looking for a cheaper alternative to Santa Cruz or Monterey and use this area as a basecamp, this is a great place...More

Thank ITeralyn
Reviewed 15 August 2018 via mobile

Get there early for the free parking. Bathrooms on location. The city run off creek is yuck but other than that great beach.

Thank nativar2018
Reviewed 14 August 2018

As other reviewers have said, the lagoon/creek make it a little smelly, and it is pretty bone-chilling when the sun isn't out. Despite that, my kids LOVE playing in the sand, we were there a couple of hours, and appreciated the rinse-off shower.

Thank lorentz18
Reviewed 8 August 2018

It'll take you over 10 minutes to walk from the edge of the sand to the water -- huge amount of sand! The river (a trickle in Aug) bisects the beach, which is really neat, although, I'm not sure how clean the water is when...More

Thank DolphinMermaid
Reviewed 24 July 2018

This is a great beach! We make a trip here every year. Not so crowded and nearby store and restaurants. Our favorite thing to do is stop By Deluxe Market, just after the Rio Del Mar exit off of Hwy 1, and buy snacks and...More

1  Thank MIKE D
Reviewed 14 July 2018

It might seem funny to title my review about the great view from this beach! You might ask don't all beaches have great views?? The answer is "Yes, they do!" So it is true you'll enjoy a great beach view at any Santa Cruz County...More

1  Thank Rachell S
Reviewed 9 July 2018

You can park adjacent to the beach, pay no fee, and wander for miles either North or South. At low tide, the beach becomes a silver mirror, and the birds fill the air. Lots of families go for a placid time close to the water...More

Thank Wells S
Reviewed 27 June 2018 via mobile

My family LOVED Rio Del Mar State Beach. The sand was soft and the water was excellent. There was far less seaweed than Santa Cruz (Beach Boardwalk).

Thank Curtis W
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Questions & Answers
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Cara L
31 July 2018|
Response from limcandr | Reviewed this property |
Whoa - sorry this answer took so long! Hope it's still helpful. Picnic tables are not reserved ahead of time, but if it's a busy holiday or weekend, the people who want one of the covered picnic areas for groups, come down... More
Denise M
16 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Rachell S | Reviewed this property |
When I've walked along Rio Del Mar beach, there doesn't seem to be as much seaweed as there is at the other beaches. At some beaches here it feels like that's all there is at the shore's edge and you get tangled up in... More