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Natural Bridges State Beach

Closed Now: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Open today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Review Highlights
Well worth a visit

State parks are funny...some have the most amazing views & are quite big, while others are smaller... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Strandhill, Ireland
Monarch Butterflies

This was an incredible experience for me as I truly am in awe of the monarch butterfly. The tour... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Mount Pearl, Canada
via mobile
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent55%
  • Very good33%
  • Average10%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“tide pools”(127 reviews)
“visitor center”(32 reviews)
A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tidepools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a bicycle path around the perimeter of the park.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-6257
+1 831-423-4609
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Reviews (763)
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All reviews tide pools monarch butterflies visitor center minute parking during low tide rock formations eucalyptus trees picnic area state beach west cliff drive sea birds parking fee sunny day monarchs tidepools migration trail
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1 - 10 of 723 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Having heard about the abundance of Monarch Butterflies that migrate hear every year we stopped by to check them out. The area where you can see them is small and they are fairly far away. Even with my 300mm lens the pictures are not very...More

Thank don g
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

State parks are funny...some have the most amazing views & are quite big, while others are smaller & you'd wonder why they are designated state parks. Natural Bridges is somewhere in the middle. Definitely worth visiting. The beach area is stunning. Then the hiking/gentle walk...More

1  Thank irish_captain
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This was an incredible experience for me as I truly am in awe of the monarch butterfly. The tour is quite beneficial to take - part classroom, the rest outdoors. To see them in such a large group in their natural habitat was something I...More

Thank trish-doug
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is an awesome beach and park. The park has a visitor center and a few easy trails to hike. One trail will take you to a grove of Eucalyptus trees where the Monarch butterflies migrate to for the winter. We also saw a mated...More

Thank SillyAndie
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Great beach that has enough room to throw a frisbee, play in the sand and cool your toes in the ocean. I came to read my book and was delighted to have enough quiet and personal, distraction-free space to enjoy my day. I watched friends...More

Thank Brian F
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Beautiful picnic area and place to walk on the beach. Suggest to arrive early due to limited parking and less people. You can climb the cliffs that aren't too high and embrace the ocean/sound of the waves. Peace and tranquility at its best!

Thank kdcarroll2003
Reviewed 16 October 2018

not only is the Natural Bridges State Beach beautiful in its own right, but watch the tide chart and at low tide, climb on the rocks and see some gorgeous tide pools with amazing sea life in them.

Thank jcsmart1996
Reviewed 15 October 2018

This is a beautiful destination anytime, but especially compelling when the Monarchs fill the grove. Well worth the trip to see the over-wintering butterflies in the eucalyptus grove. Stop by the visitor information building first, as you'll learn a lot about the Monarchs and their...More

Thank Laurie H
Reviewed 13 October 2018 via mobile

We paid $10 to park inside the lot near the visitor center but there’s lots of free parking if you don’t mind walking. The view from the overlook is nice and a great photo opportunity. From the visitor center you can start the Monarch Trail...More

Thank Caroline L
Reviewed 9 October 2018

There is a beautiful sandy beach at Natural Bridges, as well as a picnic area and wooden boardwalk to look for the monarch butterflies in October!

Thank phyllis t
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Questions & Answers
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29 March 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Monica_Riehl | Reviewed this property |
Temperatures change in Santa Cruz at the drop of a hat. Mornings are usually chilly and foggy but warm and clear by noon. Check out last year's almanac for rain patterns but July had some very warm/hot days after 1p.m. I... More
23 November 2015|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from bil1026 | Reviewed this property |
I think so & if not, just park on Delaware Ave. & walk in the back entrance for free! No locked gate to the Monarch walkway or beach.
7 October 2015|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from bil1026 | Reviewed this property |
Tides: just go...ogle tides [d o t] info Santa Cruz Butterflies: A few, but not many until after Thanksgiving and the first cold snap. You might still see some humpbacks from the cliffs at the UCSC Marine Discovery Center... More