New Brighton Beach

Santa Cruz County

New Brighton State Beach


New Brighton/Park Ave exit off Highway 101, Aptos,
Santa Cruz County


Day Use $10
Hours: 8:00 AM to sunset
  (831) 464-6330

Main Attractions

  • Quiet, sheltered cove for playing in surf
  • Beach connects with miles of beaches to the south
  • Bluff Campgrounds
  • Fishing, Kayaking

Other Facilities

  • Restrooms on the bluff
  • Port-a-potties on the beach
  • Campfire Center
  • Picnic Ramada
  • Visitor center


  • Rip currents always possible
  • Cliff along west edge of campground


  • Rip currents always possible
  • Cliff along west edge of campground

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Special Regulations

  • Pets on leash, allowed on beach
  • No alcohol on beach or in picnic areas
  • No collecting
  • Fires on beach in provided fire rings
  • No climbing cliffs


Beach wheelchairs available.
Accessible picnic tables, restrooms, and campsites.

Nearby Beaches

  • Seacliff State Beach, 1 mile south
  • Rio Del Mar Beach, 2 miles south
  • La Selva Beach, 5 miles south
  • Manresa State Beach, 6 miles south


Capitola Webcam

New Brighton State Beach

New Brighton Beach was once known as China Beach, named after a 19th century Chinese fishing settlement there. The sheltered cove is a favorite with families and others who prefer gentle waves and a less-crowded beach. The campgrounds, which offer sites for both RVs and tents, are a popular summer destination. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Into the Surf

The light waves make New Brighton a great place to play in the surf, to skimboard, swim, and kayak. Of course, rip currents are always a danger on any California beach.


During the winter look for migrating whales off shore. Bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and sea otters are often seen nearby.

Food and Supplies

Bring all your supplies and food with you because there is nothing available within easy walking distance at the beach or in the immediate beach neighborhood. A little over a mile to the northwest on Park Avenue is the village of Capitola where you will find restaurants and shops with virtually everything you could want for your beach outing.

The Farm Bakery Cafe, only a short distance away at 6790 Soquel Ave. in Aptos, opens at 7:00 AM and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their farm burger is a popular item.
Farm Bakery Cafe

Carpo's Restaurant is just across Highway 101 at 2400 Porter St. in Soquel. It's a great place for lunch or dinner.
Carpo's Restaurant

Find Starbucks on 41st Ave. in Santa Cruz or off Aptos Street just beyond Aptos Village.

New Brighton Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA
skim boarder at New Brighton Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA

Capitola Beach Company

131 Monterey Ave., Capitola, CA
(831) 462-5222     Capitola Beach Company
Rentals: Body boards, surf boards, SUP boards, wetsuits, beach chairs, beach umbrellas.
Lessons: Surfing and stand-up paddleboards

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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