Davenport Beach, Santa Cruz

Davenport, Santa Cruz

Beach: Davenport Landing Beach

Where: The tiny town of Davenport, just 20 minutes north of Santa Cruz.

Why: With the unusual rock formation emerging from a gorgeous stretch of golden sand at Shark Fin Cove and the perfect foamy waves rolling under the cliffs, this is an archetypal Cali beach with a few unique touches. Somehow, though, it’s escaped the notice of the masses, and remains a true hidden gem, quiet and away from the road.

How: From Santa Cruz take the legendary Highway 1 north (be sure to make this part of your Cali road trip) and 1.6 miles past the town of Davenport turn left and follow the narrow road of Davenport Landing until you see the ocean.

H20 Tone: Blue topaz

Sand Tone: Golden caster sugar

Stay:  Davenport Roadhouse Inn:  Laid back, cool, and unpretentious, the inn is nestled between State Parks and organic farms along California’s coast, and across iconic Highway 1 from the beach.  Our idea of heaven.

When: Head to Santa Cruz in summer for a typical Cali experience, when the mercury hovers between 20 and 25 degrees, so you won’t end up baking on the beach. If you’re a serious sun seeker, the Santa Cruz area is prone to Indian summers, so September and early October are your best bets.

Image credit: VSCC/James Watkins