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West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz’s own Rodeo Drive minus the chiwawas and designer labels, is a 2.5-mile paved path paralleling the Monterey Bay. Users can park at just about any point along the path either on side streets or parking lots speckled across the path.
- Distance: 7.8
Location: 36.9595871, -122.0257187
From Gharkey Street and West Cliff Drive, this is the path’s official beginning before dipping down to the beach boardwalk and away from West Cliff Drive.
Location: 36.9521382, -122.0260692
Steamer Lane: World-class surfing, big wave days and international competitions all take place at this Northern California break.
Location: 36.9520181, -122.0288157
Have a dog? Technically leashes are required at this beach, but locals have been bucking the system for years and unofficially taken over this stretch of sand.
Location: 36.9505263, -122.0446515
The only house on the western side of West Cliff, it was not uncommon to see multiple structures before the ocean claimed the cliffs they were perched on.
Location: 36.9496989, -122.0560831
The path ends at Natural Bridges State Park. To head back, make a U-turn and retrace your steps back to path’s beginning.
Big Wave Day At Steamer Lane
Location: 36.9514437, -122.0258707
Location: 36.9520396, -122.0286441
Santa Cruz Surf Statue
Location: 36.9547103, -122.0247602
Commissioned to honor local surfers, rarely does a day go by that a hawaiian lay is not placed around his neck.
Location: 36.9516837, -122.025978
Large Offshore Break
Location: 36.9518381, -122.0254523
Location: 36.9520824, -122.0258814
At this world-class surf break it is not uncommon to see some of the world’s best big wave riders carving up the waves.
Natural Bridges State Park
Location: 36.9496088, -122.0575261
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Location: 36.9636262, -122.020576
Views from West Cliff look out over the wharf, Boardwalk and main beach.
Santa Cruz Lighthouse
Location: 36.9514094, -122.0267075
Take five and check out the surf museum open inside the lighthouse. Ancient boards and blurry black and white photos await.