Skip to Main Content
Menu
Contact Us Search
Organization Title

Seacliff State Beach

Contact Information

(831) 685-6442

Trailer Lengths

Max Trailer Length: 36 Feet
Max Camper Length: 40 Feet

Park Hours

8 AM to Sunset

Driving Directions to Seacliff SB

Take the State Park Drive exit from Hwy 1. Proceed west through the neighborhood of Aptos to the entrance.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made 7 months in advance on the first day of the month beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST via the website, by mail, or by calling the toll free telephone number at 1-800-444-7275. Due to seasonal volume, access to the ReserveAmerica website and the telephone line may at times be limited.

Online Reservations

Brochures and Campground Maps

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.


This beach is known for its fishing pier and concrete freighter, The Palo Alto. Unfortunately, the ship is unsafe and closed to the public. Only the pier is open for fishing. The beach is also a popular swimming spot. There is a long stretch of sand backed by bluffs. There is a covered picnic facility. The park also has an interpretive center.

Location - Directions
Take the State Park Drive exit from Highway One in the neighborhood of Aptos.

Seasons - Climate - Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

Photo: The concrete ship, Palo Alto  in San Francisco Bay  on her way to Sea Cliff State Beach.
Why is there a ship at the end of the pier?
Was it built there -- or did it sink there?


In 1910 a Norwegian civil engineer named Fougner thought of using concrete to build ships. It wasn't until 1917, when wartime steel shortages required the use of cement for construction that Fougner's idea was used. Three concrete ships were built. Two, the Peralta and the Palo Alto, were built at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Oakland, California while the third, the Faith, was built in a shipyard in Redwood City, California. The Peralta and the Palo Alto were built for wartime use as tankers, however World War One ended before ship construction was finished -- so they were never used.

The Palo Alto remained docked in Oakland until 1929, when the Cal-Nevada Company bought the ship with the idea of making her into an amusement and fishing ship. Her maiden voyage was made under tow to Seacliff State Beach. Once positioned at the beach, the sea cocks were opened and the Palo Alto settled to the ocean bottom. By the summer of 1930 a pier had been built leading to the ship, the ship was remodeled. A dance floor on the main deck was added, also a cafe in the superstructure was built, as was a fifty-four foot heated swimming pool, and a series of carnival type concessions were placed on the afterdeck. The Cal-Nevada Company went broke after two seasons -- then the Palo Alto was stripped, leaving the ship and the pier to be used only for fishing.


Available Activities and Facilities at Seacliff State Beach

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
RV Sites w/Hookups
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Windsurfing/Surfing
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Outdoor Showers
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible