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Sunset State Beach
A peaceful campground under the pines, picnicking on the beach, and unmatched views of Monterey Bay make Sunset State Beach a favorite year-round destination.
Basic Park Information
FEES - There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee. [Regular Sized Auto: $10 (Senior $9, age 62 or older); Bus Parking (10-24 passengers): $50; Bus Parking (25+ passengers): $100]
OCEAN SAFETY - dangerous rip currents, frigid water and deep offshore dropoffs make surfing and swimming hazardous for any but the most experienced surfers.
ALCOHOL is not permitted on the beach or in the day-use area.
DOGS are not permitted on Sunset state beach, except for service animals. Dogs are allowed in the campground on a six-foot maximum leash. Dogs are allowed on leash at nearby Manresa State Beach. For a list of locations you can take your dog in Santa Cruz County, please click here.
HORSES are not permitted on the beach.
FIRES are allowed only in park fire rings.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Non-motorized gliders are allowed at the designated glider-port located across from the South campground.
WESTERN SNOWY PLOVERS use both Sunset and Manresa state beaches and their foredune areas for nesting, rearing of young, and winter habitat. This bird builds its nest directly on the beach sands. Disturbing a posted plover nesting area is a violation of federal law.
Things to Do
PARK EVENTS - During the summer season, State Parks offers events and activities including Junior Rangers, nature hikes, and camppfire programs. Please contact the park for more information, (831) 763-7063.
CAMPING—Sunset State Beach has about 90 shady, dune-protected family sites without hookups that hold recreational vehicles up to 31 feet in length. There is additional camping at nearby Manresa State Beach, with 60 walk-in tent sites (no RVs are permitted). To reserve from early spring until October, visit www.reservecalifornia.com. Pets must not be left unattended in campsites.
FISHING— At Sunset, surf perch, sardines and striped bass may be caught. A sport-fishing license is required. Starry flounder, California halibut, barred surf perch, striped bass and surf smelt can be caught at Manresa.
PICKNICKING—To reserve two large ramadas for special events at Sunset State Beach, call (831) 464-6290. At Manresa State Beach, picnic tables along the top of the bluff offer panoramic ocean views.
GLIDER PORT—Remote-control glider enthusiasts will find a glider port at Sunset State Beach.
Available Activities and Facilities at Sunset State Beach
Hike or Bike Campsites
Exhibits and Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available