New Brighton State Beach

Phone Number

(831) 464-6329

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 36 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 36 Feet

Park Hours

8am to Sunset

Driving Directions to New Brighton SB

The beach is in the town of Capitola, just south of Santa Cruz. The beach can be reached by taking the New Brighton/Park Avenue exit off Highway One.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Sites w/Hookups
RV Dump Station
RV Access
Hiking Trails
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Family Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible

Visiting New Brighton

New Brighton State BeachThis Santa Cruz County beach features picnic areas, swimming, fishing, and a nearby forest of Monterey pine and coastal live oak. The camping area is located on a bluff overlooking northern Monterey Bay.

Much as a reef does, the SS Palo Alto, a concrete freighter, at nearby Seacliff State Beach attracts an immense variety of marine life within its concrete wreckage, and many of the same animals found on rocky shores live on it. Mussels, barnacles, sea stars, sea anemones, ocean worms, and rock crabs all cling to the sides and insides of the ship and pier. Harbor seals and sea lions line the deck, while pelicans and cormorants perch on the bow. Pier anglers catch sole, flounder, mackerel, halibut, lingcod, cabezon, bocaccio (tomcod), kingfish, and occasionally salmon and steelhead. During summer and fall, sooty shearwaters (small, dark seabirds) arrive by the tens of thousands from as far south as New Zealand, soaring in masses over the ocean, searching for anchovies. Sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, and migrating whales are often spotted in the water.


The Pacific Migrations Visitor Center

The visitor center at New Brighton State Beach offers you a chance to see, explore and experience the stories of people, settlers and cultures that are a part of this region’s rich history. The Pacific Migrations Visitor Center explores the many Pacific Rim migrations, both by people and by creatures of the air and sea. The visitor center and park store are open during the spring and summer season.

March 28 to Memorial Day -
Thursday through Saturday (plus holidays) 10 am to 4 pm

Memorial Day to Labor Day -
Wednesday through Sunday (plus holidays) 10 am to 4 pm


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]

CLIMBING the unstable sandstone cliffs is prohibited.

DOGS must always be on a leash no longer than six feet and attended by humans. For a list of locations you can take your dog in Santa Cruz County, please click here.

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, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.

FISHING does not require a license from the pier, but Department of Fish and Wildlife limits apply. See

ALCOHOL is not allowed on the beach or in the day-use areas — only within registered campsites.

FIRES are not allowed on Seacliff’s main beach. At New Brighton and Rio del Mar, fires must be confined to fire rings provided and attended at all times.

Park Events

 girls earn badge for completion of first Junior Ranger program
Junior Rangers

Programs offered Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day
Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11am
Children ages 7 to 12 are invited to attend Junior Ranger Programs at New Brighton State Beach to explore, practive outdoor skills, and play games. Sorry parents, this is a kids only program! Meet at the Visitor Center for this one hour program. Fee for parking. Junior Rangers is a statewide program offered at more than 70 California State Parks. Recieve your logbook and badge, and begin your journey.


Campfire Programs
Programs offered Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Join us in our Campfire Center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about the Park.


Community Groups

Please click here to arrange an interpretive talk or guided experience for your organized community group (minimum 10 total participants, minimum 2 weeks' lead time). These interpretive services are contingent upon staff availability.

Please Note: New Brighton SB does not have hike-in campsites.