Call the beach
Sunset State Beach
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Sunset State Beach:
What is open now?
- Parking in the main day use lot and Palm Beach will now be available to the public.
- Restrooms will be partially reopened.
- Visitors must wear masks at the kiosks for day use entry in accordance with Santa Cruz County health order.
- Camping is not currently available at Sunset State Beach to do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
- Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
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.
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—RVs and Tents. Sunset State Beach provides dozens of dune-protected family sites (without hookups) that hold recreational vehicles up to 31 feet in length. Pets must not be left unattended in campsites. Parking for one vehicle is included in camping fees. Additional funds may be collected on site for up to TWO additional vehicles at a nightly rate (this does not apply to tow-in cars or trailers). Visit Reserve California to make campsite reservations.
FISHING—Surf perch, sardines and striped bass may be caught at Sunset State Beach. A sport-fishing license is required.
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.
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.
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.