Sunset State Beach

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.

Phone Number

(831) 763-7063

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 31 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 31 Feet

Park Hours

Call the beach

Driving Directions to Sunset SB

The beach is 16 miles south of Santa Cruz. From Hwy 1 take the San Andreas Road exit. Proceed south to Sunset Beach Rd; go west to beach entrance.

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.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Beach Area
Windsurfing/Surfing
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Outdoor Showers
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible

Sunset SB Instagram

 

 

TEMPORARY FACILITY CLOSURES AND EVENT CANCELLATIONS 

DAY USE AREAS (trails, beaches): Open; Please bring cash in exact change to pay fees at self-registration stations. 

RESTROOMS: Open; Please bring soap for handwashing or hand sanitizer. 

PARKING LOTS: All parking lots in San Mateo County-area parks and specific parking lots in Santa Cruz County-area parks are temporarily closed. Click here for the latest updates.  

CAMPGROUNDS: Temporarily Closed

PARK STORES, VISITOR CENTERS & MUSEUMS: Temporarily Closed

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & GUIDED TOURS: Temporarily Suspended

LARGE EVENTS: Temporarily Suspended

SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT APPLICATIONS: Temporarily Suspended

California State Parks is taking steps to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of March 23, 2020, State Parks has temporarily closed vehicular traffic to certain parks experiencing high visitation. This includes all San Mateo County parks. To see a current list of impacted parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve. For those wishing to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising them to walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods and walk to parks. Most importantly, the public is being asked not to congregate in the outdoors.

Campgrounds are temporarily closed as of March 17, 2020. Camping reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Visitor Centers, museums, and park stores are also temporarily closed.

Guided tours, educational programs, and large events are temporarily suspended as of March 14, 2020. Tour reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Special event applications have been suspended until further notice as of March 14, 2020.

As of March 17, 2020, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.

State Parks recommends that everyone follow precautionary guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health, public local health agencies, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when recreating in the outdoors. Everyone has the responsibility to “flatten the COVID-19 curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.

For the most up-to-date information on how State Parks is supporting the state’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve and follow State Parks on its social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Winter Weather Notice:
Please note that as we enter into the winter season, Big Basin, New Brighton, Seacliff, and Sunset campgrounds can and will close with short notice. Check the website periodically for any changes.

Visiting Sunset

Sunset BeachA 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

Tent camping at sunset state beach

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.

Sunset SBGLIDER 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.

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.