Manresa State Beach
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Manresa State Beach:
What is open now?
- Parking in the main day use lot 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 Manresa 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.
Manresa State Beach rewards visitors with sweeping views of bluff-backed sand and sea, including the Santa Cruz Mountains to the northwest and the forested hills of the Monterey Peninsula to the southwest. Sunset and Manresa state beaches are approximately one mile apart on Highway 1.
Things to Do
CAMPING—Tents only, no RVs, mid-May through September. Parking for over 60 walk-in tent sites at Manresa Uplands is in a separate lot near the campground. Pets must not be left unattended in campsites. One vehicle is included in camping fees. Additional funds may be collected on site for up to ONE additional vehicle at a nightly rate. Visit Reserve California to make campsite reservations.
FISHING—Starry flounder, California halibut, barred surf perch, striped bass and surf smelt can be caught at Manresa. A sport-fishing license is required.
PICKNICKING— There are picnic tables along the top of the bluff which offer panoramic ocean views.
Manresa State Beach supports two major plant communities and associated wildlife.
- Coastal scrub—Coyote brush, coastal sagebrush and lizardtail grow on the bluff. Allen’s hummingbirds, various finches, white-crowned sparrows, rufous-sided towhees and brush rabbits live on the bluff and in its understory.
- Coastal strand—Sea rocket, sand verbena and beach primrose grow in intertidal and offshore environments, sheltering sand crabs and beach hoppers. Jellyfish and other organic material support sanderlings, whimbrels, willets, western and Heermann’s gulls, and surf scoters. Sea mammals, including California gray whales, dolphins and sea otters, play offshore.
Junior Lifeguard Program
The Junior Lifeguard program is a unique and challenging aquatic program for young people. Goals of the JG program are to promote water safety and environmental awareness. Please click here for more information.
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 allowed on a leash at Manresa State Beach. Dogs are allowed in the campground on a six-foot maximum leash. For a list of other locations you can take your dog in Santa Cruz County, please click here.
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, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
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.
- Club Ed Surf Camp (Overnight surf camp)
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.