Bonny Doon Beach

  • Bonny Doon Beach - USA
    © Nick Amoscato and licensed for reuse under this Licence Pinterest
  • Bonny Doon Beach - USA
    © Always Shooting and licensed for reuse under this Licence Pinterest
  • Bonny Doon Beach - USA
    © Kyle Hawton and licensed for reuse under this Licence Pinterest

Pretty Bonny Doon Beach is a gorgeous sandy cove backed by high cliffs and flower-covered slopes creating a natural amphitheatre.

Situated just off the Cabrillo Highway near Bonny Doon Road in Santa Cruz, it is part of Coast Dairies State Park with free parking but no facilities. The paved parking lot is open 8am to sunset but it quickly fills up. Beach access involves walking across the railroad tracks and down one of the steep and slippery trails.

Bonny Doon Beach is a well-known clothing-optional area and naturists are generally confined to the more secluded north end of the beach. There is a large rock that divides the main section of beach from this part.

The golden sand is in a crescent shaped bay with rocky areas. It is crossed by the Liddell Creek which run down the main part of the sloping beach which then shelves sharply and drops away. There are no lifeguards and swimming here is not recommended due to dangerous rip currents.

Relax and enjoy sunbathing in this scenic spot and keep your eyes open for water spouts denoting the presence of migratory whales in spring. It’s a great spot for sunsets too!

Nearest town/city

Santa Cruz


Dog ban in force

Nudist/naturist beach


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Current weather (Sat Jul 13th 11:00)


20.6°C / 69°F

Sea temperature


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Bonny Doon Beach Reviews


Jun 21st 2023

One of my best memories was the summer of ‘79 staying on this beach ✌️