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New Brighton Beach

Santa Cruz County

New Brighton State Beach


New Brighton/Park Ave exit off Highway 101, Aptos,
Santa Cruz County


Day Use $10
Hours: 8:00 AM to sunset
  (831) 464-6330

Main Attractions

Other Facilities

Special Regulations


Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.


Beach wheelchairs available.
Accessible picnic tables, restrooms, and campsites.

Nearby Beaches


Capitola Webcam

New Brighton State Beach

New Brighton Beach was once known as China Beach, named after a 19th century Chinese fishing settlement there. The sheltered cove is a favorite with families and others who prefer gentle waves and a less-crowded beach. The campgrounds, which offer sites for both RVs and tents, are a popular summer destination. Reservations are strongly recommended.

New Brighton Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA

Into the Surf

The light waves make New Brighton a great place to play in the surf, to skimboard, swim, and kayak. Of course, rip currents are always a danger on any California beach.


During the winter look for migrating whales off shore. Bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and sea otters are often seen nearby.

Food and Supplies

Bring all your supplies and food with you because there is nothing available within easy walking distance at the beach or in the immediate beach neighborhood. A little over a mile to the northwest on Park Avenue is the village of Capitola where you will find restaurants and shops with virtually everything you could want for your beach outing.

The Farm Bakery Cafe, only a short distance away at 6790 Soquel Ave. in Aptos, opens at 7:00 AM and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their farm burger is a popular item.
Farm Bakery Cafe

Carpo's Restaurant is just across Highway 101 at 2400 Porter St. in Soquel. It's a great place for lunch or dinner.
Carpo's Restaurant

Find Starbucks on 41st Ave. in Santa Cruz or off Aptos Street just beyond Aptos Village.

skim boarder at New Brighton Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA

Capitola Beach Company

131 Monterey Ave., Capitola, CA
(831) 462-5222
Capitola Beach Company
Rentals: Body boards, surf boards, SUP boards, wetsuits, beach chairs, beach umbrellas.
Lessons: Surfing and stand-up paddleboards

Nearby Beaches

Books of Local Interest

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

California's Best Beaches

Chicago Park Web Design

Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Also, check with lifeguards that conditions at the beach are safe for your planned activities.

The map displayed above is for illustrative purposes only. California's Best Beaches website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.