Natural Bridges State Beach is a popular spot for observing shore birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters playing offshore. It has a famous natural bridge, and visitors can spy a variety of ocean creatures, including sea stars, crabs, and sea anemones.

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Expert Review of Natural Bridges State Beach

Parks and Outdoors Review of Natural Bridges State Beach

Away Travel Expert: Ann Marie Brown
ParksExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Birding,Saltwater Fishing,Whale Watching
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • From mid-October to late February, it's all about the monarch butterflies at Natural Bridges State Beach. The park's Monarch Grove, a cluster of eucalyptus trees, is the winter home to more than 10,000 monarch butterflies that find shelter and food in the mild coastal landscape. The grove is accessible by an easy, quarter-mile walk that is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
  • On foggy or rainy days, it is more difficult to see the butterflies because they cluster in the trees with their wings folded. The best viewing is on sunny days when the creatures are moving about.
  • Other highlights at the park include its natural arch bridge and a large stretch of tidepools that reveal sea stars, crabs, and sea anemones at low tide.

Swift Ave. west from Hwy. 1
Santa Cruz, California
Parking: Daily 8 a.m. to sunset
Price: $6 day-use fee

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 831-423-4609
Price Information: $6 day-use fee
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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