- This Week
07.16.13 - 3:13 pm | Gary Hanauer |
One of America's smallest nude beaches, 2222 is so tiny it could probably fit in your yard. And that's what makes it such a special place. You won't see many people on the sand, which takes scrambling to reach and isn't recommended for children or anyone who isn't a good hiker. However, those who are able to make it down a sharp-angled cliff and past several concrete blocks on the way down may like the quiet and solitude that the beach offers. The most dependable trail begins on the southeast corner of the hillside overlooking the site. Even though there's a walking path just above it, the beach can't be seen from there. College students like to hangout here and, if they're lucky, get a glimpse of a local juggler who sometimes practices his routines on the sand. Tip: for great accommodations, check out the West Cliff Inn, 174 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, a bed and breakfast inn located a few blocks to the south; it's somewhat pricey, but truly enjoyable.
Directions: The beach is a few blocks west of Natural Bridges State Beach and about 2.5 miles north of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. From either north or south of Santa Cruz, take Highway 1 to Swift Street. Drive .8 miles to the sea, then turn right on West Cliff Drive. 2222 is five blocks away. Past Auburn Avenue, look for 2222 West Cliff on the inland side of the street. Park in the pullout with eight parking spaces next to the cliff, on the west side of the road. If it's full, continue straight and park along Chico Avenue. An overlook with two benches facing an interesting obelisk-style sculpture — where my girlfriend and I sat last year — is located between the parking area and the edge of the cliff. Bay Area Naturists leader Rich Pasco suggests visitors use care and then follow the path on the side of the beach closest to downtown Santa Cruz and the Municipal Wharf.
PRIVATES BEACH, SANTA CRUZ
Want to visit a beach with great sand and surf, plus a mix of suited and naked users? This year, the charge remains $100 — or $50 if you live nearby — for all the visits you want to make to Privates, which is one of the county's best beaches, until May 31. If you go daily for a year, that's about 27 cents a day. But there are also several ways people have used to circumvent the fee, which we explain below. Visitors include nudists, surfers, families, and local residents. "Everyone gets along," says Brittney Barrios, manager/buyer of Freeline Design Surf Shop, which sells up to 600 beach passes to Privates a year. "It's always very peaceful."
"There's a great swell happening here," says a surfer we interviewed this summer. Security guards plus a locked gate keep most troublemakers out. With almost no litter or loud noise, and less wind than most local beaches, the site almost always provides a pleasant atmosphere for users. Do you want to bring your dog? It's OK too.
To catch a game of Nude Frisbee or to start one, when you reach the bottom of the beach stairs, walk to the left until you see some people who aren't wearing part or all of their swimsuits.