Scott Creek Beach

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Rating: B

Surfers, nature lovers, and naturists all like to visit Scott Creek, near Davenport, with surfers usually gathering on the north shore. If you're a bird watcher, then you may want to check for waterfowl in the site's little lagoon. For even more nature action, stop at nearby Ano Nuevo State Reserve to look for elephant seals. Tip: before swimming at Scott Creek, check for possible riptides offshore.

Legal status:

County land.

How to find it:

Scott Creek is three miles north of Davenport, off Highway 1, and 15.5 miles north of the junction of Highways 1 and 17, in Santa Cruz. It's also 35.8 miles south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92 in Half Moon Bay. Check for Swanton Road, shown on some maps. There are two turnouts for parking. You can walk to the beach from either north or south of the bridge.

The beach:

Frequently deserted, half-mile-long Scott Creek Beach is at the bottom of a small bluff. At the north end, a submerged reef creates one of the finest surfing spots in northern California, which prime surfing from October-May. 

The crowd:

The beach is usually quiet, but the two turnouts, which hold 60-to-100 cars between them, fill up quickly on peak summer days.

Problems:

Wind; undertow; cold water; a pipeline offshore detracts from the view

 

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