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Camping at Twin Lakes State Beach

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Location and Access

Twin Lakes State Beach is situated in Santa Cruz County on the central coast of California. This popular destination offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sandy beach, swimming, picnicking, and other beach activities.

  • Address: Twin Lakes State Beach stretches from Santa Cruz Harbor to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River.

  • Accessibility: The beach is accessible from East Cliff Drive and several nearby streets.

Activities and Amenities

Twin Lakes State Beach is a favored spot for both tourists and locals due to its array of activities and the amenities it provides.

  • Swimming and Water Sports: The calm waters are ideal for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding.

  • Picnicking: There are areas designated for picnicking, complete with tables and sometimes grills.

  • Fishing: The jetty at the harbor is a popular spot for fishing.

  • Wildlife Viewing: It’s not uncommon to see a variety of bird species, and during certain times of the year, you might even spot whales off the coast.

  • Volleyball: There may be areas with volleyball nets set up on the sand.

Camping Information

While Twin Lakes State Beach itself does not offer camping facilities, there are nearby campsites where visitors can stay.

  • Campsites Close By: State parks and private campgrounds in the surrounding areas provide camping opportunities.

  • Reservations: For campsites in California State Parks, reservations are often required, especially during peak season, and can be made online or by phone.

Park Regulations and Safety

Staying safe and preserving the beauty of the beach means adhering to specific regulations.

  • Beach Regulations: Alcohol and glass containers are typically not allowed on the beach to ensure safety and cleanliness.

  • Dogs: Dogs are often allowed on the beach but must be on a leash; check local regulations for specific rules.

  • Beach Fires: Beach fires are usually restricted to designated areas and conditions; always follow posted rules.

  • Lifeguards: Lifeguards may be on duty during busy times but always exercise caution when swimming.

  • Wildlife Protection: Refrain from disturbing wildlife and adhere to any posted warnings or guidelines.

Local Attractions

Twin Lakes State Beach is close to various attractions that you might want to explore during your visit.

  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: An iconic seaside amusement park.

  • Santa Cruz Wharf: A place filled with shops, restaurants, and marine life viewing areas.

  • Natural Bridges State Beach: Known for its natural rock bridge and monarch butterfly migrations.

  • Santa Cruz Harbor: Offers boat rentals, fine dining, and a chance to watch the boats come and go.

Tips for Visiting

When planning a trip to Twin Lakes State Beach, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Arrive Early: The beach can get crowded, especially during summer weekends and holidays.

  • Check the Weather: Coastal weather can be variable, so layering clothing is advisable.

  • Parking: Parking may be limited; check for nearby public parking lots or street parking.


Whether you're looking to relax on the sand, enjoy water activities, or explore nearby attractions, Twin Lakes State Beach offers a classic California beach experience. Remember to check local conditions, make reservations if you plan on camping, and follow all park regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Map of Campgrounds in Twin Lakes State Beach
Campgrounds in Twin Lakes State Beach
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