Santa Cruz Harbor

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Bicycling
  • Beach Wheelchair
  • Picnic


  • Visitor center
  • Picnic
  • Fishing pier
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Boating
  • Bicycling
  • Beach Wheelchair


135 Fifth Ave., 2222 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA, 95062
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Info: (831) 475-6161
4 am-10 pm
On leash
Leash must be 6 feet or less
Last Reviewed:
October 2008
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Santa Cruz Harbor offers a variety of experiences for a visitor, from sailing, kayak rentals, sport-fishing charters, and eco-tours to whale watching and walking along paths with scenic views. Most charter boats are not accessible, but Pacific Yachting & Sailing has a portable lift to transfer people from their wheelchairs to the boats. You’ll find restaurants with live music, and shops, along both sides of the harbor. The harbor beach has volleyball courts and a lighthouse.

Special events and activities are scheduled year-round and include Wednesday-night sailboat races during daylight saving time (March through November); the Lighted Boat Parade on the first Saturday in December; and Thursday-night barbecues in summer. A free, accessible water taxi tours the inner harbor from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Trails and Pathways

Marina Interpretive Walk
Trailhead Location:
Enter anywhere along the harbor
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview:

The Marina Interpretive Walk, bordered by ice plant and small shrubs, travels alongside the harbor. Interpretive signs provide information about fishing, the environment, harbor wildlife, and local history. Pelicans are plentiful and fun to watch. The sounds of chiming sailboats, crashing waves, and birds mute the traffic noise along the route. Water fountains and benches are scattered here and there. Near the eastside jetty, a short path leads about 50 feet onto the harbor beach, providing close-up ocean and beach views.

Accessibility Notes: The path onto the beach can be covered in sand.


The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, hard, level or slope no greater than 2%;

On both sides of the harbor. There is also street parking, but some areas are permit parking only.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – On each side of harbor

Beach Wheelchair:
Yes – Ask at the harbor office for the key to unlock the storage cage housing the beach wheelchair. Office hours are 9 am-5 pm; call to arrange to use the wheelchair during off hours.

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance

Accessible Visitor Center:

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