West Cliff, Santa Cruz

5 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

  • West Cliff
    by trvlrtom
  • Natural Bridges
    Natural Bridges
    by kristen05
  • West Cliff on a stormy day
    West Cliff on a stormy day
    by kristen05
  • MDH's Profile Photo

    West Cliff Drive

    by MDH Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This perhaps is one of the city's (and county's) most scenic strips of road. Starting near the Boardwalk and meandering next to the cliffs bordering the Monterey Bay, the road provides you with an almost cinematic view of the bay, the Monterey coast, and the ocean beyond. This is especially true during sunsets.

    In addition to the great sea views, West Cliff Dr. is home to some of the city's most elegant residences, featuring old charming Victorian and Edwardian houses to giant multi-million dollar homes. It's vaguely like Newport, Rhode Island's Mansion Row, albeit on a much, much smaller scale!

    West Cliff is also a major pedestrian place. Families, couples, skaters, bicyclists, surfers, bladers, and kids alike are all seen strolling along the sidewalk next to the cliffs. Surfers especially flock to West Cliff due to its closeness to Steamer Lane, the city's most famous surfing spot.

    West Cliff is also home to the Santa Cruz Lighthouse, now the city's Surfing Museum, and Natural Bridges State Park.

    The Surfer Monument on West Cliff Dr. at sunset.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Surfing

    Was this review helpful?

  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo

    Walk or ride along West Cliff Drive

    by trvlrtom Written Jan 1, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A popular activity for tourists and locals alike is to walk or ride a bike along West Cliff Drive. The entire way from the Boardwalk to Natural Bridges has a paved oceanside walkway, so walkers don't have to worry about getting run over by cars. This walkway takes you past the surfers statue, Steamers Lane surfers point, the lighthouse and several swimming coves. There is one nudist beach at the cove near Almar Ave, but don't be a jerk and peek down the cliffs. Where the walkway ends at Natural Bridges State Park there are facilities such as picnic tables and restrooms. There's also a grove where migratory butterflies gather, and a visitors center.

    Be warned that this popular path can get crowded on summer afternoons. Be careful about people riding bikes while they look at the ocean and don't pay attention to where they are going.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • kristen05's Profile Photo

    West Cliff

    by kristen05 Written Jan 13, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While in Santa Cruz, make sure to take a drive or walk along West Cliff. It's a road that runs along a cliff overlooking the bay. Whenever I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed because of my classes, I would take a drive here and would always feel better. Watch out for pedestrians crossing the street, though. A stop at Natural Bridges State Beach is a perfect way to end a drive here. In my mind, there is nothing better than standing and smelling the ocean while you hear the waves crashing on the beach and feel the breeze. If you like seeing expensive homes, there are many multi-million dollar homes along this road that are worth taking a look at.

    Natural Bridges West Cliff on a stormy day

    Was this review helpful?

  • tvdandy's Profile Photo

    East to West Cliff Drive

    by tvdandy Written Oct 11, 2006

    This is a very scenic stretch of road which runs along the Pacific. It's like a mini Big Sur.
    You will see Waves crashing against Cliffs, giant rock formations in the middle of the ocean, surfers galore, and beautiful sunsets. It doesnt take too long, maybe an hour with stops to take pics. Well worth the effort.

    great rock formations long stretches of coastline I love waves crashing
    Related to:
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kiisu's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the Ocean Scenery on West Cliff Drive

    by Kiisu Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walk/Bike/Drive along West Cliff Dr. between Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Natural Bridges Beach. There are wonderful views at every turn, and there's even a surfing museum along the way! There are a couple of places to surf if you're game (not a good place for a beginner, due to the cliffs).

    Related to:
    • Cycling

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Santa Cruz

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

11 travelers online now


View all Santa Cruz hotels