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Santa Cruz Harbor

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.

Trail/Pathway Details

Marina Interpretive Walk

Trailhead: Enter anywhere along the harbor

Length: 1-2 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

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


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 Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Visitor Center: Accessible

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Ask at the harbor office, in the parking lot near the Crow’s Nest restaurant, 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 Parking: Yes

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

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

Along both sides of harbor, mostly on west side off Mariner Park Way
Accessible path near eastside jetty
Accessible path near eastside jetty (Martha Wegner)

Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • boating
  • camping
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: Santa Cruz Port District
Address: 135 Fifth Ave., 135 Fifth Ave., Santa Cruz
Nearest City: Santa Cruz
Phone: (831) 475-6161
Hours: 4 am-10 pm
Fees: Parking, Boat launch
Dogs: On leash
Leash must be 6 feet or less
Public Transportation: Santa Cruz Metro 
Reviewed by Foster Andersen, October 9, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing