Its Beach, Santa Cruz

Can you spot our two dogs behind Felix swimming?
We took the ball away from Silas because he kept digging in the sand...he's telling us that he's unhappy.
I love Santa Cruz, I always have. I used to go all the time, but now with life it's harder to get out there. There is just something about beach towns that I adore. It probably also has to do with the fact that I love summer and would live at the beach if I could. Sadly, that's not an option.

We took the dogs to this beach a while ago, and went again this past weekend. It really is ideal for dog owners and beach goers alike. It's located at the Lighthouse Field State Beach and is one of the only beaches in Santa Cruz that is off-leash for dogs. So if you don't like dogs running up to say "hi", this isn't the place for you. Our dogs love going here. They splash in the water, chase the tennis ball and get to play with a bunch of other dogs.

The beach is actually below street level so it has water on one side and cliff on the other three. It's basically enclosed, so you don't have to worry about the dogs running into street traffic. The only access points are by water (if you're coming from other parts of the coast) and the staircase from the street.

Getting to Its Beach
Its Beach is the local term for the beach, so trying to use Google Maps for "Its Beach" might not get you far. Lighthouse Field State Beach will get you there: 701 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz is the address you want to use for navigation purposes.

How To Find It & Parking
Parking is limited at the beach. While there are plenty of parking lots, they are small and street parking on Cliff Drive is also limited. If you don't get there early, it fills up fast. You've got the locals who hit the beach for surfing, then beach goers, tourists etc. If you don't mind a bit of a walk, you can park in one of the residential streets and walk to the beach. We had to do this last weekend, and there are lots of foot paths so you have a more direct route out to the beach.

As I mentioned, Its Beach is at the Lighthouse Field State Beach. The access point (staircase) is just west of the lighthouse (if you're standing on the street, looking at the lighthouse museum, then it'll be to your right about 100 ft). There are no signs or markings to designate the beach, but from the street, you can see it as you drive or walk. There are also trash cans at the top of the stairs which make it easy to spot.

What Else Is There To Do
The Surf Museum is located in the lighthouse. I've never gone in, but I'm sure it has some cool info on the surfing history in Santa Cruz.

Its Beach is also not far from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (you can see it from the street). Did you know the Boardwalk is one of the oldest amusement parks in California? I've always loved going to the Boardwalk - I used to go every year for school as a end of year trip as well. The Boardwalk is where I got introduced to deep fried haven't lived until you've had a deep fried snickers! They. sadly, don't make them anymore, but you can still get deep fried twinkies and oreo cookies (also delicious!) as well as all the other standard amusement fare. 

In general, being in this area in Santa Cruz, you're not far from downtown. Last time we went to Santa Cruz (without the dogs), we ate at Burger. It's a really cool burger place on Mission Street. They have some crazy concoctions - there's a burger that has glazed donuts (the Luther) instead of burger buns or grilled cheese (the Phatty). I had the Chuck Norris (cheeseburger with jalapeno and jack cheese) and F ordered the Hank Williams Sr. (onion rings, bacon, cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce). And instead of table numbers, you get a celeb's mugshot, which is kind of hilarious to see all the celebrities who have ever been arrested!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!



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