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New Brighton State Beach, Capitola

(130+ reviews on the web)
Beach
New Brighton State Beach is a 95 acre park consisting of a beach and camping grounds. The park is located east of Santa Cruz in Capitola, on Park Avenue off of Highway 1. The park is adjacent to Seacliff State Beach, which is known for its fishing pier and sunk concrete freighter, The Palo Alto. The beach overlooks Soquel Cove and Monterey Bay.HistoryThis cove was originally called China Beach after the Chinese fishermen that settled the region in the 1850s. These residents were vital to the construction of the California railroad and provided labor and food to the Santa Cruz region. By the 1870s, fisherman of other ethnicities began to enter the region, forcing out many of the Chinese residents. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 contributed to the demise of the village and by 1900, the village no longer existed and few remnants of its existence remained. During the late 1870s, Thomas Fallon began development of a small resort east of China Beach. Fallon was an immigrant from Ireland and the ex-mayor of San Jose (1859-1863). He named his campground Camp San Jose in the hopes of attracting tourists from San Jose. However, the name did not do as he had hoped and in 1882 Fallon renamed the campground New Brighton. In 1933, the state of California purchased the land where China Beach had previously been with the intention of converting the land into a state park. After its purchase, the land remained unnamed for many years, but was eventually named New Brighton State Park by the Director of State Parks.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Brought a group out for a half week of camping (MH, trailers and tents). The weather report was predicting rain and winds. We arrived, it was 78 and sunny. It did cloud up some, but only rained during...  more »
  • We really enjoyed sitting out in the sun, and walking along he ocean here. Back home was foggy and cold, but here it was sunny and fantastic! There was lots to see as we walked along, with plenty of n...  more »
  • This is one of our favorite campgrounds. It is hard to get in, so reserve early. The location cannot be beat.  more »