Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Capitola  /  Beaches  /  New Brighton State Beach

New Brighton State Beach, Capitola

Categories: Beaches, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
3.8/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
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.
Plan to see New Brighton State Beach and other attractions that appeal to you using our Capitola vacation generator.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • Great Location, easy access to town, freeway and so very beautifull!....Great for families, pets, and Showers are incredible..Easy walk to beach and hiking trails... 
  • We just took a long walk along the beach, wading in the water to stay cool. Found out that you can enter all the state parks with one pass. Good deal! 
  • relaxing and close to hotel, easy walk and in a nice part of town to eat and shop and people were friendly 
  • Site 98. Beautiful campsite. Great hiking trails. And the beach was great.
  • Hike-bike check-in not allowed until 4 pm, only 4 spots available. You'll need to pay $35 for a standard site if the hike-bike sites are full.
  • Camp host very rude
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m