Natural Bridges State Beach
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Natural Bridges State Beach Photos
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Natural Bridges State Beach is a beautiful park with much more than just a beach. In fact, the Sandy Beach with the famous Natural Bridge Arch takes up only about 1/4 of the park. Another 1/4 is the world-renowned Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve. And the rest of the roughly 1/2 left is open space with hiking trails and Moore Creek which leads to the ocean.
Sandy Beach is an excellent place to see migrating whales, seabirds, and seals and otters playing offshore. To the north of the beach, tide pools contain crabs, sea stars, sea anemones, and other interesting ocean life.
What Natural Bridges is truly world famous for is its yearly migration of monarch butterflies. In past years thousands could be seen during the butterflies' peak season. In recent years, though, that number has dropped significantly. The best time to see monarchs is usually from mid-October to late January.
The Visitor Center is open most weekends and some weekdays. Be sure to call ahead (831) 423-4609 for current visitor center hours.