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Sunset State Beach & Campground



  • Directions

  • Size

    379.12 acres

Contact Information


A peaceful campground under the pines, picnicking on the beach, and unmatched views of Monterey Bay make Sunset State Beach a favorite year-round destination.

DAY USE FEES - There is a $10 vehicle day-use fee. [Regular Sized Auto: $10 (Senior $9, age 62 or older); Bus Parking (10-24 passengers): $50; Bus Parking (25+ passengers): $100]

PARK EVENTS—During the summer season, State Parks offers events and activities including Junior Rangers, nature hikes, and campfire programs. Please contact the park for more information, (831) 763-7063.

CAMPING—RVs and Tents. Sunset State Beach provides dozens of dune-protected family sites (without hookups) that hold recreational vehicles up to 31 feet in length. Pets must not be left unattended in campsites. Parking for one vehicle is included in camping fees. Additional funds may be collected on site for up to TWO additional vehicles at a nightly rate (this does not apply to tow-in cars or trailers). Due to inclement weather during the Fall/Winter season, this park may infrequently have to close and park visitors be relocated. If this is the case, campers will have the option to receive a full refund from the day of evacuation or be relocated to another park in the Santa Cruz District based upon availability. Visit Reserve California to make campsite reservations.

FISHING—Surf perch, sardines and striped bass may be caught at Sunset State Beach. A sport-fishing license is required.

PICKNICKING— ramadas are available for use at Sunset State Beach. If you would like to host an event at Sunset State Beach you must complete the Special Event permit, contact information for such events can be found under Special Event Permits below.

GLIDER PORT—Remote-control glider enthusiasts will find a glider port at Sunset State Beach.

OCEAN SAFETY - dangerous rip currents, frigid water and deep offshore drop offs make surfing and swimming hazardous for any but the most experienced surfers.

ALCOHOL - is not permitted on the beach or in the day-use area.

DOGS - are not permitted on Sunset state beach, except for service animals. Dogs are allowed in the campground on a six-foot maximum leash. Dogs are allowed on leash at nearby Manresa State Beach. For a list of locations you can take your dog in Santa Cruz County, please click here.

HORSES - are not permitted on the beach.

FIRES - are allowed only in park fire rings.

DRONES - are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Non-motorized gliders are allowed at the designated glider-port located across from the South campground.

WESTERN SNOWY PLOVERS - use both Sunset and Manresa state beaches and their foredune areas for nesting, rearing of young, and winter habitat. This bird builds its nest directly on the beach sands. Disturbing a posted plover nesting area is a violation of federal law.

BEACH WHEELCHAIR - Available upon request on a first come, first served basis

Allowed Activities
Body Surfing
Fat Biking
Rv Camping
Road Biking
Stand-up Paddling
Tent Camping
Whale Watching
Good For
Rules & Regulation
Camping Permits Required
Dogs Permitted With Restrictions
Dogs On Leash
Fishing Permits Required

Additional Information

Social Media

Instagram -

Sunset & Manresa State Park Instagram

Special Event Permits

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (Friends) is a vital partner with California State Parks, creatively working to ensure our cherished local parks and beaches are thriving and available to all. Friends’ innovative and collaborative community partnership provides support and investment for education, equity and inclusion, conservation, facilities improvements, historic preservation and cultural events.

Campground Host Volunteer Opportunities

Sunset State Beach & Campground 

Santa Cruz District is looking for enthusiastic campground & maintenance hosts. The campground is nestled in 200’ high sand dunes, sprinkled with eucalyptus, pine, and cypress trees overlooking the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. The campground & maintenance host sites are developed and have full hook-ups. If you are interested in becoming a camp or maintenance host for Sunset State Beach please send your VIPP Application to us via e-mail;

Seasonal Employment Opportunities

State Parks relies upon the hard work of seasonal employees, and a seasonal position is a great way to begin a career with State Parks. The Santa Cruz District of California State Parks includes parks along the coast from Watsonville to Daly City and parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Santa Cruz District hires Interpretive/Public Education employees in the springtime to work in the campgrounds during the summer and hires Maintenance and Visitor Assistance employees year-round according to park operational need. These listings are for Interpretation/Public Education, Maintenance and Visitor Assistance positions in the Santa Cruz District of California State Parks.

For further job information in the Santa Cruz District, please call the district office at (831) 335-6318.

Santa Cruz District employment opportunities

Visitor Service Aide with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Job Opportunities

Visitor Service Operations with California State Parks

Create a CalCareers account to apply online

Fill out a Standard State Application to apply in person or e-mail applications to

Maintenance Aide

For more information call (831) 335-6318.

Seasonal Interpreter

The Santa Cruz District recruits seasonal interpreters in early spring, to work during the summer (mid-May through Labor Day in September). Interpreters provide high quality educational experiences for the public by researching, developing, promoting, and conducting natural and cultural history programs.

Flexible part-time to full-time work.

For more information, email

Hours of Operation

8 AM to Sunset