Natural Bridges State Beach occupies 65 acres of prime real estate on California's Central Coast. It's a fantastic place to soak up the Golden State sunshine and peer into colorful tide pools that offer a glimpse at the vibrant underwater ecosystem. Offshore, you could spot seals, otters, and migrating whales. The park is also an important winter sanctuary for butterflies, with thousands of Monarchs migrating down the coast to settle in the eucalyptus groves.
The park is named after the unique mudstone rock formations that were carved over millions of years by the Pacific Ocean. While there were once three arches, today just one remains. Planning a Golden State road trip? Book an RV in Santa Cruz County and you'll enjoy the freedom to explore California at your leisure. Beach-hop along the coast or head inland and visit famous national parks like Yosemite, Sequoia, and Joshua Tree.
The beach is the main draw at Natural Bridges, luring you with soft sand and crystalline water. Spend the day relaxing on the sand or take a stroll along the beach at low tide to discover a treasure trove of tide pools. Most are filled with sea stars, anemones, crabs, and other rainbow-colored marine life. The tide pools are fun to explore, but be cautious of the slippery rocks and big waves.
Every year from late fall to the end of winter, the park's eucalyptus grove serves as a sanctuary for thousands of Monarch butterflies. The spectacle is best viewed from late October to the end of November, with the butterflies migrating to the Rocky Mountains valley regions during the spring and summer. A wheelchair- and stroller-accessible boardwalk winds through the grove and offers excellent viewing opportunities. Guided tours depart from the visitors' center and are a great way to learn more about the natural phenomenon.
Adjacent to the main parking lot, a scenic picnic area is set among towering eucalyptus and pine trees. Tables, barbecues, water faucets, and restrooms make it easy to set up and enjoy lunch at the park. More hiking trails meander through the Moore Creek Estuary and are great for admiring native wildflowers. Dogs are welcome in the picnic area but aren't allowed on the beach and trails.
Camping near Natural Bridges State Beach
There are plenty of options for RV camping near Natural Bridges State Beach, ranging from full-service motorhome parks to off-the-grid primitive sites. In the historic logging town of Felton, you'll find Smithwoods RV Park, where sites feature full hookups, cable TV, and access to a heated pool. For a back-to-nature experience, escape to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, where you can sleep among the tallest trees on the planet.
The campground at New Brighton State Beach is RV-friendly and can accommodate rigs of up to 36 feet. Choose from more than 100 campsites perched on a beachside bluff and commanding sparkling views of the Pacific Ocean. Kids will love taking part in the campfire programs held from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Further north, Seacliff State Beach offers more RV-friendly campsites and easy access to the sand.
Exploring the Area
Natural Bridges State Beach is just one of many attractions on California's Central Coast. Adjacent to the park, Seymour Marine Discovery Center welcomes you with a full-sized skeleton of a blue whale. Inside, you can explore interactive exhibits, get up close with colorful sea creatures in the touch pool, and browse marine-inspired souvenirs at the gift shop. If you're RV camping with a dog, head five minutes up the coast to pet-friendly Mitchell's Cove Beach. Five miles north, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park gets you up close with a magnificent old-growth grove of coast redwoods. The largest tree stands 277 feet tall and is estimated to be more than 1,500 years old. Spend the day exploring the well-marked nature trails, picnicking by the river, and cooling off in the Garden of Eden swimming hole.
A 10-minute drive up the coast, Santa Cruz is a great place to stock up on fuel, food, and other motorhome camping essentials. The laid-back town is fringed by a sandy beach and wooden boardwalk, with plenty of farm-to-table cafes and taco shops to hit up. San Francisco is the closest major city, an hour and a half north. The international airport makes it a great place to pick up an RV rental near Natural Bridges State Beach and kickstart a California road trip. San Jose camper rentals are also a good option, due one-hour north of Natural Bridges State Beach.
Natural Bridges State Beach, CA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Natural Bridges State Beach. Outdoorsy's Natural Bridges State Beach RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.