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Located near the city of Watsonville in California, Sunset State Beach is a stunning place to spend the day or night. Complete with a stunning stretch of sandy shoreline, picnic areas, and a rustic campground, it is the ideal spot to spend time with friends and loved ones. From the campgrounds, trails descend between the dunes to the sandy beach, with Monterey Bay stretching out in front of you.
Overall the park is around 1.5 miles long, surrounded by large agricultural fields, and other beaches. Search for an RV rental in Santa Cruz County to explore the coastline and neighboring towns with ease.
Sunset State Beach is made up of glorious stretches of golden sands followed by rolling dunes. If you have a fishing license, one of the most popular activities is throwing out a line and trying to catch perch and sardines. In the dunes, there is a remote-control glider port where enthusiasts come and send their creations into the air. Even if you don't have one yourself, watching the model crafts flying above the beach can be great fun.
When camping at Sunset State Beach, beach bonfires are allowed, so many people enjoy sitting with a group of friends or family in the evening around a roaring fire. Alternatively, there are both covered and uncovered picnic facilities, some of which have BBQ areas. Walking south along the beach will bring you to a picturesque day-use area known as Palm Beach which is ideal for relaxing, sunbathing and paddling while heading north, the beach here is regularly used for beach combing.
When it comes to activities, the options are endless. Water sports are popular here such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and more. People also come the area for wildlife viewing, with the hope of spotting some whales or many different species of bird.
In total Sunset State Beach offers over 70 RV sites to make use of, making it perfect for state park RV camping, all of which allow visitors to make use of the fire rings, picnic tables, grills, and food storage lockers. You can pick up some firewood sold by the camp host at the entrance. State park RV campgrounds allow the opportunity to enjoy sitting by the fire listening to the sounds of the waves. It can accommodate travel trailer rentals of up to 32 feet long but doesn't offer hookups; only a few have ocean views.
It is a popular place for motorhome camping, set in groves of Monterey Pines, with plenty of space left between RVs.
As a dog-friendly park, dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash, however; they are not allowed on the beach itself. It is one of the only palaces that you can go camping near Santa Cruz, and many people will combine their camping here with a day trip there.
As there is no camp store, you can stock up on necessities at the gas station which is about a 10-minute drive away. For other dining options, camp in an RV near Watsonville, which is just a short drive away. While there, why not head to Gizdich Ranch, with plenty of fruit picking options for the whole family, and many tasty treats to enjoy.
The biggest attraction nearby is the town of Santa Cruz itself. The boardwalk here is one of the nation's oldest seaside amusement parks, filled with retro rides and a vibrant atmosphere. Santa Cruz also has a bustling downtown, and you could spend hours walking down Pacific Avenue browsing the many shops and grabbing a bite to eat in one of the many eateries.
Heading down the coast, you'll reach Monterey, home to one of the most impressive aquariums in the state. The aquarium draws nearly two million visitors every year. It sits on the border of one of the largest underwater canyons on earth, therefore is surrounded by incredibly diverse marine life, home to around 550 different species. The highlight of this attraction has to be the three-story 335,000-gallon tank, offering visitors incredible views of sharks and other species.