New Brighton State Beach, Capitola

#2 of 8 in Things to do in Capitola
New Brighton State Beach is a 95 acre beach park on Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County, California, consisting of a beach and campgrounds. 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.
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New Brighton State Beach Reviews
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165 reviews
  • We walk to this area from one of our homes, just to take in the natural beauty of the ocean. Yesterday evening, the unusual event was the Coast Guard towing a sinking vintage cabin cruiser type boat t...  more »
  • Favorite beach in Capitola! Beach overlooks Soquel Cove and Monterey Bay. Birds, sea otters, seal lions, dolphins, migrating whales are just few of the many animals that inhabit this beautiful beach/a...  more »
  • Lovely place to visit, beach comb and camp. If you are planning on camping make sure to make reservations way a head of your stay.
  • Beautiful, clean family fun!!

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