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Twin Lakes State Beach
Twin Lakes lighthouse
Twin Lakes Schwan Lagoon
Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes moon
Twin Lakes Schwan Lagoon1


The beach has a mile of sandy shoreline and is popular for swimming and picnicking. It’s located next to the Santa Cruz Harbor and is one of the area’s most popular local beaches.

Adjacent Schwan Lake Park offers easy walking trails through a natural preserve of old oaks and coastal grasslands. It’s a good location for dog-walking, bird watching and scenic views of the lake and bay.

Operating Hours

Day-Use Area Sunrise to Sunset


From Highway 1, take Soquel Avenue to 7th Avenue. 7th Avenue dead-ends at Twin Lakes State Beach. Public access to Schwan Lake Park is via the Simpkins Family Swim Center off of 17th Avenue.

By Bus: Take Santa Cruz METRO routes 66, 68 or 69W to get to the beach.

Things to do

Beach Area

Enjoy boogie boarding, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming and other beach activities.

Hiking Trails

Explore Schwan Lagoon, which is a good spot for birding.


Fire rings are provided at this beach. Bonfires are only permitted inside of those rings.


Beach wheelchairs are available for use. Reservations are recommended. Contact the State Park Special Events Office at SCD.specialevents@nullparks.ca.gov or 831-335-8487, Monday to Thursday excluding holidays, between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. Email is preferred.

Fees and Passes

Parking is free in the off-season. Summer parking permits for the adjacent streets are required by the county. Purchase one from the kiosk across from the beach.



Twin Lakes State Beach is in the unceded homelands of the Awaswas-speaking Ohlone Tribe known as the Uypi, who stewarded these lands since time immemorial. Centuries of colonial violence led to the removal and displacement of the Uypi. Today, their descendants continue their stewardship and presence here, in partnership with State Parks.

Schwan Lake and Woods Lagoon (now the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor) were known historically as Twin Lakes.


  • Dogs are permitted on leash.
  • Fires must be confined to fire rings provided.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on the beach or in day-use areas.
  • A fishing license is required.

COVID Protocols

Before you visit, check the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels to see current masking advice.

Get more information on the California State Parks response to COVID-19 here.

More Info

(831) 427-4868

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Events at Twin Lakes State Beach