Campground Review: New Brighton State Beach, Capitola, California
Why we chose here? After spending a few weeks on the Central California Coast we wanted to head north to visit friends in the Bay Area. Although we have visited Santa Cruz many times we have never spent more than a few hours there, so we thought it was worth another look.
Location: This campground is in an excellent location. It is on a bluff above the beach and is walkable to the cute town of Capitola by the Sea. You can walk along some disused railtracks that run through the park straight into Capitola and you can walk down to the beaches of New Brighton and further along Seacliff State Beach.
Sites: All sites have a table, and fire-pit. The hook up sites are closer together, we preferred the larger space around a dry site. Some of the sites classed as premium back onto the ocean from the bluff. They do offer a wonderful view and are worth the extra cash if you are there just for a few days. We couldn't get an oceanside spot when we booked.
Facilities: There are showers that take quarters which were clean and had plentiful hot water. There is a dump station on site.
Groceries: The area has everything you could want from Safeway to Whole Foods to Trader Joe's.
Reservations: Yes. You will need them for most weekends, for hook-up spots and definitely in the summer. To book busy California State Parks at these popular times you have to go to Reserve America on the first of the month. At 8am (Pacific time) they open up reservation for the next 6 months (i.e. for May you book on Nov 1st). Don't try logging in at 8.01am since the prime spots will largely be gone. Even if you are not sure you of your exact plans in 7 months time, it's best to snag a site and cancel at a later date if they don't shape up as you might have thought.
Cell Coverage / WiFi: Good for both Verizon and AT&T
Price Paid: $35 for dry ($50 for hook ups and premium spots)
Date of visit: May 2015
Other: California beach camping may be a little pricey but I think it's so worth it. Imagine the people paying hundreds of dollars to stay in hotels or vacation rentals for the same experience.
Would we come here again? Yes.