Sunset Beach State Park

For several years now we have made Sunset Beach our November destination.  Why November?  Well, long ago I used to work at a school that was on a “year round” schedule.  I was assigned to “A” track which meant that November was one of the months I had off.  The hubby decided it was a good time to take some vacation around the Veteran’s Day holiday since I was already off AND November is a good time on the California north coast.  By the time I switched back to a traditional schedule, which meant I was no longer off in November, we were hooked.  So, now I have to use vacation days as well.  It’s worth it.


Sunset State Beach is located in Watsonville, California, 16 miles south of Santa Cruz on Highway 1.  This is a typical California state beach in that it has a day use parking lot and beach access with a fee that is separate from the campground.  There are 3 sections to the campground: The Dunes, Pine Hollow and South Camp.  South Camp is situated at the very end and is the only one that is open year-round except for the group sites.  All three camps have large sites, bathrooms with coin operated showers and are nicely maintained.










South Camp is definitely our favorite of the three.  The other two lie between farmland on the east and dunes on the west.  South Camp is also bordered by farmland on the east but to the west is …………


………the ocean.


If you’re lucky and manage to get into space #25 you get to see this from your campsite.


And this out the back window or your RV.


  If not, it’s an easy, short walk across the road to view the beach below.


You can also drive down to the beach level or walk down the stairway to get there.


Every evening folks gather to watch this……

Thus the name……Sunset Beach.


Watsonville is definitely big-time farm country and there are pluses and minuses to that….mostly pluses.  There is always something wonderful in season and plenty of farmstands to make your purchases.  In the spring it’s artichoke season and when we go in November the brussel sprouts are being harvested.  Each year we buy one of these……..


These ain’t your momma’s crappy sprouts she served you as a child that made you gag…. At least MY momma’s made me gag and try to sneak them back into the serving dish when her back was turned!  No…. when these fresh and gorgeous gems are steamed they melt in your mouth like buttah.  Delish!

Other perks to the area are the great places to explore as it’s a quick drive to Santa Cruz to the north or Monterey to the south. Even a trip to the Gilroy Outlet Mall isn’t that far away.  My friend and I make sure to drop by Back Porch Fabrics on Grand Avenue in Pacific Grove.  It’s a lovely quilt shop and I’m sure to find something there I just can’t pass up.

Here’s the details:

Address:  201 Sunset Beach Rd., Watsonville, CA  95076

Reservations:  Yes…..through Reservamerica

Fee:  $35 a night

Hook-ups:  None



  • Large sites
  • Fire rings
  • Great part of CA
  • And this…..











  • No dogs allowed on the beach
  • Tractors on bordering farmland can be loud at times.

I think I would give this place 4 out of 5 stars.

2 comments to Sunset Beach State Park

  • Moni  says:

    Hi, We are from Germany and will be in Ca in Sept.with our rv. We already found a Spot in Half Moon Bay for a couple of nights. Now we are looking for places along the coast. This campground looks nice. I like how you show pics of the Camp Site and what’s around it.

    Over and out

    • sbainter1958  says:

      Thanks! I hope you have a great trip. I don’t know how far up north you are planning to go in CA but a really awesome place is Patricks Point in Trinidad, CA. This is fairly close to the Oregon border. It has the distinction of being on the ocean and in the midst of the huge redwoods as well. It’s gorgeous! Happy travels!

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