Taking in Natural Bridges State Beach

San Francisco Natural Bridges SB

Added by Blake Maitoza

  • Awesome Rock Formation
  • Easy Place to Photograph
  • Great spot to take in a sunset
  • Amazing Wildlife

Natural Bridges State Beach is a wonderful place to photograph located in Santa Cruz off of West Cliff Drive. This is a great place to practice long exposure photography to capture awesome water movement as it passes through the "Natural Bridge" formation.

The best time to shoot this spot is at sunrise due to the sun risng in the east directly behind the formation making for an awesome photo. Certain times of the year when there is a really high tide a lagoon will be created up on the beach. This is a perfect location to set up behind so you capture the reflection of the clouds on the water during sunrise/sunset.

This spot also gives wonderful wildlife photo opportunities as pelicans are usually on the beach. Pelicans are very photogenic and a "easy" bird to photograph due to their large size.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Backpack
  • Water/Snacks
Read More



Chillin, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago


This is a beautiful spot to stop at while in Santa Cruz. It is easily accessible and a wonderful option for a family as it is both beautiful yet is simple. To explore a bit more you can walk along the coastal path that loops around on the cliffs and take trails down onto rocks that jut out into the Pacific.

3 months ago

3 months ago

Pretty, but crowded

This natural bridge is stunning but located on a crowded Santa Cruz beach, which takes away the fun. If you go at sunset, there will almost always be some photographers there. However, it's still a very beautiful spot and great to just take in. Tip: go at night during the summertime to snag a photo of the Milky Way behind/through the arch.

3 months ago

More Adventures Nearby

Camp at Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

San Francisco / Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

This old Naval Base is now home to, well, almost nothing.

Natalie O'Connor
18 Saves

Hike Along Mendocino Cliffs Trail

San Francisco / Mendocino Bay

The town of Mendocino is as charming and quaint as one can find. It is no wonder why it was pegged as the perfect location spot to film the series Murder She Wrote.

Mike Quine
7 Saves

Hike to McClures Beach

San Francisco / McClures Beach Parking

This beach is really easy to get to. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. It's an easy hike down from the parking lot.

Yuriy R
21 Saves