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Four Mile Beach

FOUR-MILE BEACH: This stretch of beach (Actually called “Wilder Ranch State Park,” now) off Hwy 1 is solely a “surfers” beach, with a few nude bathers intermittently seen. In reality, the beach is only about a mile long, and notoriously is branded for the huge amounts of seaweed lying around all over the sand. While this beach allows nude bathing, it is advised to familiarize yourself with the rules in California for nudity.

Since Four Mile became Wilder Ranch State Park, it has gotten much tamer. Today it tends to draw far more surfers and suited families than naturists. A few naked sunbathers appear on weekdays and when crowds are almost gone, especially on the south end, at the Table Rock area near this blowhole [at Four Mile], where the waves crash" and the north side of the beach, when regular surfers are gone.

Wilder Ranch encompasses about 5,000 acres of coastal habitat and recreation areas, including 34 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. State Parks is currently restoring 110 acres of coastal habitat. Since restoration began, wildlife, including hawks, wetland birds and red-legged frogs have retuned to the former ranch. For further information call: 831-423-9703.

CLIMATE: Typically moderate temperatures with occasional marine layers and rain in the winter months. Layering is always recommended.

ACTIVITIES: With a mile of white, glistening sand and incredible beach breakers, this beach has become common to surfers. While there are other sunbathers, even on the hottest days, only around 10-20 people will actually be nude bathing. This is a great place to relax, enjoy the scenery, watch waves and/or simply sun bathe with a nice picnic lunch.

LOCAL FLAVORS: Part of the reason Four Mile Beach derived its name is due to the fact that it is four miles from Mission Street in the heart of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, is a smaller coastal city with a population of around 55,000, located on the north end of Monterey Bay, about 40 miles south of San Jose. Probably best known for its world famous Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, the Mystery Spot and the University of California campus located in the lush Santa Cruz Mountains.

  • Santa Cruz Wharf
  • Memorial Lighthouse Museum
  • Santa Cruz Mission
  • Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra
  • Steamer Lane/World famous surfing spot
  • Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
  • Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
  • Carbrillo Music Festival/First week in August

by: Carla Iacovetti
©2006Carla Iacovetti