Catch a Sunset at Natural Bridges State Beach in San Francisco
The Natural Bridges State Beach spanning sixty-five acres is a state park in the city of Santa Cruz in California. The highlight of the park is the natural bridge that stands out with its formidable presence. The area is also known for its natural habitat of the monarch butterfly. It is estimated that around a hundred and fifty thousand monarch butterflies are in the park and surrounding areas through fall and winter. The state park has a longstanding history, since the time of the first European exploration and subsequent settlement. However, the modern history of the park can be traced back for some ninety years, since the state purchased the land and developed it as a park. The place was wild as recently as the seventies. Today, it is well developed with convenient beach access and commercial establishments.
About Natural Bridges State Beach
The coastal area along the beach and park is an intertidal zone. It is home to sea stars, mussels, limpets and sea anemones. The bridge is made of mudstone and has been carved into its present shape by the ocean. There has been no human intervention or contribution to the formation. It is estimated that the arches are a million years old. The natural bridge comprises of silt, diatoms, and clay, all of which have solidified over time to form a mix stone. Consistent wave erosion may have carved away the preexisting cliffs and left behind the islands we find today. According to experts, there were three arches of which only one stand today.
The Natural Bridges State Beach has a eucalyptus grove. You may want to attend the annual festival that marks the movement of monarch butterflies back to the area. There are tide pools you can explore when there is a low tide. As the high tide recedes, you would get to see the hermit crabs, urchins, kelp and sea stars that live in the tide pools. The park is also a haven if you are enthusiastic about whales, sea otters, seals, and shorebirds.
You can visit the beach and state park throughout the year, indulge in surfing, swimming, strolls and hiking, picnics, and kite flying. You should not climb the bridge or attempt to explore it up close since it is vulnerable to damage. It is already under stress from erosion being caused by the wind and waves. Don’t miss the sunset when you are here.
Stay at Mission Inn & Suites
Natural Bridges State Beach is less than one and a half mile from Mission Inn & Suites. Reserve your stay online at the hotel to get the best deal.