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Location: Panther Beach, North of Santa Cruz, California

Panther Beach, sometimes called "Hole-in-the-Wall" beach (though they may be confusing this beach with another one nearby) is a large beach, wild in character with towering cliffs and inspiring rock formations. The weather is often warm and sunny here even though it is cool and foggy up in San Francisco. A typical trip will have you driving south from SF in foggy conditions feeling discouraged, but suddenly at a point along highway 1 the sky will open up to clear blue! All the various beaches and coves north of Santa Cruz are traditionally clothing-optional beaches and you will find at least a handful of nudists any day of the week.

panther beach nude beach


To get there by car from San Francisco:

Take interstate 280 south until you reach the junction that gets you on to 92 west to Half Moon Bay. From Half Moon Bay head south on highway 1 for about 35 miles until you get to a small village called Davenport. You will see a store with a big sign "Arros" to your left. From there it is 2 miles to the parking lot entrance for Panther Beach. From Davenport after 1 mile you will first see a strip of parking on your right as you pass Bonny Doon Beach; DO NOT park there. Drive another mile and you will see a pull off on the right side leading to a strip of dirt parking area that can accommodate many cars. There is NO SIGN indicating the name of the beach but it IS Panther Beach. Make the tight turn and drive in, heading north now, as far as you can go. The ground is bumpy and you have to drive slowly.

To get there by car from Santa Cruz:

Take highway 1 north/west out of town until you get to the last traffic light, which is at Western Drive. It is 6.5 miles to the parking lot turn off on your left as described above. If you miss it and feel you are lost just continue into Davenport where the "Arros" store sign is and turn around. The entrance is almost exactly 2 miles south. There is no sign indicating the name of the beach.


Walk to the north end of the long narrow dirt parking area and follow the trail that crosses the railway tracks and heads down to the beach. Once on the beach, if you stick to the left you will see an archway in the rock leading to the south beach. if the tide is high, you may have to take your shoes off.

panther beach nude beach

panther beach nude beach