Along California’s coastal Highway 1, south of Half Moon Bay and north of Santa Cruz, sits Davenport CA. Many travelers no doubt speed by this quaint town on their way to or from more popular destinations. But if you happen to be traveling along this stretch of road, slow down and enjoy Davenport CA, and all that it has to offer. After all, this area is known by locals as the slowcoast.
Within walking distance is Davenport Beach, a beautiful place that’s a favorite of visiting photographers. In the spring, wildflowers bloom upon the green hills, and many rocky formations, including the famous Davenport Crack, serve to create breathtaking landscape scenes.
Unique rock formations, including the “Shark Fin,” can also be found at Davenport Cove Beach, as well as a waterway that runs through a cave tunnel forming a small mossy waterfall. Steep cliffs, rock shelves, and large expanses of sand can be found at Bonny Doon Beach, which lies at the mouth of Liddell Creek, southward on Highway 1. Davenport is definitely worth a visit, so read our Davenport CA Travel Guide and start planning your vacation here today. For an extensive list of all the great Central California beaches, visit here.
Davenport Weather (When to Visit)
The best time to visit Davenport is from September through November when the summer tourists have returned home, leaving a bit more room on the beaches, walking paths and other attractions. December, January and February see a slight dip in temperatures, which nonetheless are warm enough for the monarch butterflies who overwinter at Natural Bridges State Beach. The months between April and May are characterized by mounting temperatures and special events that meet their nexus in June, July and August.
Best Davenport Area Beaches
Greyhound Rock Coastal Access
Fishing is popular at this beach as is beach combing. Surfers can find a couple left hand breaks here conditions. Beach walkers are free to roam far north and south from where the trail meets the beach behind Greyhound Rock. At low tide, it is possible to climb up Greyhound Rock for an excellent view of the shoreline.
Natural Bridges State Beach
A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tide pools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a bicycle path around the perimeter of the park.
Shark Fin Cove
A massive rock stands guard over a small cove full of geologic wonders just up the coast from Santa Cruz, only 0.7 miles south of the town of Davenport. The main geologic feature, visible from Highway 1, has inspired two interchangeable names: Shark Fin Cove and Shark Tooth Beach. This beach is most certainly a cove, however, and it’s fun to imagine the size of shark lurking beneath a fin of that size, so we’re using the former here.
Davenport Pier Beach
Davenport Pier Beach is the northern of two beaches right in the tiny town of Davenport, CA. This beach is across from the huge concrete and cement plant that’s visible at the north end of town. Davenport Pier, a frequently photographed landmark, is at the beach below the bluff, but it is not easy to get to. Eager photographers make their way down to capture sunset pictures of the pier foundation arches which stretch out into the surf.
Scott Creek Beach
Scott Creek Beach is one of the nicest beaches in the Davenport area north of Santa Cruz. The beach is right next to Highway 1 as it dips into the Scott Creek Valley north of Davenport Landing. Scott Creek runs into the ocean at the north end of the beach and Molino Creek crosses the beach at the south end. The shallow channel formed in the sand when Scott Creek is flowing can be fun for kids to play in. Most people settle into the beach between the creeks but this beautiful coastline invites exploration north and south.
Best Davenport Tours & Activities by Viator
Roaring Camp Steam Train Through Santa Cruz Redwoods
Board a historic steam train for a 1-hour ride through the Santa Cruz mountains from Felton’s Roaring Camp, and go deep into redwood groves and California’s past. Chug up the narrow gage tracks under trees that soar over 270 feet (82 meters) above the forest floor. Learn the history of the forest, the railroad and the logging camp it served. Stroll through the towering trees at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, visit an old fashioned general store and sheriff’s office and take in serenity of California’s ancient forests. Learn more about the Roaring Camp Steam Train.
Beginner Surf Lesson in Santa Cruz
Get wet while learning to surf in Santa Cruz, a picturesque coastal California town popular with surfers. Your 3-hour lesson starts with the basics of how to paddle out, pop up, balance, and catch a wave, along with surfing etiquette and understanding the ocean. Your instructor has you practice on the beach before accompanying you into a spot with small waves that are ideal for beginners. Includes all necessary equipment and instruction. Learn more about the Beginner Surf Lesson in Santa Cruz.
Beach Train from Roaring Camp through Redwoods to Santa Cruz
Pack in views of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the California redwoods, and the Monterey Bay during this beach train from Santa Cruz’s Roaring Camp Railroads. Along with a scenic train ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains, you’ll get a 1-hour stop in the middle of your route to relax or explore the area at your own pace. This fun experience is perfect for families, and children under two ride free as an added bonus. Learn more abou the Beach Train from Roaring Camp thru Redwoods to Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz Harbor Standup Paddle Board Rental
This rental is the perfect way to dip your paddle in the water without the half-day commitment. You can paddle free of the large swell from the open ocean in our protected Santa Cruz Harbor. After your paddle, you’ll have earned that beer & fish tacos at El Palomar, Crows Nest or Johnny’s Harborside. Wildlife spotting, adventure, and some iconic scenery make this paddle a must do. Ideal for beginners, or bucket-listers who want to get the most out of their Santa Cruz visit! Learn more about the Santa Cruz Harbor SUP Board Rental.
Santa Cruz Single Kayak Ocean Rental
Come paddle for fun, fitness, relaxation or imagination! See the ever adorable southern sea otter, whales lunge feeding, or enjoy the rowdy sea lions as they porpoise through the waves. Learn more about the Santa Cruze Single Kayak Ocean Rental.
Best Restaurants in Davenport
Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant $11 – 30
Delicious California coastal Cuisine featuring fresh ingredients from neighboring organic farms is the hallmark of our kitchen. Celebrate a friendship or special evening in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Telephone: 831-426-8801 Web: Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant
Whale City Bakery $11 – 30
They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily along with an in-house boutique bakery, full espresso bar, patio seating with ocean views, and live music several nights a week. Run by three generations of family, they pride themselves on fast and friendly service, home cooked meals featuring locally sourced ingredients, and the art of traditional, no frills baking. Telephone: 831-423-9009 Web: Whale City Bakery
Cemitas 1 $11 – 30
They specialize in regional cuisine from Puebla and Oaxaca. Their tortillas are made with masa ground in house with heirloom corn, and their Cemitas are topped with real Oaxacan quesillo imported weekly. Cemitas 1 also offers a variety of starters and side dishes perfect for sharing. Telephone: 831-454-8414 Web: Cemitas 1
Tyrolean Inn $11 – 30
The Tyrolean Inn Restaurant has been serving authentic German cuisine since 1970. If you've never tried German food before, you may be surprised to find it's a sophisticated continental cuisine. They use a variety of meats, poultry, sausages, and fish. You'll also enjoy a range of fresh and pickled vegetables, mouth-watering sauces, and tempting deserts. Game dishes are offered on Fridays. They also stock a wide variety of German beers and an impressive selection of fine local wines, along with a full bar with schnapps and other beverages. Telephone: 831-336-5188 Web: Tyrolean Inn
The Cremer House $11 – 30
They serve bountiful lunches and hearty dinners inspired by classic American recipes: homemade and traditional. They showcase a variety of 24 craft beers and ciders on tap, as well as 10 local wines on tap, and homemade sodas. From the outdoor patio to inside at the bar, The Cremer House is the perfect spot to enjoy a handcrafted beverage and a thoughtfully prepared meal in a small town outlined by redwoods. Telephone: 831-335-3976 Web: The Cremer House
Best Davenport Nightlife
Whale City Bakery
They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily along with an in-house boutique bakery, full espresso bar, patio seating with ocean views, and live music several nights a week. Join them on Thursdays for music, happy hour, and family dinner starting at 6:00 pm! Telephone: 831-423-9009 Web: Whale City Bakery
Monty's Log Cabin
Great drinks at a reasonable price, friendly patrons, wonderful bartenders, a full bar, pool table, and an outside patio area with a fire pit. Does a Bar Sit in the Woods? YES! Telephone: 831-335-9969 Web: Monty's Log Cabin
Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Joe's is a fixture of the community. Like they say, “If you haven't been to Joe's you haven't been to Boulder Creek”. Diane and Gina invite you down for some great libations. Bring your thirst and an appetite for fun. Telephone: 831-338-9417 Web: Joe's Bar
Duarte’s Tavern offers American country cooking, spiced by the Portugese roots of the Duarte family. They feature wines from the Santa Cruz mountains, and our fully stocked bar makes a mean Bloody Mary. Telephone: 650-879-0464 Web: Duarte's Tavern
The Cremer House
They showcase a variety of 24 craft beers and ciders on tap, as well as 10 local wines on tap, and homemade sodas. From the outdoor patio to inside at the bar, The Cremer House is the perfect spot to enjoy a handcrafted beverage and a thoughtfully prepared meal in a small town outlined by redwoods. Telephone: 831-335-3976 Web: The Cremer House