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.
Weather (When to Go)
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.
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.
Rancho Del Oso Nature & History Center
The Center occupies a ranch-style house and grounds that were once the home of Hulda Hoover McLean, daughter of Theodore Hoover whose brother was President Herbert Hoover. It now consists of an intimate, protected courtyard surrounded by an informative exhibit hall that showcases both the natural and cultural history of the area and a large deck overlooking the Waddell Valley and the Pacific Ocean.
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.
Things to do in Davenport
Venture Quest Kayaking
Venture Quest Kayaking of Santa Cruz offers a unique opportunity to explore the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from a kayak! Rent a kayak or join us on a guided tour and enter the realm of sea otters, seals, sea lions, pelicans, dolphins, whales and a variety of other bird and marine wildlife. Kayaking is an exciting sport that can be both relaxing and invigorating. It is the perfect way to peacefully interact with the wildlife inhabitants of The Monterey Bay. Telephone: +1 831-427-6627 Web: Venture Quest Kayaking
Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Join them on our Santa Cruz & Monterey Whale Watching Trips & Sea Life Excursions & “Sea For Yourself”. Climb aboard the 60 foot Velocity, or 56 foot Legacy. Both luxury charter boats will let you experience the Monterey Bay area like never before! In winter or summer, they take you to the heart of whale territory as they spot these magnificent creatures and much more! Telephone: +1 831-427-0230 Web: Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Cal Boat Diving
The Spectre dive boat transports you in comfort to amazing dive sites. The friendly staff at Calboat Diving have all the answers to any Spectre dive trip question. Dives fill up quickly! Book Online now to guarantee your spot! Telephone: +1 805-406-1166 Web: Cal Boat Diving
Out To Sea
The Dive & Fishing center, Out To Sea, is a one-stop shop for everything you need on the Central California coast, offering unique fishing supplies and diving rentals. They fill scuba tanks and deliver them to you in the Breakwater Marina or San Carlos Beach. They also are a NAUI Dream Destination offering dive classes and dive tours of all types custom to their clients. Telephone: +1 831-901-3768 Web: Out To Sea
Adventure Out is California’s premiere outdoor school specializing in surf lessons and surf camps, wilderness survival instruction, rock climbing classes and private rock climbing guides, backpacking trips, and mountain biking classes and tours. Telephone: +1 800-509-3954 Web: Adventure Out
Best Restaurants in Davenport
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$ Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant
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: +1 831-426-8801 Web: Davenport Roadhouse Restaurant
$$ – $$$ 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. 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: +1 831-423-9009 Web: Whale City Bakery
$$ – $$$ Cemitas 1
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: +1 831-454-8414 Web: Cemitas 1
$$$ Tyrolean Inn
The Tyrolean Inn Restaurant has been serving authentic German cuisine since 1970. If you’ve never tried German food before, you may be surprised to find it’s a sophisticated continental cuisine. They use a variety of meats, poultry, sausages, and fish. You’ll also enjoy a range of fresh and pickled vegetables, mouth-watering sauces, and tempting deserts. Game dishes are offered on Fridays. They also stock a wide variety of German beers and an impressive selection of fine local wines, along with a full bar with schnapps and other beverages. Telephone: +1 831-336-5188 Web: Tyrolean Inn
$$$ The Cremer House
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: +1 831-335-3976 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: +1 831-423-9009 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: +1 831-335-9969 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: +1 831-338-9417 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: +1 650-879-0464 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: +1 831-335-3976 Web: The Cremer House
Best Nearby Davenport Hotels
Truly relax and enjoy the Slow Coast cabin located on 22 acres of remote redwood wilderness privately tucked away but just minutes to beaches, trails and farms. The cabin is made from reclaimed timber and features an open floor plan with indoor wood stove, a large sleeping loft and wrap around deck. Enjoy sitting on the deck next to the beehive fireplace in the evenings, soak in the claw-foot tub or take a rain shower. The kitchen has an O’Keefe & Merritt Stove and full kitchen. For more information, pricing or to reserve your stay visit Slowcoast Lodge.
The Hilton House – Redwoods Tranquility (Forest Park)
The Hilton House- Redwoods Tranquility is located in Forest Park. Featuring mountain views, this vacation home also has free WiFi. The vacation home has a TV with satellite channels, a well-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, and a bathroom with a bath. For more information, pricing or to reserve your stay visit The Hilton House – Redwoods Tranquility.
Fern River Resort (Felton)
Featuring access to the private River Beach, this Felton resort is 8 miles away from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. A campfire and game areas are featured. A terrace with barbecue facilities is featured in all cottages. Featuring a river view, each cottage provides free WiFi, a seating area, cable TV and an private bathroom. Natural wood accents are featured in all rooms at Fern River Resort. Select cabins offer a fully equipped kitchen or a fireplace. For more information, pricing or to reserve your cottage visit the Fern River Resort.
Fairview Manor Bed & Breakfast (Ben Lomond)
Each room is decorated with antiques and collectibles, and carefully prepared with crisp linens, fluffy comforters and towels. Four rooms have original redwood paneling on high ceilings and walls. A spacious common area features a river rock fireplace and firewood, original redwood panel walls, and woodland views. The setting is perfect for a complimentary glass of wine or tea, served each afternoon, year-round. For more information, pricing or to reserve your room visit Fairview Manor Bed & Breakfast.
Hotel Solares (Santa Cruz)
Make your California trip special by choosing our well-appointed rooms and suites. They offer a premium location within walking distance of the famous beach boardwalk, Downtown Santa Cruz and top local restaurants. Start your day with a free continental breakfast. Relax at their heated pool and hot tub, and stay connected with free Wi-Fi. They also offer pet-friendly accommodations and 24-hour front desk service. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Hotel Solares.