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New Brighton State Beach

New Brighton State Beach in Early March 

New Brighton State Beach is “just around the corner” (a wet corner) from the beach at Capitola. New Brighton is officially in the town of Capitola, and can be reached by taking the New Brighton/Park Avenue exit from Highway 1.

The Ohlone people lived in the area for thousands of years. The Spanish established Mission Santa Cruz (now recreated as a smaller-scale replicaHoly Cross Church now stands on the site of the original Mission). When Mexico broke away from Spain in 1821, the land was divided into ranchos (land grants). Thomas Fallon acquired part of Rancho Soquel in the 1850s and created a resort that he named New Brighton, in honor of his favorite seaside retreat in England. New Brighton was yet another place known as “China Beach” or “China Cove” and, during the 1880s and 1890s was the location of a Chinese fishing village. The inhabitants worked to build the California railroad and provided Santa Cruz with produce, fish, laundries, servants, and chefs. After dragnet fishing was made illegal in 1915, commercial fishing slowed. New Brighton became a State Beach in 1933.

When we were there in early March, people were already taking advantage of the warm weather. There were folks playing board games, people coming to surf, people kayaking, and folks just walking along the beach. To go along with the English origin of the name, there were English daisies sprouting out of the ground. The trees were in bloom as well. You can read more about New Brighton State Beach, and neighboring Seacliff State Beach (with the concrete ship Palo Alto harboring marine life at the end of the pier) in the park brochure.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.  Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide!  

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