1. West Cliff Drive: Find a place to park and walk along West Cliff Drive at sunset. The views are great around every corner, and you can get some good shots with dramatic cliffs, surfers, and lighthouses in the background. There are tons of little wooden benches around the area too, so if you get there early enough you can camp out for the whole show.
2. Twin Lakes Beach by Walton Lighthouse: Great views of the lighthouse and harbor, along with the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in the distance. You can walk along the beach toward the pier for a nice sunset stroll. We love this spot any time of year. In the summer, it’s full of great people watching. In the winter, you get to see the waves crashing against the locks and up onto the sidewalk around the lighthouse.
3. San Lorenzo River Mouth: You can walk out onto the cliff to see the sunset here. On one side you have the Walton Lighthouse, and on the other you have the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We love this spot because we almost always see either sea lions playing where the river and ocean meet, or usually can spot a whale out in the distance on a good day.