Although Coastside Trail travels along five named beaches, the roving eye sees the gray sand strand as one long and clean beach. This is open and fairly flat countryside, where the slender beach graduates into mostly low bluffs, farm fields, and finally the west faces of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Spring is ideal for admiring California poppies, brilliant yellow beach primroses, and pale yellow bush lupines. Weekdays are best for avoiding the throngs of families (some with dogs) that play on these virtually rockless beaches. Horseback riders and mountain bikers also enjoy this sandy expanse. Expect to share the scene with white-crowned sparrows singing from coyote brush and seagulls galore screeching above the surf zone.
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