The Texan in me finds it hard to believe that you'd need a fleece or sweatshirt on the beach, but sure enough it was overcast and in the 60s down by the water the day we were there. (Yep, in July!)
^^^Attempting a little free style rock climbing
We would love to go back when the sun is shining and the weather is bathing suit appropriate! (I suppose we should have checked the weather before we went last time... thankfully I'm accustomed to keeping a fleece in my car for our chilly California nights.)
If you're in the area and would like to check it out, here are the directions to Panther Beach:
Northbound from Santa Cruz on Hwy 1, look for the elevated dirt parking lot off to the left between mile markers 26 and 27. Park there and cross the railroad tracks toward the ocean and you'll see a sign for Panther Beach. Follow the trail to the right of the Panther Beach sign down to the sand. Be careful - the trail is uneven and very steep. The arch is down on the left. If you decide to go through the arch to the beach on the other side, be sure to keep an eye on the tide. At high tide, the water will come up past the arch leaving you stranded on the other side.
^^^The railroad tracks are between the parking lot and the trail.
^^^The trail down is to the right of the sign.
^^^ Very steep trail down to the beach.
I guess this secret beach isn't so secret anymore! ;)