This summer I spent a lot of time researching new and interesting places to take the kids. I needed a hook to convince them to leave their friends & devices behind for a good chunk of the day. I came across Davenport which is a tiny coastal town along Highway 1 just north of Santa Cruz: Shark Fin Cove, a pier swing, and berry picking! I was intrigued and I knew my kids would be too!

Lunch at Davenport Roadside Inn

Lunch at the Davenport Roadside Inn. Highway 1. Davenport, California
Lunch at the Davenport Roadside Inn

The Davenport Roadside Inn is right on Hwy 1 just one block from the beach. It’s a cute 2-story building with wide porches, perfect for socially distanced outdoor dining! We showed up at 11am and were seated right away although it was definitely filling up! The menu was impressive with salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza & pasta! I got the BLTA wrap and my 10-year-old had the Grilled Cheese. Both were delicious. Afterwards we went to the bakery inside and got a masked smiley face cookie – too cute not to get! It was just the two of us this day and we said we’ll need to bring the rest of the family back here because they would love it!

Shark Fin Cove

Shark Fin Cove in Davenport. Shark Fin Beach. California
Shark Fin Cove in Davenport

Shark Fin Cove is appropriately named, I mean look at it! I came across this beach when I was searching for local places to explore and the minute I saw a picture I knew I had to go!

Steep path down to the beach. Shark Fin Cove Beach. Davenport, California
Steep path down to the beach

The parking lot for the beach was only a few minute drive from the Roadhouse Inn. We followed a little path along the railroad tracks and there was a sign indicating a steep rocky trail down to the beach. Definitely not stroller friendly and probably best to carry anything on your back to keep your hands free for balance.

The water was a little too rough & cold for a swim! Davenport California. Shark Fin Cove
The water was a little too rough & cold for a swim!

For a town with a population of 408, Shark Fin Cove was especially crowded, but then again it is only 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. The beach was not spacious, but there was space to spread out and lay down a blanket. We went on a Tuesday so I would imagine the weekends would be much more crowded. My 10-year-old waded in the waves a bit, we threw a football around and watched a group of 20-somethings climb up on the rock and jump into the water. The latter made me super nervous as the water was really choppy and it was unclear how deep the water really was.

Cave tunnel that goes straight to the water! Shark Fin Cove Beach. Davenport, California
Cave tunnel that goes straight to the water!

Before we left, we explored a really cool tunnel carved out of the rock by the ocean. My son had a blast running back & forth through the tunnel into the water.

Walking along abandoned railroad tracks. Davenport, California
Walking along abandoned railroad tracks at the trailhead

Berry Picking at Swanton Berry Farm

We love picking fresh berries. Usually we go to Pescadero a little further north, but were excited to try a new place! Unfortunately berry picking was not available, but the store was still open for purchase. So we stopped by and picked up some pre-packaged strawberry shortcake with whipped cream to bring home for the rest of the family. It was delicious! Can’t wait to go back and pick berries when it’s open again.

Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport (Shutterstock)

Pier Swing

Another unique feature of Davenport is an old washed out pier on the beach. Only the concrete footings remain and sometimes you’ll find a swing hanging from the one closest to the beach. It’s an Instagrammers dream! I had read it was another challenging climb down to the beach and by the time we were ready to stop my son was done for the day. Had my 13-year-old daughter been with us I’m sure we would have stopped! We’ll go back another time because it’s a swing in the ocean!

The swing at Davenport Pier (Shutterstock)

For even more adventures, visit nearby Santa Cruz! This post highlights our running list of favorite things to do in Santa Cruz!

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