Clinging tight to the shoreline about 20 minutes north of Santa Cruz along old highway 1 is the sleepy little village of Davenport. Don't let it's size deceive you, — Davenport is a highly sought-after community with limited housing stock, which only adds to its allure. Those in search of a purely quiet beach town will not need to look any further. With most homes being just steps from Davenport Beac, not to mention a recreation center, elementary school, and grocery store, everything you need is in this charming seaside town.
A Brief History of Davenport
The town is named for a Captain John Pope Davenport, who first set up shop here in 1867 by constructing a 450-foot wharf to aid in transporting lumber from the interior of the mainland, back to Santa Cruz. All that remains of that lumber industry are the remnants of the once proud wharf, dwarfed by the towering white cliffs of Davenport. In its place now is barely more than a brief stopover on the popular coastal highway one route down California's picturesque coastline, but it's certainly worth a more in-depth look.
Sand and Surf on Davenport's Beaches
The beaches near Davenport have become popular locations for different watersports, especially kitesurfing and kiteboarding; the small coves under tall cliffs have created ideal conditions for this pastime. Davenport Beach and Shark Tooth Beach are lauded as hidden gems by locals and the steep cliffs that surround them can make accessibility an issue. Shark Tooth Beach gets its name from the large rock cliff that juts out of the center of the small cove.
The towering white cliffs that the area is famous for have created spectacular caves and tide pools just waiting to be explored, all the way down the rugged coastline.
Davenport Roadhouse & Whale City Bakery
The Davenport Roadhouse is known to have great food and an even greater atmosphere. The restaurant specializes in fresh coastal cuisine with seafood and fresh produce from the nearby organic farms, as well as locally sourced wines and beers. If you're in a rush, there is also an attached cafe that features a selection of coffees and take-out options.
Foodies will also appreciate a visit to Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill, where you'll find freshly-baked pastries for when you're on-the-run, or classic home-cooked meals when you're in the mood for something bigger. If you haven't already tried their homemade granola, you certainly should.
Swanton Berry Farms: A Unique Experience
A little ways off the main highway, you will come across an old, beat-up pick-up truck with a faded sign in the shape of a strawberry. The sign reads "Swanton Berry Farms": get ready for a fun and unique experience that's great for fruit lovers of all ages. Swanton Berry Farm is an orchard that features fresh and organic strawberries, blackberries and kiwis, depending on the season.
Encouraging simplicity over all else, you pick your own fruit at $3 per pound and pay for it in the oh-so-rustic cafe and store. And for a unique twist, there is a self-cashier that runs on the honor system. The cafe features an array of pies, jams and other confectionaries with coffee, all operating on this supreme display of good faith. This quirky and fun location is definitely worth a look, but the super fresh and organic produce remains the main attraction.
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