You'll love it here .5 mile to beach, 8 to the Redwoods, close to world class surfing amazing Mt. Biking. We offer you pick Strawberries and the SWEETEST Pumpkin Patch in all the land. Just a short drive to great restaurants. . Please be mindful the farm is small and has limited parking we ask you to unload and park along the street.
- Check in: After 3PM
- Check out: Before 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Strict
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 3 months out
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Sweet Spot on the Farm #1 in California.
The vibe at Sweet Spot on the Farm #1
Places to see near Crystal Bay Farm by the Sea
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Lori was a fantastic host and I would absolutely recommend this camp to others.
Our group had a blast on the farm. From picking strawberries and spending time with the animals, to meeting others around the communal campfire, this location was a blast. The location is just a short walk from a private beach and a few miles to from local restaurants. Definitely worth the trip!
Crystal Bay Farm is a must-visit if you’re in the Santa Cruz area! Definitely one of those places you *almost* don’t want to tell people about because it will get booked up so quickly.
Lori, the host: We camped during Lori’s first weekend on Hipcamp, and she was handling the whole experience with so much energy, hospitality, and generosity. She’s been on the farm for 20 years, is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and is full of entertaining stories. She went out of her way to make sure everyone was comfortable and happy. If you need a recommendation for anything, ranging from which ripe strawberry to pick first (or how to best pick strawberries), where to watch the best sunset, or where to go hiking or kayaking or surfing nearby, you can bet she’ll have an answer.
The farm: Crystal Bay is a working u-pick organic farm that gets a lot of visitors during the day, attracted to their delicious, unbelievably sweet strawberries. There are also beautiful sunflowers lining the campsites, a wide range of other veggies like kale and squash, and a bunch of adorable animals: bunnies, goats you can walk, a horse, and many friendly dogs. In the fall, they have pumpkins and live music, which sounds awesome — can’t wait to come back.
A huge perk is its location, how close it is to main roads and how easy it is to find! It’s a short drive to Watsonville for a grocery store or brewery, and it’s a quick walk to a lovely stretch of beach that feels secluded. Beautiful sunsets there. Parking on the farm can be limited if you want to be closest to the sites, so try to consolidate your cars if you’re going with friends. There’s more overflow parking on the street.
The campsites and amenities: There’s a huge tipi with its own private area - including a personal fire pit, picnic table, and grill - which is next to the parking. The 4 other tent campsites are not far away, though (a minute walk from the parking, and they provide wagons if you need to haul your stuff). They are right next to each other, so bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper, in case your neighbors have large groups of people. Lori is working to build out the sites with their own features, but you don’t need to stay confined to the area your tent’s in — there’s also a large communal area nearby with tables, chairs, benches, grill, covered counter space for prepping food, and a gigantic shared fire pit. While the sleeping quarters may be close to your neighbors, there’s so much space elsewhere on the farm (and nearby) to roam!
She has two different listings now for tent camping, one for campsite #1 which is larger than the other three (and you can fit multiple larger tents on), and campsites #2-4 for the three smaller ones. All four are still in a row. There are porta-potties, a sink with potable water, and a stunning outdoor bathtub/shower under a redwood which I think you can use for a small fee.
Mornings can be foggy and gray, as expected along the coast, but it often burns off by noon. We were so lucky that we came on an unusually clear night and saw the Perseids meteors and the Milky Way when sitting at the campfire! There’s so little light pollution out there. It was the perfect place to get away and breathe some fresh ocean air, pick and eat our weight in strawberries, learn about an amazing farm ecosystem, and feel incredibly lucky to live in CA. Thank you, Lori!!
If you like chickens, geese, bunnies, goats, horses and strawberry fields then this is the place you want to be. There is also a private beach just down the road that has a nice beach break for my fellow surfers. I highly recommend this place, Lori was a great host. I will definitely becoming back.
Crystal Bay is a wonderful farm and place to spend the night, and Lori was a generous host -- even taking time out of her day to give us a tour of the pumpkin patch and walk us through all the different varieties and how best to prepare them. We were a bit confused about where exactly we were supposed to set up our tents, park, cook, etc., but nothing that a little bit of signage can't fix.
Nice land but the host was incredibly rude, confusing, and disrespectful. We arrived around 6pm and called to ask her where we should stay on the property because there were no signs anywhere. She came out and pointed at our campsite which we then drove to, unloaded, and set up camp. We had a great night there until the next morning around 10am when she came running to our site screaming that we were in the wrong spot. We said we would leave immediately since she was clearly upset but she told us she’d rather “give us a lecture” and proceeded to yell about how we should have put our tents in a different spot, 20 feet from where we were, which was a section of hay on the ground littered with various snake and/or rodent holes. But again, no signs anywhere. As we were packing up she came over to us again multiple times to yell more and repeat the same confusing info. It was a very uncomfortable and awkward experience that I hope no one else will go through.
Host was unclear, aggressive, rude
I do not recommend this listing. Crystal Bay Farm is a beautiful farm with lots of land and animals, but is not currently equipped to handle guests.
We arrived around 6pm very confused - host was nowhere to be found and there were no signs pointing us to the camping area. Lori later came out to greet us, giving our group vague instructions on where to camp and park without showing us the campsite. So, we unloaded our gear and set up camp where Lori had instructed. We had a beautiful, private night from that moment on.
The next morning, we were enjoying coffee and relaxing, when the host comes frantically sprinting down towards us. Aggressively pointing and shouting, she accuses us of setting up camp and parking in the wrong areas (both of which were where she had instructed us to go). We apologized and offered to pack up and leave, but Lori said she “...wanted to give us THE LECTURE,” and precedes to shout at us as we tried to turn our backs and pack up camp. The site that she claimed we were supposed to camp at was completely unprepared - gopher/ snake holes all over - you couldn’t walk two feet without stepping in a hole, and we’re supposed to sleep here?
After Lori frantically lecturing us for 30 minutes, we rushed to pack up camp and got out of there ASAP. I have used Hipcamp many times, and have never had this bad of an experience. Lori was aggressive and unbelievably rude to us for following her exact instructions.
I rarely write reviews of this nature, but I hope no other camper has to experience how Lori treated us. With a bit of work on the sites (at least flattening the campsites), instructional signs, and a more level-headed host, this has the potential to be a great listing.