Bonny Doon Beach is a peaceful beach, site of a popular annual nude event held on New Year's Day. This beach was sold in and now belongs to the State of California. Panther Beach. Want to take advantage of some of the area's best sand? Picturesque Panther Beach, about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz, is where whale-watchers, suit-wearing sunbathers, surfers, a few people brave enough to swim in the cold water and nudists all seem to get along fine. Santa Cruz County nudity laws prohibit nudity on beaches in the "urban" part of the county. By their definition, that means the section of beach bounded on the northwest by the city of Santa Cruz's southeasterly border of .