11 Best Beaches in Santa Barbara

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best beaches in Santa Barbara

In need of some relaxing time by the ocean? All the Best Beaches in Santa Barbara are in this article. This article will help you to find a beach according to your preferences.

Santa Barbara, a city located on the central coast of California, has the perfect weather and the best beaches to offer. With a tropical climate, all year round, where temperature rises to 50 degrees F at least, a stroll along the shores, with breezy winds flowing, sounds like the best option.

Below are the eleven best beaches in Santa Barbara, which you can visit for an amazing experience to refresh your mind.

1. Leadbetter Beach

The accidental beach, located just below the Leadbetter hill, is one of the most frequently visited beaches in Santa Barbara. The beach is a popular hotspot for students attending Santa Barbara City College, as it is conveniently situated right across the street.

When the weather is right and becomes breezy, many activities like windsurfing, kite flying, sailing, kiteboarding, and even surfing for beginners are possible.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

Leadbetter Beach is one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara because of the many comforts it offers.

Cafes and restaurants and beach parks provide a perfect spot for picnics and barbeques, biking trails with amazing views surrounding the Leadbetter beach, but the beach is not pet-friendly.

  • Location: 801 Shoreline Dr. Santa Barbara. Paid parking is also available.

2. East Beach

The go-to beach is for tourists who are visiting Santa Barbara. Located near some large hotels in Santa Barbara, East Beach is well-known for being the best beaches in Santa Barbara because of the many services.

Art pavilion (Cabrillo pavilion arts center), picnic tables in a grass park, many volleyball courts, and a restaurant named East beach grill makes East beach a perfect spot for visiting.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

Throughout the year, East Beach organizes volleyball tournaments. Activities like skating, metal detecting, running, biking along the paved roads have made East Beach gain attention among the crowds and receive enormous visitors.

Limited free parking is available, after which the parking spots require a fee. The beach is not pet-friendly.

  • Location: 1400 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara.

3. Hammond’s Beach

A local beach, Hammond’s beach is among the best beaches in Santa Barbara if you want to get away from some chaos.

There are not many facilities available at Hammond’s Beach; activities like beach walking and surfing are quite popular. The key feature of Hammond’s beach is that dogs are allowed on a leash. Dog walking along the beach with an amazing view is the best way to destress yourself from the hectic schedule of life.

Hammond’s beach shares its parking lot with Miramar beach.

  • Location: near Eucalyptus Lane and Edgecliff Lane, Montecito.

4. Mesa Lane Beach

A narrow beach, Mesa Lane beach gets its place on the best beaches in Santa Barbara because of its unique way of accessing the beach. The Mesa Lane beach is accessible for visitors by Mesa lane steps, constructed in 1982 for easy access to the beach.

The Mesa Lane steps are 241 stairs long made entirely of wood is a sight to behold. The mesa lane steps lead down to Mesa beach.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

One of the best beaches in Santa Barbara, Mesa beach, is also considered dangerous when the tides are high. Surfing when the waves are low can be a pretty good experience, but the rocks under the water should be a lookout.

There is no parking space officially for Mesa Lane beach, but you can find a spot along the Mesa lane and nearby streets.

  • Location: 2341 Edgewater Way, Santa Barbara

5. Goleta Beach Park

Goleta beach park is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara because it has something for everyone. Picnic areas for groups, volleyball courts, playground for kids, picnic tables, BBQ grills, horseshoes, benches, and picnic tables are some of the many amenities provided by the Goleta Beach Park.

The beach offers fishing along the pier, kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating are also available. Boat lunch on holidays and weekends makes the already busy beach more populated.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara county park offers free beach wheelchair, and dogs are also allowed on a leash.  The beach’s parking is free, but it fills out very quickly and can cause a problem as not much parking space available around the coast.

  • Location: near Santa Barbara Airport and alongside the University of California Santa Barbara.

6. Carpinteria State Beach

Located just ten minutes south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach has it all.

The beach is wide, perfect for sunbathing, and offers many facilities. A camping facility right on the sand, surf fishing, tidepool exploring, and swimming are what the beach offers. The tidepool exploring contains crabs, sea urchins, starfish, octopi, and snails.

The Carpinteria State Beach is one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara due to the occasional sightings of sea lions, seals, and grey whales.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

There are many options available for eating at the beach as many restaurants offering various cuisines are present along the coast. Dogs are allowed on the campground and playground areas but not on the beach.

  • Location: Near Highway 224, off U.S. 101.

7. Summerland Beach

Summerland Beach is located right below the lookout park, a six-mile drive east of Santa Barbara. One of the best beaches in Santa Barbara, Summerland beach, is a treat for all dog lovers.

Not only dogs are allowed on the beach and you can go for a dog wash too after they are done playing in the sand.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

Volleyball courts, playing area for kids, picnic tables and benches, BBQ grills are some of the amenities which Summerland Beach offers.

For people looking for a quiet, secluded place with amazing views, Summerland beach is your destination. Walking alongside the shoreline with less crowd will surely soothe your mind.

  • Location: Evans Avenue and Wallace Avenue, Summerland.

8. Santa Claus Beach

Santa Claus is just an alias, the real name of this beach is Padaro beach. The nickname of this beach came from its location, situated at the end of Santa Claus Lane. One of the best beaches in Santa Barba because it has the clearest water among Santa Barbara beaches.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

This beach is a hidden gem within all the beaches in Santa Barbara as it is not that crowded; it offers a spectacular view which is a total sellout for you to check out.

Santa Claus beach receives mild waves and is best suitable for activities like paddleboarding and general frolicking. 

  • Location: Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria.

9. Arroyo Burro Beach

Arroyo Burro Beach, called Hendry’s Beach by the locals, is popular among pet owners. Arroyo Burro Beach is a dog-friendly beach where you can allow your dog to run free without a leash.

Boathouse restaurants, BBQ grills, picnic tables, and trails with picturesque location is what awaits you at the Arroyo Burro Beach. Along with this, a watershed resource center that offers educational programs on protecting California’s shoreline and beaches is also a key highlight at the beach.

Beach wheelchairs, which are free of cost, are also available at the beach. The timing for visiting the beach is from 8:00 AM to sunset. Arroyo Burro Beach offers free parking space.

  • Location: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara.

10. Butterfly Beach

Located in Montecito, home to many celebrities, it is considered one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara by the locals.

Although there are not many public facilities available at the beach, the range of activities you can do is astounding. The shoreline of the Butterfly beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The beach has the most amazing view of sunrises and sunsets.

best beaches in Santa Barbara

There is also a chance of spotting dolphins and whales from the beach. Dogs are also allowed and can be walked along the shoreline but with a leash on.

Free street parking is available at Butterfly beach, which can fill up rather quickly on weekends. The best alternative is to travel by bike. Many bike trails lead up to Butterfly Beach.

  • Location: near Butterfly Lane and Channel Drive, Montecito.

11. West Beach

West Beach is situated adjacent to Stearns Wharf Pier. It is not preferable to swim, as West Beach is near to the harbor.

The West Beach does not provide many facilities, but it is popular for volleyball, kayaking, and boating. West Beach also offers the best view of the fireworks on the fourth of July or New Year. Restaurants and cafes are also present right across the street. Dogs are not allowed on West beach.

  • Location: State Street and West Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara.

Best Beaches in Santa Barbara

These were the best beaches in Santa Barbara that you should visit and explore. Take your friend or family to these beaches for a fun vacation. Play with the waves and sand and have the time of your life.

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