A perfect place to meet for cocktails or at sunset, Hendry's Beach is a one stop destination. Although it is really called Arroyo Burro Beach, locals refer to it as Hendry's. From this sandy spot, anyone can enjoy a day jogging on the beach, surfing, or watching for whales. The area features a cool, grassy area available for picnicking and other resources include BBQ grills, ocean access, horse trails, fishing, dining, surfing, swimming, and bird watching.
Just a breath away from Coast Village Road in Montecito, Butterfly Beach boasts of breathtaking views and crashing waves. Whether you walk along the sandy shore or stroll the walking paths slightly above the ocean's edge, the breezy atmosphere of this beach will temp even the most resistant beach-goer. This location is the perfect place for families and friends of all ages as you make sand castles, sit on "the wall," and play in the waves.
Carpinteria City and State Beaches
Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of fun in the sun by the shore of the Pacific. This ocean-area is perfect for swimming, tidepool exploring, and camping. A fantastic picnic area along this beach allows the entire family to comfortably spend time outdoors. Lifeguards patrol the beach each year, making it all the more safe for the whole family. But if it is ocean watching you seek, seals and seal lions may be seen in the area December through May, along with the occasional grey whale. Tipepools also contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi, and sea urchins.
El Capitan Beach
With luxurious sand and rocky tide pools, El Capitan State Beach is a beautiful and boast-worthy destination. Stretching along three miles of ocean front, it offers wonderful opportunities for hiking, swimming, camping, fishing, and surfing. Often times, seals and sea lions may be seen offshore and the occasional gray whale is also spotted in the wintertime. Adding to its uniqueness, El Capitan Creek traverses the area and is fringed by oak and sycamore trees. The beach is a perfect place to catch grunion and facilities include picnic areas, restrooms, showers, a store, and seasonal lifeguards.
Up the coast from Butterfly Beach in Montecito, East Beach bustles with life extending all the way to Stearns Wharf. The white fluffy sand surrounding volleyball nets contrasts with the grassy areas where palm trees grow and tourists bike. The area beyond the Wharf on the other side is known as West Beach and continues these activities all the way to the boating docks on the far end of this shore.
This huge area is a state park encompassing 2766-acres of land along both sides of Route 101. Gaviota Beach rests in a sandy grove guarded on each side by sedimentary rock formations and was established in 1953. The state park includes two units, with the western unit hosting most of the park's visitors on the beach and in the campground. The park includes a fishing pier complete with a small boat hoist with some favorite hoisting locations nearby. Although subject to mild Mediterranean climates year round, the area is sometimes subject to great winds from the canyon. Overall, this space often captures the eyes and hearts of visitors and is a great place to frequent.
Resting along a shallow cove, this crescent of white sand is a beautiful place to spend long days and restful evenings. Situated below Leadbetter Hill, it is easily accessible from Santa Barbara City College and the marina. It has light surf (perfect for learning!) and light winds to allow for kite and wind surfers during the summer. Leadbetter beach was actually built artificially (by accident) when the Santa Barbara Harbor blocked blocked the down shore current and held up the natural sand flow. Overall, the location and beauty of Leadbetter Beach makes it one of the most popular in the area.
Refugio State Beach
Excellent for coastal fishing and walking trails, Refugio State Beach offers a unique and gorgeous experience of the ocean. Incredible views of the coastline is only a kayak ride away and tours are available year-round by State Park Lifeguards for beginning and intermediate kayakers. Many locals come to this spot for a beach experience slightly removed from the city. Whether you are one of those locals or just passing through, this destination will offer the attractive beach experience you desire.
World famous for its incredible surf, Rincon is located on the Ventura and Santa Barbara county line. The geography of its location allows for long rides along well-formed waves. Found along U.S. Route 101 at Bates Road, Rincon is divided in three parts: the Cove, Rivermouth, and Indicator. The Cove is typically seen as the best section for surfing and is closest to the freeway. Rivermouth is the fastest section of the wave and Indicator can produce extremely fast waves in the summer when southerly swells are the most prevalent.
Just south of Santa Barbara, Summerland Beach lies below the quaint, antique town for which it was named. Lookout Park stands directly above it with playgrounds offering incredible views of the ocean and the distant Channel Islands. Dog-lovers are especially found of this area and often a spiffy dog washing station is open for free. If you truly seek fun-in-the-sun far enough from Santa Barbara and near enough to town, this is a beautiful place to journey.