The Best Santa Barbara Beach For You

Favorite Santa Barbara beaches according to their reputation, activities, and facilities.

By ; published Friday, June 22nd, 2012
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West Beach

Not every beach day has to be the same. In Santa Barbara, the miles of coastline give name to several beaches with several distinctions. With everything from tidepools to dog parks, the city’s beach day potential is considered unmatched by many. Here’s a look at several local favorites according to their unique features.

Dog-friendly days at Hendry's Beach

Hendry’s Beach

As a designated off-leash dog beach, Hendry’s attracts dog lovers and owners from all over the city. Dogs can run through the water and sand while their owners mingle near the bluffs. The beach is also home to the renowned Boathouse restaurant, which sits right off the sand. And although the restaurant itself does not allow dogs inside, there is a straw covered tiki tie-up just outside: a perfect place for them to cool off and dry off after their time in the waves. There is even a dog shower in the parking lot to keep your car sand-free on the way home!

Carpinteria Tide Pools

Carpinteria State Beach

If you are taking the children for a beach day, Carpinteria is only a short drive for access to one of the safest beaches in the world. The beach includes a small park, tide pools, an oil pier, a seal preserve, and small waves. There is also a visitor’s center where you can teach the kids about area’s history and marine life. So while there are many beaches that are family friendly, Carpenteria offers numerous activities to keep minds of any age engaged throughout the day.

East and West Beach

Branching off the sides of the Stearn’s Warf and pier, both East and West Beach are the most popular beaches for tourists and active beach-goers. There are numerous volleyball courts, bike paths, and nearby eateries. There is often an arts and crafts fair among the picturesque palm-lined sidewalk and the grass area off the sand also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year. These beaches at the bottom of State Street are the best spots for making friends and taking part in the active sand-and-surf Santa Barbara lifestyle.

Butterfly Beach

This iconic beach is located outside the Biltmore Hotel in Montecito, a city home to celebrities and affluent visitors. The beach has been used for numerous movies and photography, reasons obvious to those who take in the beautiful views of the coastline as they walk along the sand. There are often numerous gatherings taking place day and night, making this one of the most popular beaches and destinations in the area.

Leadbetter Beach


Whether you surf yourself or are content as a viewer instead of participant, Leadbetter is favorite beach among local surfers. And they’re not just riding surfboards! People take to the water with kayaks, kite boards, and stand-up paddle boards in order to get their water sport fix. This is also a great area for beginners to learn, home to many local “grommets” learning the ropes from their parents and friends. Shoreline Park and the Shoreline Café are also close walks from the sand, making this another family-friendly location that is popular with beach-goers throughout the year. 

 
 

  About Tori Bodin:

Although she has several favorite beaches, Tori tailors each beach day according to her mood. Whether its paddle boarding, searching for starfish, or making time to finish another book, Tori always knows which Santa Barbara beach will suit the day. 

Read more about Tori Bodin here.
 for all of Tori's articles and photo galleries
Connect with Tori via: Blog | Google+

 

 

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