Not every town is has the luck of the Santa Barbara beaches we have here. Varying from rocky and empty to spots with picnic tables and restaurants, you have a lot of great beach play here.

Favorited Restaurants

  • Opal Restaurant & Bar — 1325 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 805-966-9676
  • Olio e Limone Ristorante — 11 West Victoria Street, Suite 17, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 805-899-2699
  • Olio Pizzeria – 11 West Victoria Street, Suite 26, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 805-899-2699
  • Bouchon —  9 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 805-730-1160
  • Scarlett Begonia — 11 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara; 805-770-2145.
  • Jane — 1311 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101;  805-962-1311
  • Trattoria Vittoria — 30 East Victoria Street, Santa Barbara, CA  93101;  805-962-5014
  • SOhO Restaurant & Music Club —  1221 State Street, Suite 205, Santa Barbara, CA  93101; 805-962-7776
  • The Wine Cask Bar Cafe — 813 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; 805-966-9463
  • Joe’s Cafe — 536 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101;  805-966-4638
  • Zaytoon — 209 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101;  805-963-1293 (Live Bellydancing at Zaytoon most weekend nights!)

Restaurant  Guides

In Town To Do’s

Leadbetter Beach is very popular for beginning surfers with it’s easy break. It’s at the base of Santa Barbara City College and just below Shoreline park. Featuring a level beachfront, grass lawns, restaurants, a surf break, showers & restrooms, this park has it all,
West Beach lies just next to the Harbor and is relatively quiet until you  get to the base of State street and Cabrillo where everything happens. Parking is available along most stretches of Cabrillo Boulevard (no RVs), this is hard to do on the weekends however. Paid parking is available in The City of Santa Barbara’s waterfront parking lots. You can easily spend a day here walking along the beach, taking in the ocean air and making your way up to State Street and the Pier.

East Beach  just east of West Beach has hosted the weekly Santa Barbara Arts Show (AKA Domingo Art Show) for as long as I can remember as they started in 1965 -that’s a lot of Art Shows! This is a great Sunday of people watching, beach viewing and meeting local artists who display and sell their original works.

Chase Palm Park features Shipwreck Playground for the kids (when I grew up here it featured pony rides, that’s been awhile!). From July- September, stop by Chase Palm Park on Thursday nights to catch the free music and great gathering of locals out for a picnic and music.

Santa Barbara County Parks

One of my favorites, Arroyo Burro Beach County Park rests below the Hope Ranch cliffs and Campanil hill. Locals call it Hendry’s and its a great walking beach. Be careful at high tide as mountainous rocks can be hidden from view as you enter the ocean. Seasonal lifeguards are there & a grassy area for picnicking make it popular with tourists. Feeling hungry? This beach is one of only three that serve food just steps from the ocean, Popular for it’s ahi and strong drinks, the highly respected Boat House Restaurant is sure to please. The east side of the beach allows off-leash dogs.
Less well known, if you want your aerobic exercise try 1000 Steps Beach. Find your way to 1429 Shoreline Drive and you’ll see a short dead end street with steps (not quite a thousand) which will take you to a quiet beach. Great for a low tide walk and walkable to Hendry’s Beach for a cerveza. The steps are steep on the way back so save some energy for that trek.

You will regularly see weddings and community events being planned at our county beaches. The Cabrillo Arts Center is a hub of activity all year and while at these Santa Barbara beaches. It’s all first come first serve when it comes t o finding your place, but the crowds are manageable to sparse.

North to Goleta

If you are looking to plan a party, consider Goleta Beach .  This beach is large and features group rental sites with BBQ’s and picnic tables. Great for little ones with swings and a nearby bathroom, Goleta Beach can accommodate your desire for a seabass and Chardonnay or a snack bar with fries and a coke. In the early mornings,  you’ll see the fishermen pulling the fish right off the pier.

Devereux is a rare Santa Barbara beach in that it is a UC natural reserve. Situated in Isla Vista (in Santa Barbara county) it is popular with University students and surfers. If you have little kids, take them at low tide to check out the myriad of sea life there.

There are more beaches I can tell you about, feel free to send me a note if you have questions about anything about beaches in Santa Barbara.

Paige Kaye