Nestled between Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor, West Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Santa Barbara. This 7.5-acre beach is surrounded by a wide sidewalk and bike path, making it easily accessible from the shops, hotels, restaurants and historic landmarks in downtown Santa Barbara.
Things to Do at West Beach
Due to its close proximity to the harbor, West Beach is a popular spot for watersports like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and windsurfing. And its robust sandy coastline allows for plenty of out-of-water fun such as beach volleyball, sandcastle building and sunbathing. The beach is also within walking distance to several local restaurants as well as many of Santa Barbara’s top attractions, including Stearns Wharf (of course!), the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and its sister beach, East Beach, which is known for hosting numerous beach volleyball tournaments throughout the year and other beach-friendly activities.
West Beach is also home to several annual events, including the city’s Fourth of July celebration. Every year, visitors and locals gather on the beach to watch the epic fireworks display and historical cannon firing at Stearns Wharf.
Hotels Near West Beach Santa Barbara
West Beach is within walking distance to some of Santa Barbara’s highly-rated accommodations, including West Beach Inn, Casa Del Mar Inn and Hotel Milo Santa Barbara. These properties offer an array of amenities from free bike rentals to outdoor and indoor pools, complimentary breakfast and more.
Find more hotels near Santa Barbara’s beaches.
How to Get to West Beach
If you’re traveling from the south, like Los Angeles or Santa Monica, get off Highway 101 at Garden Street, then turn towards the coastline. Once you reach Cabrillo Boulevard, turn right. After you pass Stearns Wharf, you’ll see West Beach on your left. If you’re traveling from the north, like Goleta or Naples, get off Highway 101 at Exit 97, then turn right on Castillo Street before taking a left on Cabrillo Boulevard. From there, turn left and you’ll see West Beach on your right. There’s ample parking on the street, or you can use the parking garage on lower State Street about a block away.