Beaches & Parks

While Santa Barbara is well known for its expansive, pristine beaches, it has just as much space to offer inland as well. Santa Barbara’s beaches and parks are a testament to the city’s affinity for fresh air and outdoor fun.

Starting at the Pacific, Santa Barbara is home to miles of public beaches, many of which serve as a launchpad for making a splash. Surf some of the most renowned breaks in the world, or stand-up paddleboard in the protected waters of Butterfly Beach in Montecito. Cabrillo Boulevard connects East and West Beach, which are hot spots for pick-up volleyball games, picnics, and an afternoon date with a good book. Every Sunday, make sure to catch the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show that spans the popular coastline.

A few steps inland, Santa Barbara becomes a treasure trove of green parks, gardens, and hidden sanctuaries — the city is home to over 50 of them. Chase Palm Park makes the sand-to-grass transition easy with its location across from East Beach. It also offers free family-friendly concerts throughout the summer. Stow Grove Park in Goleta features redwoods and eucalyptus trees, volleyball courts, a baseball diamond and horseshoe pits, making it the perfect stop for the entire family. Other favorites include Alameda Park, which is home to an elaborate 8,000-square foot playground, and Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden, where you’ll see turtles cruising through the pond, and beautifully manicured gardens — a wedding favorite.

One look and it’s easy to see why Santa Barbara makes being outside a priority and staying out a must.

Beaches & Parks in Santa Barbara


Miramar Beach

Nestled in the beautiful and luxurious town of Montecito, a 15-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara, Miramar Beach is one of the area’s most notable hidden gems. Miramar Beach is a narrow sandy enclave surrounded by incredible beachfront…


Summerland Beach

Located just 6 miles south of Santa Barbara is Summerland Beach at Lookout Park. Known for its laidback vibes, Summerland Beach is the perfect oceanfront venue for rest and relaxation. Its proximity to the park also makes it an ideal location for…


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Explore California’s unique natural landscape at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a 78-acre living museum designed entirely with California-native plants. Five miles of easy walking trails crisscross the wild-crafted gardens, so you can…


Leadbetter Beach

Located along Shoreline Drive and directly adjacent to the Santa Barbara Harbor, sits Leadbetter Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Santa Barbara. The beach is flanked by green grass and showcases an expansive strip of sand lining the…


Refugio State Beach

Editor's note: This beach is temporarily closed due to hazardous flooding and debris. Please check back as conditions improve. Located just half an hour west of Santa Barbara, Refugio State Beach offers a unique landscape and calm oasis for…


East Beach

East Beach in Santa Barbara provides the ideal atmosphere for fun in the sun. Its spacious, sandy coastline is bordered by a grassy park that’s lined with large palm trees which makes it a popular area for outdoor activities both on and off…


Gaviota State Park

Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769.  Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that…


Additional Experiences


The Channel Islands
Close to the mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Park has come to be known as “the Galapagos Islands of North America.”
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