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


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…


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…


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…


Arroyo Burro Beach

Located just ten minutes from downtown Santa Barbara, Arroyo Burro Beach is often referred to by locals as Hendry’s Beach. This beach is known for its winding coastline and light surf. Arroyo Burro Beach is also surrounded by tall bluffs that…


Refugio State Beach

Located just half an hour west of Santa Barbara, Refugio State Beach offers a unique landscape and calm oasis for families and outdoor enthusiasts. The palm tree-lined cove caters to peaceful picnics, coastal fishing and unforgettable kayaking. Its…


La Mesa Park

This lush and friendly neighborhood park features a children's playground and reservable group picnic facilities. Other highlights include towering trees and a short, pleasant walk to a spectacular ocean view.


El Capitan State Beach

El Capitán’s peaceful setting, sandy shoreline and close proximity to Santa Barbara make it a popular spot for camping, picnicking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor activities. Stands of sycamore, oak and eucalyptus trees create lots of shady…


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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