Santa Barbara beaches have a welcoming spirit all their own, inviting visitors to take a deep breath and relax. Blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate and a coastal California lifestyle, area beaches beckon visitors to soak in the “vitamin sea.” From lounging on the beach to an active afternoon, everyone can enjoy the Santa Barbara coastline.

Santa Barbara has a variety of state beaches that offer perfect staging areas for visitors and locals to explore. Experienced kayakers will enjoy the remote North County beaches, and paragliders will delight in soaring over the scenic coastlines. Kiteboarders and windsurfers will enjoy the northwesterly winds that build in the afternoon, and surfers are lured to a bevy of surf breaks from Jalama Beach County Park to the perfect lines of Rincon County Park. For beginners, Refugio State Beach along the scenic Gaviota Coast is a great spot for those new to surfing and stand-up paddling alike.

Heading further east, kayakers, stand-up paddlers and longboarders enjoy sliding into the slow rollers below the bluff at Leadbetter Beach. From here you can jump on a beach cruiser and peddle the bike path east, past the Santa Barbara Harbor down to East Beach, a mecca for volleyball enthusiasts. Continue biking along the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and eventually to Butterfly Beach in Montecito.

You can finish the day at another favorite sunset locale — Summerland Beach County Park offers stunning views overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands National Park.


Beaches in Santa Barbara

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…

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…

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…

Butterfly Beach

Located in the chic and laid-back village of Montecito, Butterfly Beach is a favorite among Santa Barbara locals. The beach’s pristine shoreline is ideal for swimming, surfing and sunbathing, and its unique east-west orientation makes for…

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…

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…

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…

Additional Experiences

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With miles of sun-drenched and sandy coastline, you'll have trouble picking which Santa Barbara beach to visit first.
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