Santa Barbara Beaches

Santa Barbara Beaches

Santa Barbara County covers 100 miles of gorgeous golden sandy shoreline, and the geography of the area makes for some great beaches each with their own characteristics. The weather and water temperature is much warmer than the more northern California beaches, but still doesn’t reach Caribbean temperatures.

With the Santa Ynez mountain range so close by, the Santa Barbara beaches have spectacular views all round. El Capitan beach and state park is a long, wild stretch of coastland, where you can hike and explore the bluffs or spend the day swimming, walking along the beach or just hanging out catching a tan and maybe spot the odd dolphin. This beach is quieter than most, which means fewer sources of entertainment around; it is more for a day on the wild coast of California.

On the other end of the spectrum of Santa Barbara beaches is Leadbetter beach, which is located much closer to the center of town. This beach offers everything and is especially popular with windsurfers, surfers, and people who just like to walk along the golden sands. Every week during the summer a different sports event takes place at this Santa Barbara beach, and the grassy lawn area next to it has plenty of barbecue pits to make a popular picnicking area.

East Beach is the Santa Barbara beach to head for if you are a volleyball player, since it is world famous on the beach volleyball circuit and home to many prestigious matches. East beach is also the beach to head for if you are interested in practically anything else; it is within easy walking distance of the Santa Barbara zoo, there are great restaurants nearby and a skate rental place should you prefer rollerblading to a walk along the wharf. If you are a surfer you would probably want to head to Rincon Beach Park, one of the best surfing spots in California and known throughout the world. In winter the shoreline is pretty rocky, but by summertime ocean currents deposit more sand, making it a great beach for swimming too.

Butterfly beach is one of the few Santa Barbara beaches that actually faces west, making it a great spot to sit and watch the sunset. It also has great views of the city and the nearby wharf, and it is located in an exclusive neighborhood with a quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

Some things to remember for your day at the Santa Barbara beaches: cool breezes from the ocean mask the heat and power of the sun, but remember it is still there and put plenty of sunscreens on, and often. Many locals can be spotted wearing hats, as they offer better protection. Although Santa Barbara has an amazing stretch of coastland, the offshore oil rigs sometimes leak, so a pair of those rubber sandals is recommended in case you come across some tar on the sand. In that case, watch out for your beach towel and clothes.

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