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Any person who has heard the name ‘Santa Barbara’ knows, or at least can assume, that it is a place of great beauty. This beauty is found in the weather, the city streets, and perhaps most notably, in the beaches. While California is home to seemingly endless beautiful shores, Santa Barbara is a place that stands out has one that has some of the best beaches that this amazing coast has to offer. Here is a Santa Barbara guide to some of the most incredible beaches.

Butterfly Beach

This is a quiet and simple place. There is nothing to distract from the immense beauty here. You can find the perfect place to soak up the sun along the sandy beach, or the perfect place for amazing views atop the oceanside cliffs. Perhaps the best thing about Butterfly Beach is the views point to the west rather than the south-facing views of the majority of Santa Barbara’s beaches. This means that this beach is one of the best places to witness a sunset over the Pacific in the Santa Barbara area, and perhaps throughout the entire state of California. You can find this beach in Montecito, which is a beautiful town a few miles to the south of Santa Barbara.

Carpinteria State Beach

There is a lot to love about this amazing beach. While it is obviously beautiful, it is a great place to go if you want to spend a quiet day at the beach. Coming here, you will typically be met with little to no crowds and very calm waters. Wide, sandy beaches make for a great place to relax in between dips into the calm ocean and tide pools. You can even enjoy marine life passing by just a few hundred feet off the shore.

Arroyo Burro County Beach Park

Just to the west of the center of Santa Barbara, you can find this wonderful gem that is perfect for locals and visitors alike. One of the things that makes this beach a fun and unique place to hang out is that dogs are welcome. There is even a stretch of the beach where they can frolic along without leashes. Wide open spaces, picnic areas, and FREE parking make this the perfect place to spend a day in the beautiful Santa Barbara weather.

There is More to Santa Barbara Than Even This Santa Barbara Guide Can Cover!

While these are just some of the beaches that you will not want to miss during your next Santa Barbara vacation, there are countless more. Getting out here and experiencing the beauty and leisure for yourself is the only way to know where to find the best beaches on the west coast.

Located along the coast of Central California, Santa Barbara is an idyllic community with a plethora of beautiful beaches guaranteed to steal a little piece of your heart. As a matter of fact, our beaches are so magnificent, it’s difficult for we who live here to actually take a vacation anywhere else. Why spend the money on travel and lodging when you can drive in any direction and find a beach that is fun and activity filled, or quiet and serene? We’ve compiled a sampling of the best beaches in Santa Barbara and what makes them so special below; you probably should visit them all, just to make sure we’re doing our jobs right.

East Beach

Easily accessible, East Beach is THE Santa Barbara beach everyone wants to visit. Spend your day people watching, biking or blading the many paths, playing volleyball or – imagine this novel concept – relaxing on a beach towel under the gorgeous California skies, soaking in the sun as your favorite 80’s music plays in your ears. Arrive early for the parking and stay late for the sunset. A California sunset is a sight not to be missed. Access points are many from downtown and include Carrillo Boulevard, Castillo, Garden and Milpas. The Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts show is held here every Sunday, making this beach a great place to get a memento of your stay.

West Beach

This family friendly beach is perfect for kayaking, volleyball, and biking or hiking, and is next to the Santa Barbara Harbor. If weather turns bad, the Santa Maritime Museum is a fun place to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. For those less adventurous folks who prefer clean and chlorinated water to frolic in, Los Banos Pool is really close by. The kids will enjoy the wading pool here and the playground too! Plan your vacation over Independence Day and enjoy the best view of the fireworks show right from West Beach’s sandy shores. The Garden Street exit is the simplest beach access point.

Shoreline Park

For picturesque views of the coastline, the city itself, and the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, Shoreline Park is a long, narrow section of coastline that is hands down one of the most scenic beaches we have seen in our lifetime. Hike down the narrow staircase made of wood and discover a secret we don’t share with just everyone: A tidal pool and small private beach area that remains quiet year round. This spot is great for watching dolphins or just sunbathing as you revel in the peace and quiet of your own personal beach! (At least it may feel that way!) It’s not as easy to get here as the others, but if you take the Garden exit until it turns into Cabrillo Boulevard and follow that road for a while, you should be able to find it with little effort.

Visit the Best Beaches in Santa Barbara with Paradise Retreats

We live here, we work here, we love here, and when you spend a vacation in Santa Barbara in one of our luxurious and elegant vacation rental homes, we will be happy to share with you all the insiders’ tips of how to make your vacation here an extraordinary one! There’s no better place on earth to enjoy a beach vacation than right here in Santa Barbara. Isn’t it time you started planning one today?