The Best Beaches in Santa Barbara

People come to Santa Barbara for a number of reasons, from the tourist attractions to the beautiful weather. But one thing every Santa Barbara visitor has in common is a desire to go to the beach.

And with miles of beautiful white sandy beaches looking out on the sparkling azure ocean, it can be hard to decide which beach to choose. So we came up with a list of the best beaches in Santa Barbara to save you a little time.

Arroyo Burro Beach

This beach is often referred to as Hendry’s Beach by Santa Barbara locals and features gorgeous white sand as well as numerous activities. You’ll see people fishing, surfing, and swimming here. It’s also a popular spot for picnics and sunbathing. One unique aspect of this beach is its Watershed Resource Center, a place dedicated to educating the community about how humans impact the planet, particularly watershed resources.

East Beach

This beach is obviously located on the east side of Santa Barbara’s other city beach parks. It has picnic area, volleyball courts, and a playground so you can spend the whole day having fun and soaking up the beautiful Santa Barbara sunshine. It even has a popular full-service beachfront restaurant called the East Beach Grill. Since you don’t even have to leave the beach for sustenance, we can’t guarantee you’ll ever want to leave.

Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach is an incredibly popular beach, partly because of its location in Montecito. Locals love this spot because it’s situated right along Channel Drive, an upscale area in Montecito. It’s also a great place to bump into celebrities. People come here to fish, swim and sunbathe, and even bring their dogs (leashed required). There’s also a beautiful little bike path along the beach so you can enjoy the ocean view in motion!

Leadbetter Beach

This is a gorgeous beach located right next to Shoreline Park, which has a bluff overlook onto the ocean and a designated picnic area. This beach is popular among surfers, windsurfers, sailing enthusiasts but you also see lots of joggers and sunbathers. It’s a great place to relax or get active along with Santa Barbara locals.

Whether you’re hitting the beach for the many health benefits of soaking up the sun or you’re looking to for an active way to experience Santa Barbara, these beaches are the best of the best. And if you’re looking for an affordable beachfront motel, Marina Beach Motel is the only way to go. We can’t wait to be a part of your trip to Santa Barbara!