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The Santa Barbara Beach Guide

By: Santa Barbara Hotel Collection / 05 May 2023
The santa barbara beach guide

No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a visit to a sandy stretch of our gorgeous coastline.  Just for our guest, we've set out to build a comprehensive and inspiring list of our favorite beaches. Leave us a comment below and let us know what your favorite beach in Santa Barbara is and why!

Best Beach for Sunrise: Butterfly Beach

Located in the posh enclave of Montecito, stop by Caffe Luxe just up the road before sunrise and then head to the famed wall at Butterfly to take in the spectacular sunrise views and enjoy this beloved beach before it gets too busy.

Best Beach for Sunset: Arroyo Burro Beach

Each evening, this beach is strewn about with families, dogs and sunset chaser. Choose between walking on the beach, enjoying a cocktail on the patio at the Boathouse, or hiking the cliffs above the beach for one-of-a-kind views.

 Best Beach for a Picnic: Leadbetter

Located between the Santa Barbara Harbor and Shoreline Park, Leadbetter beach is known for its iconic Santa Barbara backdrop while offering picnic tables and bbq pits perfect for an afternoon cook out with friends and family.

 Best Beach to Swim & Sunbathe: Santa Claus

A tried and true locals favorite – the soft sand and calm water, makes this location an ideal spot to pop the umbrellas and settle in for a day of sunbathing and swimming.

Best Place to Surf: Rincon Point

Famed among surfers, this is the most well known surf point on the Santa Barbara coast, and well worth a visit for the yearly Rincon Classic.