For the last two years I lived in Isla Vista on Del Playa. Everyone might know it as the “party street” but it’s actually so much more than that. Although this beach might not be the prettiest, do to the overwhelming amount of flies that gather around the seaweed that collects at the beach, the sunsets I have seen here will forever warm my heart.
I’m not even entirely sure what this beach is called, but it’s the beach I have the most experience with. The sand is really soft but there are a ton of rocks if you actually want to go into the water, and the rocks are covered in vegetation making them extremely slippery. There’s very little beach during high tide, at some points there is no beach at all and the cliff side takes a brutal pounding from the water. Because of this there’s a ton of erosion that’s taken place over the years. Last winter a couple houses on Del Playa had to be evacuated because the wind and waves were taking down entire chunks of cliff. You can actually see metal beams that have been placed to keep the apartment patio from falling peaking through the cliff at my apartment. Erosion is one of the biggest issues for the apartments on Del Playa because it’s constantly happening and there isn’t exactly anything anyone can do besides stop building apartments directly on the cliff. Rumor has it, eventually they are going to have to stop leasing apartments on Del Playa because of how quickly the cliff side is deteriorating. During the winter the tide is usually higher and then vice versa for summer time, luckily enough people usually go to the beach all year long.
Since the beaches in Isla Vista are so easily accessible there are usually a ton of college students lounging around on the sand at all hours of the day. Most of the time people come out to watch the sunset because the waters too freezing to actually swim in, or there will be some brave surfers catching baby waves.
One of the very surprising aspects about this beach is how serious Isla Vistan’s take keeping it clean. I’ve noticed that if people bring beer, or even lunch everyone always picks up after themselves. I’ve never once gone to the beach and found a glass or a bottle and very rarely have I found bottle caps or other miscellaneous pieces of trash.
I’m extremely grateful for the two years I spent living on this beautiful cliff, listening to the waves crash into the cliff, and only being a 2 minute walk from relaxing on the sand.