West Beach of Santa Barbara

The culture surrounding West Beach encompasses the vibrant west coast lifestyle that so many associate with California. The mecca of business-orientated beaches in the area, accompanied by a multitude of hotels, restaurants and situated between Stearn’s Wharf and the Sea Landing/Harbor, West Beach is a main tourist destination for those visiting Santa Barbara. The vast beach area plays host to a variety of activities such as sunbathing, swimming, picnics, kayaking, windsurfing, and the ever popular beach volleyball.

The family friendly environment also allows for easy access to the local bike path which goes along most of the Santa Barbara coast. Located adjacent to the Santa Barbara harbor, West Beach is in close proximity to a variety of boating activities such as outriggers, sailboats, and kayaks, which are easily accessible. Often windy during the afternoon hours, West Beach offers a great place for kite enthusiast of all ages to enjoy some fun.  Dogs and alcohol are prohibited from being on the beach at all times.

Stearns Wharf is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Santa Barbara. Located in the middle of West Beach the pier offers a variety of fun activities. You can see the vast amount of marine life at the Santa Barbara Sea Center or rent fishing polls from the Stearn Wharf Bait & Tackle shop, fishing is allowed at the edge of the wharf. Stearns Wharf offers great restaurants with even better views. Satisfy your hunger with char-burgers at Char West, dine casually at Longboards, or eat fresh steak at Moby Dicks. The pier also has some of Santa Barbaras hidden gems such as tasty candy at Mother Stearns Candy Shop, and Ice Cream at the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company.

For safety and recreation purposes, Parks and Recreation staff groom the beach between May and October, and rake it between November and April. The recreation Division also provides beach lifeguards daily during the summertime months.

West Beach brings a vast amount of commerce into the Santa Barbara area. Although parking can often be a challenge during the busy summer months, there is still plenty along Cabrillo blvd which extends along the road behind the beach. If the many activities offered at West Beach aren’t enough for you, it’s only a 10 minute walk up State Street into downtown.










3 thoughts on “West Beach of Santa Barbara

  1. Bogna says:

    It seems like you know a lot about this beach! In my experiences at this beach it really does echo the ideas of the California imaginary, Santa Barbara seems to give off the “Come Visit California” and it’s coastal restaurant chains. This beach in my opinion really gives off much more of a constructed, touristic version of California beaches. Not so much of the nature kind of ocean connection that some more secluded beaches in California can offer. Nonetheless, excellent post you seem to know a plethora of information about this beach. I also really enjoy your pictures!

  2. Dominguez says:

    I enjoyed the pictures of the West beaches in Santa Barbara, I myself have only been to the beach there once because I was unfamiliar with the area, therefore, I only went to the one by the University. Next time I go I will be sure to visit this beach and check it out.

  3. Ferrer says:

    Awesome post! you really have a huge knowledge of this beach. The way you described the culture really opened my eyes to this that I have never been to before. I’ll definitely be taking a look at it when I have a free day. Great pictures too, they really tied in together with the culture lense

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