Beaches Reign Supreme in the Santa Barbara Area
While its mountainous interior is certainly spectacular, the pristine beaches that line California’s Santa Barbara Area are a picture-perfect attraction that should draw the top spot on any itinerary.
Sometimes referred to as the American Riviera for its distinctive Spanish-Mediterranean architecture, the city of Santa Barbara is also known for its beautiful white sand beaches where you can work on your tan or pursue water sports such as swimming, surfing, or bodyboarding.
East Beach is by far the most popular and well-rounded in its offerings, but West Beach is considered a more family-friendly alternative with its water-play lagoon designed specifically for kids. Across the Santa Barbara Harbor are two other sandy wonders, Leadbetter Beach, and Arroyo Burro Beach County Park, where surfers can polish their skills and catch some serious air.
About twelve miles south of Santa Barbara rests the small oceanside city of Carpinteria, which is also the home of the Carpinteria State Beach. Even if you aren’t staying in a Carpinteria vacation rental, consider a side trip to its stunning mile long beach any time of year and you certainly won’t be disappointed. While summer brings recreational pursuits such as swimming, surf fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing, the colder weather attracts seals, sea lions, and the occasional gray whale near its shores.
Sandwiched in between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara are the towns of Summerland and Montecito, where a smattering of cove beaches are separated by tall cliffs. Accessing the shores of Montecito at Miramar Beach, Hammonds Beach, and off of Channel Drive is always a possibility, or you can set out for a day trip from your Santa Barbara vacation rental to the big and sandy Lookout County Park in Summerland.