BEACH WALK INFORMATION
Distance-1.5 miles out and back to Wharf and Breakwater total.
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Stearns Wharf is at the end of State Street. There is limited parking on or near it. You will find more ample parking near the breakwater where there are several parking areas.
If you aren’t vigilant, if the waves are up you can get quite wet out on the breakwater.
It may not seem so today, but there was a time when Santa Barbara was almost completely isolated from either the north or south: in the early 1870s John Stearns, with the aid of Colonel W.W. Hollister helped remedy this by constructing a wharf almost a third-mile in length, in the process assuring the success of Santa Barbara’s rising tourist trade and creating a landmark which defines the waterfront.
I must tell you, I absolutely love the Santa Barbara waterfront. Walking along the edge of the harbor, listening to the sound of the sailboat lines clinking in the breeze, watching the seals lazily making their way through the channels and the boats of such varying types and sizes slowing making their way in and out is wonderful.
One of my first memories of Santa Barbara is from the end of the breakwater, looking out over the harbor toward the city, the graceful palms and mountaintops. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place to live and after nearly forty years of being here, I still can’t.
This is an area you should take your children often. The walk out to the end of the breakwater isn’t difficult, though when the waves are breaking against the rock pilings it can be exciting. Near the end you can venture out onto the sandspit and it is a great place to sit for awhile and watch things.
Though you can drive to over to the wharf and out to the end of it, you will find it much more satisfying to walk the quarter mile, either along the bike path or on the edge of the water It is a great walk out to the end of the pier where you can watch the pelicans, check out what the fishermen are catching, or visit the Sea Center.