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butterfly beach

Ray Ford

butterfly beach


Butterfly Beach

Rated best for people watching and a great beach walk.


BEACH WALK INFORMATION
Distance-1.25 miles west to East Beach; 1 mile east to Eucalyptus Lane; 3 miles east to Lookout Park.
Topo- Santa Barbara
View Photo Gallery

DIRECTIONS
From State Street, follow Highway 101 east for 3 miles to the Olive Mill off ramp. Turn right and drive a half mile down to Channel Drive. There is ample parking along the beach. Note: Channel Drive no longer goes through to Cabrillo Boulevard

A CAUTION
Please be respectful of private property rights.

THE WALK
A delightful quarter mile long beach sits right at the foot of the Biltmore Hotel and Coral Casino. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the sun and surf or a walk in either direction at lower tides.

This may be Santa Barbara’s most elegant beach. The long sea wall is topped by an imposing stone-hewn railing and tall palms blow back and forth in the breeze. There is enough of an edge to the wall that you can lie back against the railing and enjoy the full force of the sun or drop down to the sand and lean back against the sea wall.

A half mile of open beach leads towards East Beach. There are a series of cliffs along the way, rocky outcrops where you can find a more private place, and at lower tides the possibility of making it all the way to the volleyball courts or the Cabrillo Bath House, which has a very nice outdoor cafe. A great loop can be made by crossing Cabrillo and following the bike path along the lagoon, turning on Channel Drive and following it past the Santa Barbara Cemetery to Butterfly Beach.

Most, however, head east towards Hammond’s Point, as do the surfers. If you can make it past the Coral Casino sea walls then you will be able to walk as far as your heart will take you. Several points will eventually get you to Eucalyptus Point and if the tide is low, a series of great tide pools.

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