east beach

Ray Ford

east beach

East Beach Walking

Volleyball, a kid’s playground and the beach walking is good.

Distance-1.25 miles from the Wharf to East Beach; 1.25 miles west to Shoreline Park .
Topo-Santa Barbara
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Stearns Wharf is at the end of State Street. East Beach is a mile east of the wharf on Cabrillo Boulevard. Both paid parking and off street parking are available along Cabrillo, though it may be hard to find on weekends.

East Beach is quintessential Santa Barbara: wide stretches of soft, white sand, palm-lined boulevards, the red-tiled roofs of the East Beach pavilion, and one of California’s most picturesque combinations of wharf and harbor. There is even a carousel on which the kids can ride the colorful horses to their heart’s content as well as the nearby Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens.

From the East Beach Pavilion, life seems idyllic: children swinging back and forth, family BBQ’s next to spirited games of volleyball, scores of beachgoers laying back on their towels; the beachside tables filled with people relaxing to the island views while they sip a cool drink. For the moments spent along East Beach it is exactly that.

To the west is perhaps the finest mile of beach you will find anywhere. With boats anchored just offshore, the wharf in the far distance, the islands on your left and the long wall of mountains on your right, this is a perfect place to take off your shoes, wiggle your toes and walk barefoot in the sand. What a delicious way to spend an afternoon and a perfect place to introduce your children to Santa Barbara.

To the east, a series of bluffs rise up, creating a different kind of walk. The beach is narrower and within a quarter mile you are restricted to a 50 yard wide path. There are huge boulder fields piled along the cliffs which do make for more isolated spots to sunbathe and if the tide is low enough you can continue the walk all the way to Butterfly Beach. A nice loop is possible by returning via Channel Drive. Along the way you can stop for a side trip into the cemetery or spend a few minutes gazing at the ducks puttering about in the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

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