Best Places to Play Beach Sports in Santa Barbara

Zack Garhart
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Best Places to Play Beach Sports in Santa Barbara

For more than just swimming and surfing, the beaches in Santa Barbara offer plenty of space to play sports. Swing by one of the beaches in Santa Barbara for most of the year, and you’re likely to find people playing beach volleyball or throwing the football around.

We’ve put together a list of the best places to play beach sports in Santa Barbara.

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West Beach: Volleyball

Situated right next to Stern’s Warf, West Beach is one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara for playing volleyball. With a handful of nets and sweeping views of the marina, West Beach is set up perfectly to enjoy a round of volleyball with your friends. The proximity to many shops, restaurants, and bars, makes it an ideal place to spend the day. If you’re planning to make a day out of it, we recommend popping over to Santa Cruz Market for snacks, drinks, and other beach necessities. Stick around long enough to catch the sunsets, as they are unmatched!

East Beach: Frisbee & Slacklining

One of the more popular beaches in Santa Barbara, East Beach offers plenty of sandy shores to stretch out and relax in the sun. But if you’re the active type, it’s a great place to spend the day. Tall palm trees line the grassy area that sits between the beach and street, making this part of Santa Barbara an ideal place to set up a slackline. Slacklining is a perfect activity for those looking to improve their core strength and test their balance. It’s not too intense but will have you feeling a certain way the next day!

That same grassy stretch that sits next to East Beach is also optimal for a game of frisbee. Swing through on a sunny day and you’re likely to see people of all ages tossing around the disk. The trees might create small hazards, but this makes for a fun challenge when it comes to playing a full-on game of frisbee. Whether it’s an intense game of ultimate, or just a casual toss the disk, East Beach is one of the best places to play frisbee.

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Leadbetter Beach: Soccer & Football

With nearby Shoreline Park offering plenty of firepits and picnic tables, Leadbetter Beach is one of the top places to spend a day in Santa Barbara. The sandy shores and steady waves make it a popular destination for swimmers and people wanting to paddle-board. More than that, this beach provides plenty of space to put together a game of football or soccer. Leadbetter Beach is optimal for these sports because it’s spacious and doesn’t feel overcrowded.

Once the sun starts to set, we suggest heading up to One Thousand Steps Beach. This stunning lookout is the perfect place to watch the sunset, providing sweeping views of the ocean and surrounding marinas. Few things beat a sunset in Southern California, and this beach is one of our favorite places to catch one!

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After you’ve wrapped up the day playing beach sports, book a room at our ITH Santa Barbara Beach Hostel. We offer a free pancake breakfast every morning and daily activities!

Don’t forget to join our Traveler’s Club, either! It’s free to sign up, and you’ll save on all future bookings.


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