Best Ways to Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Beaches

Zack Garhart
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Few things are better than taking a cool dip in the ocean on a warm day. With spring approaching, and summer just on the horizon, Santa Barbara is an ideal place to spend a day at the beach.

We’ve got four of the best ways to enjoy Santa Barbara’s beaches.

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Dive Right In

Make no mistake about it, diving into the ocean is one of the most refreshing things you can do. Don’t tip-toe. Don’t just put your legs or feet in the water. Dive right in. The salty, cold water blasts your body with a shock wave of sensations. 

Your skin will thank you! Seawater is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. It’s like taking a day at the spa without the price tag. Shocking the body with cold ocean water can also boost the immune system, due to the trace elements found in seawater. Always bring a towel, because catching a cold can set you back instead of push you forward! More than anything, that sensation of cold ocean water will wake you up. Skip your morning cup of coffee, and jump in the ocean instead!

Surf’s Up

Considered by many to be a surfer’s paradise, Santa Barbara is where seasoned veterans and amateurs alike flock for great waves. There are plenty of beaches in Santa Barbara with waves of different sizes and speeds. Surfing is one of the many ways to enjoy Santa Barbara’s beaches.

Worry not, if you’re still new to the sport. Santa Barbara offers a handful of different schools for taking surfing lessons, and you can also look to hire a private instructor. Before riding the waves, pick up a wetsuit. This will help your body handle the cold temperatures of the ocean and make surfing more enjoyable. Some of our favorite places to catch waves are Mondos, Rincon, and Leadbetter. Once you’re in the water, you’re bound to meet other surf aficionados and this is another great way to pick up tips on how to become a pro!

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Paddle Boarding

Looking for a more low-key activity that will still keep you cool in the warmer months? Stand-up paddle boarding is not only a great workout, but it’s a relaxing way to ride the waves. Santa Barbara’s many beaches offer calm enough waves to cruise on, and you can also launch from one of the many marinas in town. Take to the ocean with a bag of snacks, beverages, and even your speaker for a truly memorable day on the water. West Beach is one of our favorite launch spots in town. The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is also a great place to rent boards and is centrally located. Now that you know where to launch and what to bring, get out on a paddle board and enjoy Santa Barbara’s beaches!

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Eat, Read, Relax

Not ready to take the plunge just yet? Take to the sandy shores instead, and enjoy Santa Barbara’s beaches by relaxing with a book. If you’re in the party mood, grab a few friends, pack a cooler and picnic basket, and bring along a football or frisbee for something to toss on the beach. With loads of different spots to choose from, this is one of the best ways to enjoy Santa Barbara’s beaches. One other option is to cruise into neighboring Goleta, where there are more awesome beaches and places to find peace away from the hustle and bustle of it all! Getting to Goleta is easy, and one of the things we recommend doing while you’re in Santa Barbara.

For a full guide to the beaches in Santa Barbara, watch this video!

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