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Santa Barbara City College Cliff Walk

Santa Barbara, California, United States


The west campus lawn area of Santa Barbara City College is truly spectacular! It's hard to describe the amazing expansive feeling of the mountain range, the grass, the rows of palms, and then the ocean. You have to experience it for yourself! Sit on one of the many picnic tables and have a meal in the evening with your family. Your kids can run up and down the green, green knolls, or skateboard on the sloping paths- they'll have a blast! Bring a helmet- it's super steep.
Walk the curvy pathways to the edge of the clifftop. Sit on one of the lovely benches surrounded by flowers and small sandstone boulders, and contemplate your life as you watch the sailboats go by. Go for a short walk along the winding path that hugs the cliff. Look down on all the people having fun at Leadbetter Beach. It's a bright, cheerful scene with the green grass, the blue sea, and the stretch of white sand below.
Babies love to sit on your lap and listen to the trickle of water fountains. There's a small fountain with smooth grey pebbles near the fence overlooking the ocean, and there's the tall black fountain by the Music Building.
Past the lawn, you will come to a wide brown pedestrian bridge. You can walk across to the east side of campus. Students gather to chat and have a coffee on the amphitheater in front of Student Center. Even better is the cement balcony on the other side of Student Center with its wide ocean views. The portable buildings in view are ugly but you can't beat the blue strip of ocean! Behind the Study Abroad Office, enjoy a panoramic view of Stearns Wharf and the Santa Ynez mountains. There are some benches here in an arc where you can sit and take in the view. In front of the Administration Building is a fountain and grassy area under tall trees. Purple bouganvillea vines hang over the walkway. Stairs lead down to a wooded area with views over Santa Barbara. You can descend to Pershing Park or the harbor, both popular parking spots for students (parking is a nightmare around here- see suggestions below).
If you're hungry, there is a cafeteria at the Student Center on the east side of campus. Choose an organic meal, sit inside on the groovy lime green chairs, and look out through huge windows at the sea. Or on the west side of campus, you can eat at the little outdoor cafeteria below the Business Communication Building. It's a pleasant place to sit in the sun and look out on the lawn and sea.
Nearby, check out Santa Barbara Harbor, just across Cabrillo Blvd, for a walk beside the sea wall where waves come crashing over, and a happening bar scene at night. Or, head east on Cabrillo Blvd to West Beach Boardwalk for a stroll along the palm-lined bike path that sits atop the sand or a stop at Sambo's for pancakes or a sandwich. You can walk the boardwalk all the way to Stearn's Wharf and grab an ice cream or listen to live jazz on Sunday afternoons.

Photo Gallery

The flower planter that you see as you enter the west campus.

The fountain that you walk past on your way to the lawn.

The fountain and the campus.

Views of Leadbetter Beach from the path.

Views of the harbor from the clifftop path.

The outdoor seating at the cafeteria below the Business Communication Building.

Views of Santa Barbara Heights from the bridge.

Bench with quite a view.

Sunny bright day on campus.

The red benches.

Stunning view of Leadbetter Beach on a perfect morning at city college.

A photo can't truly capture the amazing expansive feeling of the mountain range, the grass, the rows of palms, and then the ocean. You have to experience it for yourself!

The sunny amphitheater in front of Student Center.

A student walking under the bougainvillea near the Administration Building.

Mural near the Student Center.

Groovy chairs with a view, inside the Student Center.

The buildings are ugly at SBCC but you can't beat the view!

Deck chairs and the harbor in the background- how to get any studying done?

Looking through eucalyptus at Stearns Wharf, on the east side of campus.

Cruise ship, ocean, and palm trees, by the parking lot!

Green grass and blue sea...always the best combination. A happy scene.

The hill, which is so fun for kids to run down!

Hilly walkways- great for hot wheels car races!

A South African plant.

The cute sandstone amphitheater with a view.

A waves curls in from the west.

Cute landscaped cliff on Loma Alta Drive.

Looking inland from the bridge over Loma Alta Drive.

Stones kids love to leap around on.

View of island and glistening waves.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Santa Barbara City College is located at 721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
From Highway 101, take the Castillo St exit and turn towards the ocean. Turn right on Montecito Street. The road winds uphill. Pass Loma Alta Street and then turn left where it says "SBCC West Campus." Parking is free on holidays, weekends, and evenings. At other times, you are unlikely to find any parking at all near the campus. I don't recommend coming at those times. If you do come during the week, try parking at the Harbor or Leadbetter Beach parking lot and walking across Cabrillo Blvd to campus. It costs $2.00 an hour and if you're lucky you will find an empty spot. You can buy a parking pass for $110 a year to park in these lots.
Another parking area is Pershing Park. Exit Highway 101 at Castillo St. Turn toward the ocean. On your right after you pass Montecito Street, there will a parking lot for Pershing Park. On weekends or holidays, you can find parking here. Walk up the steep pathway through the wooded area to campus. Be alert because there have been occasional dubious types at this park. You can also park along Cliff Drive- the earlier you come before classes the shorter your walk will be.
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