Printed from
Back to Location

Space for your notes

Hendry's Beach

Santa Barbara, California, United States


Hendry's Beach has that classic California beach look, with the tall palms, wonderful cliffs, and lots of driftwood. There are so many natural wonders to explore: beach caves, an estuary, huge spaghetti piles of kelp, sea birds, pebbles, and shells. If you walk to the west, you can take a long walk and the beach becomes more secluded as you go. The Hope Ranch houses above look interesting with their stairways and railtracks that lead to the beach. To the east, the beach is doggy heaven with its offleash area. Dog owners are wonderful in California how they always pick up after their dogs, and there are pooper-scooper bags at every beach and park. My son loves to laugh at the name of these bags!
There are tons of kids on weekends building sand castles and making creations from driftwood. Often I've seen dolphins swimming here close to shore!
On Friday and Saturday nights during warm weather there are many gatherings here of friends and starry-eyed couples with picnics of fancy cheeses and wine balanced on the driftwood logs. It's a happy place to be!
Surfers often enjoy the waves at Hendry's. Sometimes, however, if the estuary is open to the ocean the water is very polluted so check the water quality before you go (the official name of Hendry's Beach is Arroyo Burro). Swimming isn't that appealing here because the water is not clear and there's seaweed, but kids seem to enjoy it anyway.
The Boathouse Restaurant at Hendry's Beach is one of the few oceanfront restaurants in Santa Barbara. It has glass panes to shield you from the cold ocean air on a great sunny patio right over the beach! The prices aren't too bad- about $13 for a salad or sandwich.
To pick up a picnic before you go to Hendry's Beach take Cliff Drive in the other direction (east) and turn right on Meigs Rd. Lazy Acres Market is on the left. It has a great selection of organic deli meals.
If it's too windy at the beach, there is a sheltered picnic area tucked in a canyon beside the parking lot. Enjoy the picnic tables, palm trees, and lush grass.
Above the east end of Hendry's Beach is Douglas Family Preserve, a gorgeous rugged place to walk on cliffs over the sea. Dogs love it because it's an offleash park. Mesa Lane Steps leads down two hundred steps to the eastern end of Hendry's Beach. From the top of the steps there's a glorious view.
From Hendry's take a romantic drive through an old oak forest and Hope Ranch by driving west on Cliff Drive.

Photo Gallery

Shorebird at Hendry's.

Reflections in the estuary.

Walking west along the beach.

The cliffs near the parking lot where there is a little park with picnic tables tucked in a canyon.

Boathouse Restaurant sits perched above the beach.

There's lots of fun to be had at Hendry's!

A beautiful string of kelp, shells, and a sailboat.

The incredible cliffs against bluest sky!

The beach to the west, secluded and inspiring.

Hendry's Beach, as seen from Douglas Preserve.

The little sheltered park at Hendry's Beach, as seen from Douglas Preserve.

Cutest bird with funny feet at Hendry's Beach.

Many-colored cliffs.

Bird landing a fish.

Honeycomb cliffs.

One way to get to the beach!

We're here! Path down to the sand.

Boathouse Restaurant.

See Douglas Preserve up high in the distance.

Pelicans floating over a wave!

It's wonderful to go for a long walk on Hendry's Beach.

The east end of the beach where dogs are allowed off-leash.

Huge trees that have fallen from Douglas Preserve above, on the east end of the beach.

Blue lights wrapped around palm trees at Hendry's Beach.

Stars and palm trees. Hendry's is a nice place to come at night.

Incredible spring flowers, April at Hendry's Beach.

Tall cliffs covered in flowers!


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

Hendry's or Arroyo Burro Beach is located at 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara 93109.
From Highway 101, exit at Las Positas Rd. Turn toward the ocean. Continue to the end and turn right on Cliff Drive. Turn left immediately into Arroyo Beach County Park (Hendry's Beach). If it's the weekend, I like to turn left right away and drive into the farthest parking lot rather than go over a million speed bumps trying to find a parking spot in the crowded lot.
Boathouse Restaurant, 2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, call (805) 898-2628.
All content Copyright © 2006-2018 copying prohibited