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Guadalupe Dunes, Santa Maria

Santa Barbara, California, United States


Guadalupe Dunes are wild, windswept, and cold! Bring a good jacket so you can stay a while.
You can park literally on the beach and explore small sand dunes. Kids love leaping from the dunes, rolling around, and standing at the top of a dune chanting: I'm the King of the Castle and you're the dirty rascal! It's also fun to "sit" on the picnic tables that are buried by all the sand. The beach is a little more sheltered than the beach at the Oso Flaco Lake dunes.
The drive to the beach through the dunes is gorgeous- it looks like you are in the snow! Notice the working sand mine that you pass as you enter the road to the beach. Behind this mine, buried by sand is the fully-intact set for the Ten Commandments, filmed here in 1923- it is considered a state of California archaeological treasure!
If you're brave about cold water and want to swim, check the water quality before you go.
Between March 1 and October 1, dune access is limited and large portions are fenced off to allow the snowy plover bird to nest.
Dogs are not allowed at Guadalupe Dunes.
The Dunes Visitor Center, located in an early 20th century craftsman bungalow in a cute area of old Guadalupe, is small and contains exhibits about local animals and history. The best part are some columns and remnants from The Ten commandments set.
Also in Guadalupe, Oso Flaco Lake is a peaceful place to walk on a wooden boardwalk over a lake to dunes covered in wildflowers. In Santa Maria, check out Waller Park, a wonderful wooded park with a pond full of ducks, playgrounds, a dog park, and a get-away-from-it-all feel.

Photo Gallery

Pretty waves at the Guadalupe dunes.

The dunes are continually resculpted by wind and waves.

Footsteps in the dunes.

There's so much sand that the picnic tables are buried!


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

Guadalupe Dunes County Park is located at 6999 W Main St, Guadalupe, CA 93434, call (805) 343-2354.
Exit Highway 101 at Main St/Hwy 166. Head west and keep going until the end, where you will find the beach and a large parking lot.
Guadalupe Dunes is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
For the Visitor Center: Exit highway 101 at Main St/Hwy 166. Go west about 5 miles and then turn right on Guadalupe Street/Highway 1. The Visitors Center is at 1055 Guadalupe Street, Guadalupe, CA 93434. Open Wed-Sun 10am-4pm. Call (805) 343-2455 to check the hours.
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