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East Beach

Santa Barbara, California, United States


To us, East Beach is called Tiki and Toko Warriors Beach! There are these strange woven fence-type things that run parallel to each other near the second (easternmost) parking lot. My son balances driftwood against them to make teepees. Then he designs a game of war between the Tiki warriors and the Toko tribe! It's great fun.
There's a colorful playground with baby swings, both literally in the sand. It's mostly empty though because homeless people hang out in the shade area near the playground.
It's fun to watch the volleyball players at East Beach. Or to go for a long stroll around the gorgeous red cliffs on the eastern end all the way to beautiful Butterfly Beach. Summer weekends are packed at East Beach and people sit under the umbrellas at East Beach Grill enjoying yummy (but heavy) blueberry wheatgerm pancakes and watching the passersby on the East Beach boardwalk. It's a fun scene!
I wouldn't recommend swimming at East Beach if the storm drain area is open to the ocean- check the water quality before you go. East Beach is a popular spot for diehard lap swimmers. It is always very cold in the ocean in Santa Barbara so don't expect a relaxing swim!
There are restrooms at the Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse, the white Spanish building.
There's some great bikeriding around here: Cabrillo Bike Path leads from East Beach to the pier, West Beach, and the harbor. You can bike all the way to beautiful Shoreline Park. Across the street from East Beach is the beginning of the Andree Clark Bird Refuge Bike Path, where you will have stunning views of the lush green Montecito hills.
Other places to visit near East Beach are: Santa Barbara Zoo, with its gorgeous views and great exhibits; Doubletree Walk, a walk along Cabrillo Blvd under palms and past tropical flowers; and Chase Palm Park, an amazing park with a playground that is a tiny Spanish town and shipwreck, a carousel, and a stream surrounded by long wispy grass.

Photo Gallery

The bear from behind! Notice the fur!

A sandcastle in progress!

Baby swings with a view!

Sunny August day at East Beach.

Party down at East Beach- a busy Sunday on the sand. Notice the tiki warrior station!

East Beach boardwalk- a happening scene on summer weekends. Grab a beer at East Beach Grill, sit under the umbrellas, and people watch!

Crowds hang out and watch the beach volleyball games.

The Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse, where East Beach Grill is located. Behind it- the Radisson Hotel tower.

Cold day at East Beach- notice the two brave souls in the water.

Kids play in the sand at East Beach, while a jogger heads toward the lovely red cliffs.

A Sandcastle Festival entry- this festival seems to be discontinued, sadly.

Awesome Pacman sand sculpture- typical for nerdy Goleta!

Starfish sand sculpture and the sea beyond.

Octopus sand sculpture and the Cabrillo Bathhouse Pavilion beyond.

Beautiful sand castles...aaah this is the life!

Swimmers bolt after they hear the buzzer at an East Beach swim meet.

Swim meet at East Beach.

Saturday morning at East Beach Grill.

Summer weekend morning at East Beach.

Red cliffs of East Beach, as seen by boat.

Sand volleyball players.

Lovely shoreline at East Beach.

The distance vegetation on the cliffs is wonderful.

The soft, abundant sand.

Incredible sunset at East Beach.

Swings in the sand.

The fun playground.

Climby structure at the playground.

A boy plays in the sand at the playground.

The red cliffs between East Beach and Butterfly Beach.

Cute little boulders strewn on the beach.

The pretty area east of East Beach.

A lady looks toward the mesa from the red cliff area.


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

From Highway 101, exit at Milpas Street. Turn towards the ocean. Turn left on Cabrillo Blvd and then turn right into a parking lot. There are two parking lots for this beach: one before the historical white Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse building and the other after it. The second parking lot has the playground and tiki warrior fences.
The parking fee of $2 an hour is paid in the parking machines.
There are restrooms inside Cabrillo Pavilion Bathhouse, the fancy white Spanish building.
East Beach Grill, 1118 East Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara CA 93103, call (805) 965-8805. Serves breakfast and lunch.
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