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Summerland Beach and Lookout Park

Santa Barbara, California, United States

Description

Driving south toward Summerland Beach on Highway 101, as you round the bend and see the glittering ocean and curved beach stretched before you, you can't help but feel delight! When you pull off the freeway and park, you come first to Lookout Park, which stands on a cliff over the beach. A playground with views of the sea offers baby swings, regular swings, two curved slides, stepping stones that move, and a dinosaur bouncy to ride. Perfectly-positioned benches and picnic tables overlook the ocean, on the edge of a bright green lawn.
You can walk down a steep paved road to the beach below. The cliff beside you is covered in lush vegetation and flowers. The sand is a bit mucky-looking, but walk to the east and it improves (you can park closer to this stretch of beach- see directions below). Sanderling birds rush along the shore- it's amazing how fast their legs move when they run from a wave! Lovely houses above the beach make you jealous.
Summerland Beach is a favorite with dog owners. There is even a spiffy dog washing station for a fee. The dogginess of this beach is great if you are a dog owner, not so great if your child is scared of dogs because most of them aren't leashed.
If you're brave about cold water and want to swim, check the water quality before you go.
If you're hungry, head across the railroad tracks and turn right on Ortega Hill Rd to Summerland town where you will find charming cafes and shops set in Victorian houses along the road.
For panoramic views, enjoy the drive up to Toro Canyon Park, a wilderness area with hikes. Other spots to check out in Montecito are Manning Park, a beautiful wooded park; and Miramar Beach, where people hang out in front of the rickety beachhouses.

Photo Gallery


Bright lawn over the ocean at Lookout Park.

View of the Channel Islands, from gorgeous picnic area at the top of Lookout Park.

Teepee hut at Summerland Beach.

Summerland Beach, looking to the west.

Sanderling birds run away from a wave!

Summerland Beach- the nicest part- looking to the east.

Ooooh, yeah....

Sanderling birds and a wave rolling in.

The trail down to the east end of the beach.

Playground at Lookout Park.

Daisies on the cliff above the sea. Love it!

Dog wash station.

Baby swings and dolphin bouncy.

The play structure and nice trees.

Cute birds running from a wave.

Honeycomb cliffs.

Interesting house right on the beach.

Directions

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Summerland Beach and Lookout Park are located at the ocean end of Evans Ave, Summerland CA 93067.
Exit Highway 101 southbound at Summerland and turn towards the ocean. Drive across the railroad tracks and into the large parking lot for Lookout Park. You can walk down to the beach from here.
From Highway 101 northbound, exit at Evans Ave, and turn left on Lillie Ave. Turn left at Evans Ave and head under the freeway, across the railroad tracks and into the large parking lot for Lookout Park. You can walk down to the beach from here.
There are restrooms at Lookout Park.
A nicer stretch of beach is accessible further east. When you exit Highway 101 southbound, go straight, on the access road, as if you were getting back on Highway 101 South. Right before the Highway 101 South entrance, turn right, over the train tracks, past the Sanitary District Building. Park along the road and walk down the path to this more pristine stretch of Summerland Beach. This area fills up early.
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