One of the most popular spots in the city of Santa Barbara, Leadbetter Beach offers beautiful, broad, sandy shores where you can lay out and soak in the California sun. The favorable wind conditions make it a popular spot for kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sailing, and you’ll often see people surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding.
Leadbetter Beach is right across from Santa Barbara City College, so it’s a common stop for students when class is not in session. Be prepared for some crowds, but don’t let them keep you from enjoying all the awesome attractions that this beach has to offer.
801 Shoreline Drive in Santa Barbara
Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kite flying, walking, jogging, tidepooling, picnicking, barbecuing, sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
You can reserve picnic tables and barbecue sites.
Shoreline Beach Café can be found in the center of the beach. You can eat lunch right on the sand beneath the shade of a palm tree.
There are also a number of restaurants at the beach’s east end.
Dogs are not allowed on the beach.
Restrooms, showers, lifeguards, picnic tables, barbecues, paved path, grass park, café, restaurants, and a museum.
There is a paid parking lot available.
The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is right next door to Leadbetter Beach. There you can learn about the area’s historical connection to the ocean. There are multiple exhibits, some of which are interactive.
Shoreline Park Beach is next to Leadbetter Beach. There you can walk, picnic, go whale watching, or go tidepooling. The beach has restrooms, picnic tables, barbecues, walking paths, a playground, and a grass park. It’s a popular spot for walking dogs, as no leashes are required on the sand. When in the park, however, dogs must be on a leash.
Thousand Steps Beach is a little more than a mile away from Leadbetter Beach. To get to the shore you must walk down a long concrete stairway that begins high up on a bluff. There you can let your dog run free while you explore the beach and inspect the tide pools that are bustling with marine life.
There are several nearby Inns and Hotels under a mile away from Leadbetter Beach for your overnight accommodations.
Leadbetter Beach was created by accident. During the construction of Santa Barbara Harbor, downshore currents were blocked, causing a buildup of sand in the area that is now the beach.