Campus Point, UCSB
||Santa Barbara, CA|
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Campus Point is the surfing beach at UCSB. It's a popular spot, especially in the summer when the small surf break makes it a good place for beginning surfers. There's a fun scene with college students laying out and kids yelling in the water. In the morning there is absolutely no shade, but in the afternoon the cliffs make wide expanses of shade.
On the southern tip of the point there are some rocks where waves crash up and tidepools make for some great exploring. Bright pink and orange starfish, big and fat, cling to the rocks slightly below the water, only visible at low tide. Don't touch them!
I especially like the eastern side of the beach, just below the huge staircase near the parking. Here it's sheltered from the wind and in the afternoon there's shade from the cliffs. It's a great place to come with a toddler to play in the sand.
On Saturdays from 11am-2pm The Reef, a marine lab with touch tanks, is open. It's at the very end of Lagoon Rd near the beach. You can enter for free and check out the marine life.
Parking here is difficult. There are only a few stalls available for beach access during the week from 7:30am-5pm. On weekends or after 5pm you can park in any of the stalls. At all times you must pay a pretty hefty parking fee- you use your credit card to pay at the machines and then place the parking pass inside your car by the dashboard. In the evenings and on weekends it's the cheapest: $3 (you can pay $12 for a whole month of weekends and evenings).
The water is cold in Santa Barbara, so wear a wetsuit. The air is cold at the beach, so bring a sweater. In summer, be prepared with a terry rag and a lot of baby oil (or any vegetable oil) if you walk along the shore because your feet or shoes will become covered with huge globs of oil.
From Campus Point you can see the beautiful white cliffs of Goleta Beach and at low tide you can walk there. My favorite spot to walk from Campus Point is the grassy area by the shimmering lagoon. From here you can walk up stairs alongside the lagoon and under eucalyptus trees to UCSB's Campus Center for some lunch (on weekdays).
There are restrooms at campus point at the very end of Lagoon Rd past the signs that don't allow cars to go any further.
Photo GalleryClick on photo to see large version
Exit Highway 101 northbound at Highway 217. Follow it to the end where it enters the UCSB gate. Go around the big circle and turn on Lagoon Rd. At the end of Lagoon Rd (before the signs that don't allow you to drive further) there is a large parking lot on your left. Read the sign by the pay machine- a few of the stalls are for beach access from 7:30am-5pm on weekdays. Weekends and evenings you can park in any of the stalls. Pay with your credit card at the pay machine. Cost will be about $4 for 2 hours. On weekends and evenings it's $3. You can pay for a month of weekend parking for $12.
Bus line 11 runs between the UCSB campus and downtown via Hollister Ave in Goleta. You can check the website: www.sbmtd.gov.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|I grew up in horribly conservative Santa Barbara and spent every summer and winter there on that beach and I NEVER had to use a wetsuit. Kids today are so coddled!|
|Love your site, lady! We live right here and couldn't find detailed directions to the touch tanks...thanks!!!|
|go for a walk on the bluffs. the view is absolutely gorgeous...|
|The touch tanks are awesome.|
|The surf was cranking! Thanks for the awesome tip!|
|Thank you for sharing this lovely interactive map. I will share it with our incoming students.|