||Santa Barbara, CA|
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There's a fun feel at Gaviota Beach, with kids playing and splashing at the sheltered shoreline. The water is not as freezing here in summer and is clean as long as the creek is not open to the sea. Check the water quality before you go. Behind the beach there's a snack shop that kids like to run to for a treat. Bring a beach umbrella because there's no shade.
The huge railroad trestle above the beach adds interest to the area. To the west there's a pier that fishermen and surfers use, and a poster with information on the history of Hollister Ranch, which Gaviota Beach was a part of until it was sold to the state. Surfers use Gaviota Beach as an entry point to ride by dinghy and sneak a few waves at private Hollister Ranch.
On the west side of the pier, there's a cave smashed by sea waves. Check out the amazing geological formations. I love how the shale breaks in perfect rectangles!
Gaviota Beach is on the drive from from Santa Barbara to Solvang and the wide open feel of the road here is freeing. The mountains in the distance, loaded with rock outcroppings, are spectacular.
If you're hungry, head over to Solvang, a town with Danish windmills and lots of tourist stores. At Paula's Pancakes you can sit on their sunny patio and look out on the half-timbered buildings and overflowing flower pots all around you. For an amazing medieval playground in Solvang that will keep your kids happy for hours, check out Sunnyfields Park.
Just north of Gaviota Beach there is a gorgeous natural area called Nojoqui Falls, where you take an easy ten-minute walk with your kids to a waterfall.
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Gaviota Beach is off of Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Solvang. It is 13 miles south of Solvang and 20 miles north of Santa Barbara. From Highway 101, follow the signs to Gaviota State Beach. There is a huge parking lot. It's a state park so parking is $10 in cash.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating:
|Wish I was there! I miss summer in SB!|
|Ahhhh cool. I'm undecided on if I love to see these pics or hate to see these pics. Makes me miss Cali|
|Thanks guys! My favourite beach.|
|Nice beach senic and peaceful some great coastline.|