Depressions Beach is named after the dent, or depression, in the adjacent ocean bluffs where the UCSB lagoon empties into the ocean. Contrary to popular belief the name has nothing to do with student anxiety during exam time. Depressions is a popular surfing area on the west side of Campus Point. The outflow from the lagoon creates a natural sandbar, and surf break, off shore. Depressions is a reasonably exposed beach break that has pretty consistent surf and can produce waves any time of the year. Surfer Magazine once named UCSB the best college for surfing in the United States.

  • Amenities: Trails
  • Activities: Biking, Beach Walking, Hiking, Sunbathing, Surfing
  • Dog Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

On the east side of Depressions Beach is Campus Point Beach a poplar beginning surfers area, while a half-mile to the west is El Embarcadero Beach. Behind Depressions Beach is the UCSB Lagoon and walking trails that meander along the bluffs.


Parking for Depressions Beach is at the east end Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista (or nearby streets) but the odds of finding a parking spot during the school year are low. Parking is plentiful during the summer. To get to Depressions Beach take the 101 freeway to Isla Vista. Work your way to Del Playa Drive and park at the east end. Follow the bluff trail to where it drops down to the sandy beach. You could also pay to park on campus in a lot at the end of Lagoon Road near Campus Point Beach and then walk around the point on the bluff. This option is best in the evenings and weekends when school is out and more parking spots are available.