El Embarcadero Beach is a narrow stretch of beach between the surf and a steep bluff at the end of El Embarcadero Road where it meets Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista. On sunny days El Embarcadero Beach is full of students from neighboring University of California, Santa Barbara, beach walking, sunbathing, or perhaps playing Spikeball.

  • Amenities: Benches, Grass Park, Picnic Tables
  • Activities: Beach Walking, Sunbathing, Whale Watching
  • Dog Policy: Dogs allowed on leash

On the bluffs above El Embarcadero Beach is Pelican Park next to Del Playa Drive which includes a grass park, picnic tables, and benches that can be a great spot for whale watching. Immediately to the right/west of El Embarcadero Beach is Camino Pescadero Park Beach while off in the distance to the left/east is Depressions Beach.

Bring your lunch, water, and sunscreen because there are no public facilities at El Embarcadero Beach, unless you consider stairs and a trash can to be facilities. The general assumption is that you live in nearby. Like most Isla Vista beaches there is no sand during high tide and waves literally crash against the bottom of the stairs.

The first thing you will notice from the beach is the extreme erosion taking place along the cliffs. The natural destruction of the cliffs along Del Playa Drive force apartment building owners to periodically chop off the ocean side of the structure. There is a often plethora of caution tape where whole balconies have fallen off into the water. One day in the not too distant future all the apartments above El Embarcadero Beach will be gone and Pelican Park above will go from tiny to huge!

Free street parking is available if you can find a spot. Parking is a problem in all of Isla Vista during the school year. Look for street parking spaces first along Del Playa Drive and work your way block by block toward the north. With luck you will find a parking spot before you cross into Canada.