Sands Beach is located at Coal Oil Point near Isla Vista and the University of California Santa Barbara. This beach lies on the west side of the point next to Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve, a protected habitat. Sands Beach is at the mouth of the Devereux Slough Lagoon which has a tidal flow in the winter months. Tide pools can be found right at Coal Oil Point where a reef is exposed at low tides.

  • Amenities: Tide Pools, Trails, Toilet
  • Activities: Beach Walking, Hiking, Surfing
  • Dog Policy: Dogs must be on leash

Sands Beach has fenced-off dunes that are home to the endangered Snowy Plover, a small bird species that nests on the dunes. Consider leaving your dog at home when visiting Sands Beach so as not to disturb the birds. Bring your lunch, water, and sunscreen because there are no public facilities at this beach aside from one portable toilet near Coal Oil Point. It's a real locals kind of place.

The sand bars in this area provide a nice break for local surfers to enjoy. Sands Beach is probably the most popular break in the Goleta area because of its consistency and proximity to Isla Vista. With the right tide and swell direction, Sands can get quite good. Sands is usually best in the winter and spring. The kelp on the outside will keep the lineup fairly glassy, even in a heavy winds. Usually when a UCSB freshman moves to Isla Vista from somewhere far inland, the first place they learn to surf is at Sands.

On the east side of Sand Beach, around the point, is the Devereux Beach surf spot. Just to the north of Sands Beach is Ellwood Beach. There are many trails in the area so even if you are not surfing or checking out tide pools you can still walk beaches and trails in the area for hours.

The best way to get to Sand Beach is to park at the southern end of Camino Majorca road in Isla Vista and walk the bluff trail in front of the western UCSB campus all the way around the point (0.5 miles). Another way is to walk there from Ellwood Beach starting at Phelps Road (1.2 miles) or Santa Barbara Shores Park (1.5 miles). There are a few pull-out parking spaces along Slough Road too.