Sandspit Beach, also known as Santa Barbara Harbor Beach, is small beach is located at the end of the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater. Though it is only 800 feet from Stearns Wharf (as the crow flies) it is a 1.5 mile walk from Stearns Wharf. Sandspit Beach is the only north-facing beach in Santa Barbara, and consequently is the only beach with a view of the city. Though the beach is sometime visited by tourists and surfers (under the right conditions) it is usually mostly empty except for flocks pelicans and seagulls because of the 3/4 mile walk from the nearest parking. When the surf is up the waves that wrap around the point to create a curl which skilled surfers can ride.
- Amenities: Benches, Jetty
- Activities: Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Surfing, Walking
- Dog Policy: Dogs not allowed on beach but they are allowed everywhere else at the harbor
To get to the beach park at the Santa Barbara Harbor and walk to the breakwater at the ocean. Walk 1/4 mile to the east end of the breakwater. From there you walk along a narrow wooden beam that runs the length of a smaller rock jetty that acts as an anchor for Sanspit Beach. Kayaks and SUPs frequently take a break at Sandsput Beach.
The breakwater, which was completed in 1929, blocked the longshore transport of sand moving east along the coast. When sand filled out the beach to the breakwater, it moved along the outside of the breakwater to be transported into the harbor area, building Sandspit Beach. Given enough time, the Sandspit Beach would eventually close off the harbor, so crews periodically dredge out that sand and transport it to the east of Stearns Wharf where it continues its trek south perhaps as far as Cabo San Lucas!