If you're looking for the best place to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July or New Years, or you want to watch boats coming and going from the harbor, or you want to play volleyball or rollarblade, then come to West Beach. This is also where the outriggers hold lessons and where many kayaks, windsurfers, and sailboats set out. Thousands of tourists on Stearns Wharf look out at West beach every day because the wharf is actually built on top of it.
- Amenities: Paved Bike Path, Pier, Restrooms, Volleyball Courts, Walking Paths
- Activities: Biking, Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking, Metal Detecting, Rowing, Sailing, Skating, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Volleyball, Windsurfing
- Dog Policy: Dogs not allowed beach
There aren't a lot of facilities, but you are close to the Chase Palm Park and Stearns Wharf so it's not really needed. There are a number of excellent restaurants across the street, including the first (and last) Sambos restaurant in America. Leadbetter Beach and the breakwater are just a few blocks away. Santa Barbara City College is on the bluffs above West Beach.
West Beach is not the prettiest beach in the world unless you like industrial. You rarely see people swim there. Perhaps they are afraid of getting hit by a boat. At the west end of West Beach you typically see sand sculptures and assorted makeshift targets that encourage tourists on Stearns Wharf to toss coins for the creators. This in turn has caused metal detecting to be popular at West Beach because tourists can't aim!
West Beach and nearby East Beach are the best metal detecting beaches in town because of the shear volume of people in the area. People drop money and valuables everywhere, particularly near the sidewalks, volleyball courts, and Stearns Wharf.
Directions: Take the 101 Freeway to Garden Street and turn towards the ocean. When you reach Cabrillo Boulevard, turn right. Just after you pass Stearns Wharf you've reached West Beach. There is on-street parking at West beach and a parking garage on lower State Street just a block from Stearns Wharf.