Goleta Beach Park has a little bit of everything for just about anybody. It is a county run park next to the University of California Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Airport. Though the beach is not within the City of Goleta boundaries, it is only a half mile away from "The Goodland." Word has it that Goleta Beach is the busiest beach in the county. Although it is close to the UCSB and the airport, ground and air traffic seem very far away. The parking is free.
- Features: Alcohol Allowed, Beach, Biking, Horseshoe Pits, Parking On Site, Picnic Site, Pier, Playground, Popular Event Venue, Reservable Areas, Restaurant, Restrooms
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
The long sandy beach at Goleta Beach Park is flanked by a 29-acrea strip of grass, with the two separated by a protective boulder barrier that keeps the winter waves from eating away at the park. There are plenty of grills and picnic tables and a brisk wind keeps bathers from getting over heated. A paved bike path at the park goes all the way to Santa Barbara. Hiking trails lead to Campus Point Beach and the beaches in Isla Vista.
Goleta Pier provides boaters, fishermen, and families out for a stroll, an engaging view of the Pacific coast. The Goleta Pier boat launch is available for public use on weekends and holidays. The park's resident ranger must be in attendance to facilitate the launch.
Other amenities include the Beachside Bar Cafe, restrooms, volley ball courts, horseshoes, seasonal lifeguards, and large areas for group picnics provide plenty of amenities. The group picnic areas can be reserved with the County of Santa Barbara for a fee. Kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders often use Goleta Beach Park as their starting point and rentals are on site
The area is rich in oil deposits, which occasionally give it a tar smell. It is a very busy beach and parking can be difficult to find. Since it is right off the highway, it isn't possible to park on the road.
Santa Barbara County Parks offers a free-of-charge beach wheelchair at Goleta Beach Park. The wheelchairs were acquired through the California Coastal Commission's Whale Tail Grants Program. Reservations are recommended prior to your visit. Call (805) 967-1300 or (805) 729-7508 for more information.
History: In 1949, the Federal Government granted Goleta Beach Park to Santa Barbara County. In 1953, the County granted the Park to the State of California. The State granted it back to the County in 1970.
Directions: From Hwy 217 leading to the Santa Barbara Airport and UCSB, exit at Sandspit road. Or from Hollister Avenue, take Fairview Avenue to Sandspit Road. Bike paths lead to the park, and city buses stop here.