Summerland Beach at Lookout Park is one of the best on the South Coast and is located in the community of - you guessed it - Summerland, just a six-mile drive east along the coast from Santa Barbara. One might think that Summerland was named for the weather, but the name was actually taken from spiritualist literature, and named by spiritualists who occupied the area more than a century ago. This pretty stretch of coastline is well worth a look for anyone planning a beach outing - especially with a dog. This beach offers not only terrific views, but also an off leash experience and a for-pay self service dog wash.
- Features: Alcohol Allowed, Beach, Dog Wash, Horseshoe Pits, Parking On Site, Picnic Site, Playground, Reservable Areas, Restrooms
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
Lookout Park is the main beachfront park in Summerland, located up on a bluff with a south-facing view. Summerland Beach is right below Lookout Park. The park is operated by Santa Barbara County parks and includes a free parking lot, a grass park, benches, picnic tables, BBQs, a kids playground, a volleyball court, restrooms, and the dog wash.
When you walk down the paved trail to Summerland Beach you will encounter a wide sandy beach (most of the time) but no more facilities. All the facilities are in the park. If you walk left/east you will encounter Loon Point Beach while Fernald Point Beach is to the right/west.
Summerland is a great option for paddleboarders looking for a less crowded, yet undeniably beautiful spot. The waves here are typically pretty small and break close to shore, which means that it's fairly easy to get out past the breakers and onto smoother waters. This is paddling on the open ocean however, so while the waves on this part of the coast are relatively small thanks in part to the Channel Islands, be aware that the water will not be glassy smooth. Striking out in the early morning before the afternoon on-shore breeze picks up is a good way to ensure you'll have a smoother ride.
In 1890, Mr. H. L. Williams donated 1.9 acres of beachfront property in Summerland to Santa Barbara County. Mr. Williams' parcel became Lookout Park, and thus launched a countywide program to acquire land for public use and enjoyment. An additional 1.5 acres for the park were purchased in 1976.
If you fall in love with Summerland Beach, you can live there - literally. At the west end of Summerland Beach is a lone private home right on the sand that has been divided up into two rental properties. The gated entrance to the rental is right next to the entrance to Lookout Park. A photo of the home is included with the slideshow above.