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Sun-soaked Adventure: Unraveling the Best Beaches Near Isla Vista, California

Sun-soaked Adventure: Unraveling the Best Beaches Near Isla Vista, California

Embark on a beach-hopping adventure near Isla Vista, CA! Discover top beaches, their highlights, accessibility, history, and more. Team


1 min read

July 24, 2023

California's golden coast is peppered with picturesque beaches, and the quaint town of Isla Vista is no exception. As an ocean-side treasure, Isla Vista is the perfect starting point for a beach-hopping expedition. From hidden coves to vibrant seascapes, let's journey together to discover the top beaches near Isla Vista, all within a comfortable driving distance.

1. Goleta Beach

Nestled just a ten-minute drive from Isla Vista, Goleta Beach offers a tranquil setting for both active outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful getaway. This beach's unique features include a long pier, barbecue pits, and a playground. It has ample parking and easy wheelchair accessibility. Fun fact: Goleta Beach's pier has featured in several film productions over the years.

2. Hendry's Beach

Fifteen miles southeast of Isla Vista, you'll find Hendry's Beach, a local favorite for dog-lovers since it offers an off-leash area for our furry friends. With ample parking and stunning coastal views, this beach is a must-visit. Remember to pack a picnic and make use of the picnic tables overlooking the surf. Interesting tidbit: The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach restaurant located nearby is housed in what was originally a 1940's bathhouse!

3. East Beach 

Next stop, East Beach! About 17 miles away from Isla Vista, this beach is renowned for its palm-lined coastline and volleyball courts, drawing enthusiasts from around the region. The beach provides plenty of parking, and it's also wheelchair accessible. East Beach also has a rich history, as it was once the hub for Santa Barbara's traditional summer fiestas!

4. Butterfly Beach

At around 20 miles from Isla Vista, Butterfly Beach offers an intimate setting with its less crowded, narrow sandy strip. This beach is a hit among sunset lovers, offering stunning views during golden hour. Street parking is available, although it can be competitive during peak hours. Did you know? Butterfly Beach gained fame in the early 1900s when the luxurious Biltmore Hotel was built facing it.

Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat or an action-packed adventure, these nearby beaches offer an irresistible allure that transcends the everyday. With their unique highlights, ample parking, and fascinating histories, they are sure to captivate and charm. Grab your beach blanket, pack your sunscreen, and hit the road to discover the sun-soaked splendor that awaits around Isla Vista.

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