Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Santa Barbara, CA in 2022

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Santa Barbara is a picturesque town located just up the California coast from Los Angeles and is a popular vacation destination for state residents and tourists. If you like to bring your pup along on vacation, Santa Barbara is an excellent choice due to the many dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, and other attractions in the area. Several Santa Barbara beaches also welcome canine visitors, including some off-leash spots! Here are the top 6 dog-friendly beaches in Santa Barbara, CA.


The Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Santa Barbara, California

1. Arroyo Burro Beach

  • Known as “Hendry’s Beach” locally
  • Dogs are allowed in the whole park but off-leash in marked areas only
  • Multiple amenities, including a restaurant, dog wash station, restrooms, and showers
  • A popular spot for paddleboarding, surfing, swimming, and fishing
  • Free beach wheelchairs are available

2. Shoreline Park Beach

  • Accessible via a staircase from Shoreline Park
  • Narrow beach, only accessible at low tide
  • Dogs allowed off-leash on the west side of the staircase
  • Playground, picnic area, grills, and restrooms are available
  • Keep dogs on leashes in the park itself

3. Summerland Beach

  • Accessible from Lookout Park
  • Parking, restrooms, picnic areas, a dog wash, and a playground are located in the park
  • No amenities on the beach itself
  • Stay alert—horseback riding is allowed on this beach
  • Located about 6 miles east of Santa Barbara

4. Mesa Lane Beach

  • A small, local beach that’s usually not crowded
  • No restrooms or other facilities
  • Bring your own waste bags
  • Beach is accessed by a flight of steps from the cliffs
  • Neighborhood street parking only

5. Thousand Steps Beach

  • Narrow shoreline, especially at high tide
  • Accessed by a flight of steps (but only about 150!)
  • No restrooms or other facilities
  • Neighborhood street parking only
  • A beautiful spot to watch the sunset

6. West Ellwood Beach

  • A generally uncrowded beach located near a butterfly preserve
  • Parking lot available, but it’s a long walk to the beach
  • On-leash dogs are only allowed on part of the beach, follow signs closely
  • No facilities
  • Beach is often stained by natural oil seepage



Because you’ll be sharing these six (often narrow) Santa Barbara beaches with others, make sure you always pick up after your pup and keep them under strict voice control when playing off-leash. Available facilities vary widely between the beaches as well, so plan ahead and bring your own waste bags, water, snacks, and shade. A little preparation will ensure you and your dog both enjoy the gorgeous Santa Barbara shores safely and happily.

Featured Image Credit: BELINDA_FLORES, Shutterstock

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