My New Beach

I recently moved across town, and my new digs have one especially compelling feature: It’s walking distance from the Pacific Ocean! Fifteen minutes from door to sand: Two minutes along a sidewalk to the access trail; 11 minutes along a dirt path through an open-space preserve; two minutes down a cliff to the sand. As the crow flies, I’m about 2/3 of a mile from the water.

And it’s a gem of a beach:

Click to enlarge

Even on the sunniest days, it’s nearly deserted due to its vehicular inaccessibility. On the entire stretch of coast shown in the photo above (6pm on a weekday – prime-time for the after-work crowd), there were about five people. While tourists crowd the downtown beaches – East, West, Butterfly, and Leadbetter – this beach remains remarkably off-the-radar, even to many Santa Barbara locals.

I hesitate to reveal the beach’s name or location because – probably for good reasons – it rarely appears on the internet. But it shouldn’t be difficult to deduce with a little sleuthing, using the clues I’ve already provided.

Approaching the edge of the cliff, through a eucalyptus grove. 

My new beach is a special place; at certain times of the day, even magical. The water seems cleaner; the landscape more wild and natural. Without crowds, cars, or any sign of development, one feels more directly the magnificent power of the ocean; the vertiginous sense of standing on the edge of a continent.

Fancy a swim? 

I look forward to spending more time here.

29 thoughts on “My New Beach”

    1. Yeah dude. It’s becoming an annual ritual for me. Anyway, no, this isn’t that beach… but I’m pretty sure no one would care (or notice?) if you swung that way at this beach, either.

        1. Absolutely! We’ll have a grand old time. I need to start making use of that sweet board I bought off you, too.

  1. Having lived in the area for 20 years and swam or biked much of the coast, I thought of a couple of places it might be. So I took a look at Google Earth and nothing matched up. Thanks for helping me waste an hour of my relatively important time.

    1. You can be bearded, tattooed, bubble-capped, Aqua Sphere-goggled, and quite possibly naked – but no wetsuits allowed. Per municipal code, um, 7877437. Except for surfing. I guess it would be ok in that case.

  2. I know where your beach is! Spent a lot of time in that neck of the woods in high school. (Do you remember why, Evan?) In any case, it is stunningly, wonderfully uncrowded.

    And yes, I can affirm for the eager Rob D. that, as to the beach’s dress code, you need only consult your own… predilections.

  3. jealous. but this is super fantastic. congrats on the move! btw, i’m in SB next week, maybe see you down at the pool.

  4. Lovely spot, and congratulations on the move!

    (I, too, like where I swim to stay off the radar… And certain optionalities have been operationalized, they say, at irregular times.)

    The big news seems buried. You are boarding these days?

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