North of the city of Santa Barbara, the sleepy beach town of Goleta is home to students, families, dog lovers, and working professionals who enjoy the same temperate weather and beachside views as their Santa Barbara neighbors. Goleta Beach County Park is among the most popular and well-maintained areas of the area’s local beaches, and it is perfect for families and large group gatherings.
The beach itself stretches over half a mile, and it is located within walking distance of several of the university’s on-campus freshman dorms. The park is equal parts fine sand and grassy terrace, offering a children’s playground, beach volleyball courts, kayak rentals, and a pier that is popular for fishing. On top of this, there are many trees and shaded picnic areas, with plenty of accessible restroom facilities, water fountains, and public showers. For food, large groups typically rent out or utilize the park’s large barbeque pits, or you can make a reservation at the park’s beachside restaurant.
Dogs are allowed on-leash all throughout the public park and along the pier, and at any given time there will be several other dog owners taking their dog out for a stroll. There are no poop bags at this park, so you will need to bring your own or borrow from another dog owner. The park does have posted rules about picking up after your dog, so make sure that you are helping to keep the park clean and enjoyable for all to use.
This is truly the perfect beach to come and enjoy casually, although one small note for dog owners would be that all Santa Barbara beaches occasionally shore up natural tar and oil. You might want to bring some lemon oil or baby wipes just in case! If you are visiting the University or the surrounding area, Goleta Beach County Park is the perfect area to spend some time with loved ones, gather in a large group, or walk with just you and your dog to the sound of the waves and a perfect sunset.