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Santa Barbara County

Much of Santa Barbara County’s coast faces south, backed by the Santa Ynez Mountains, which run east-west. The coastal cities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta lie on a wide coastal plain between the mountains and the sea. The waters are warmer here than along other parts of the coast, contributing to an abundance and diversity of marine life.

The mild climate makes this region ideal for sunbathing, picnicking, and exploring at such parks as Carpinteria and El Capitán State Beaches. Birdwatchers in particular will want to visit the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park and Andree Clark Bird Refuge where herons, ducks, and many other types of shorebirds can be seen. The city of Santa Barbara’s oceanfront Chase Palm Park has fountains, a lagoon with waterfall, and a carousel, while at Santa Barbara Harbor you can take a whale-watching cruise or visit the Maritime Museum. Past Gaviota, where Highway 101 turns north again, much of the county’s coastline is rugged and undeveloped, and Vandenberg Air Force Base allows only limited access along its 35-mile stretch of coast.
 

 

 

Andree Clark Bird Refuge
Andree Clark Bird Refuge (Bonnie Lewkowicz )
Andree Clark Bird RefugeCarpinteria Salt Marsh Nature ParkCarpinteria State BeachChase Palm Park
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.   California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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