About Thousand Steps Beach in Santa Barbara, California
Thousand Steps Beach is a rock and sand beach below homes high on the bluff in the East Mesa area of Santa Barbara. It requires a long hike down a stairway to get to the beach. The concrete stairs, originally constructed in 1923, have what seems like 1000 steps, but is actually closer to 150. The spot where you land on the beach is only a short jaunt from Shoreline Park Beach just to the east. Beaches along this shoreline are not known for sunbathing, but they are excellent places for tide pool exploration at low tide, and beach walking except at high tide when the beaches are all wet. If you walk far enough west you’ll reach another long stairway at Mesa Lane Beach. Thousand Steps Beach is located at the dead end of Santa Cruz Boulevard just off Shoreline Drive. Unfortunately, there is only room for a handful of cars at the top of the stairs. Street spaces can be found along Shoreline Drive and on Santa Cruz Boulevard across the street.
- 1 Santa Cruz Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
- Other Names
- Camino Al Mar, 1000 Steps Beach, One Thousand Steps
- City Beach
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed off leash
- Limited free parking
- Tidepooling, Beach Exploration, Beach Walking, Surfing
- Tide Pools, No Facilities
As you can see in our photos, the water does reach the cliff in many places. So definitely be aware of the tides, especially if venturing far from the staircase.
Doesn’t look like I’ll get an answer, but I’ll ask anyway. How deep does the water get at high tide at the beach where the steps end? When I was 14, I and a couple of other kids were walking on the beach there. We were quite a ways from the steps when I noticed the tide coming in. So we hurried back to the steps and went back up. By the time we got back to the steps, the water was reaching the cliff. I’ve always wondered how close we came to being in over our heads.