El Capitan State Beach is 21 miles west of Santa Barbara.
El Capitan State Beach is at a location formerly used as a ranch. This undeveloped part of the Californian Central Coast offers wide open vistas across rolling hills, and distant views of the Channel Islands on the horizon.
There’s a beach store and restrooms on the bluff at El Capitan State Beach, with stairs down to the beach. Dogs must be on a leash, and are not permitted on the beach.
The blufftop campsite is open all year but has no hook-ups.
5 best things about El Capitan State Beach
1. It has the stunning backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
2. There's a convenient beach store, with camping supplies, fishing bait, souvenirs and groceries.
3. A half mile walking trail meanders to El Capitan Point, through a sycamore and oak grove along the creek.
4. This beautiful coastal setting has waterfront picnic tables and grills in the day use area.
5. The large blufftop campground has 130+ sites, and is open year round. Each campsite has a picnic table and grill.
Know before you go
- El Capitan State Beach store hours: (usually weekends only): check here.
- Camping reservations: check here.
- Campsite hook-ups: no.
- Day Use Fees: check here.
- Attractions near El Capitan State Beach: Visit Gaviota State Park just 12 miles west of El Capitan State Beach along the coastline.
- Dogs: Dogs must be on a leash, and are not permitted on the beach.