Top 20 Santa Barbara attractions

El Capitan State Beach

El Capitan State Beach

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.

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