Beach Walking Tips
• Tides: All of the 48-mile long Santa Barbara coast can be walked at minus tides, though in a few places you may need to get oyur feet wet. To make sure you have the longest amount of time available during the minus tuides, begin your walk as the tide starts to drop (about two hours before low tide).
• Cell Phones: Bring one with you. You’ll have Google Maps or Google Earth at your fingertips and know exactly where you are all of the time.
• Tide Apps: There are quite a few apps for both Android or iPhones (free or low cost) that make planning your trip a snap and also let you know exactly what the tide is while you are out on your walk.
• Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on any of our State Park beaches but there are plenty of access points that do allow dogs on leash, several that allow dogs off leash and lots of places where no one minds dogs off leash once you are away from the access points. Do keep in mind that this is home for the shorebirds, seals and other creatures and you need to keep your dog under control.
• Shuttles: With a shuttle, you can make your walk a one-way adventure and cover a lot more coastline than if you need to head back to your car. An added plus is the solitude and sense that increases with the distance you get from the access points.
• Park Entry Fees: Cost for a daily pass is $10 ($8 for seniors) at any of our local beach state parks. Call 968-1033 for state park info or check the info on each of the state parks here at the SBO site.
• Railroad Tracks: Many of the beach access points along the Gaviota coast require you to cross the railroad tracks to reach the beach. Technically you are trespassing across Union Pacific property but unless you wander out onto one of the bridges crossing one of the many canyons you won't get a ticket for doing so. However, there have been a fair number of deaths or serious injuries to people crossing the tracks so you need to be extremely vigilant when doing so.