Adjacent to each other, Goleta Beach Park and Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve offer a full spectrum of activities, from great picnicking and beach activities to terrific walks and bird watching in an important coastal salt marsh and other habitats.
Goleta Beach is known for its large BBQ picnic areas, its secluded beach at the eastern part of the park, horseshoes, and its 1,500 foot pier where you can fish or just walk to the end for terrific views. For big events, large picnic areas can be reserved.
Before or after visiting the beach, it is fun go directly north of the parking lot to explore the many diverse habitats in the Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve, including: salt marsh, riverine, palustrine wetlands, coastal sage scrub and Southern coastal oak woodland. There is abundant wildlife, especially herons, ducks, rails, shorebirds, raptors and even weasels.
5986 Sandspit Rd, Goleta
County of Santa Barbara (Goleta Beach Park); California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve)
1.3 miles (bike)
Beach Activities, BBQ, Birdwatching, Hiking, Other Recreational Activities (horseshoes, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing), Picnicking, Playground/Swings, Playing on Grass Activities, Relaxing, Studying/Reading, Swimming (depending on water quality), Viewing (Ocean, Mountains), Volleyball, Walking, Watchable Wildlife
Goleta Slough is also designated as a State Marine Conservation Area, an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat, and provides habitat for many listed threatened or endangered species. There is a very good eBird list for this area.
Goleta Beach is subject to significant coastal erosion. There have been numerous beach nourishment projects.