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TOURIST ATTRACTION

Shoreline Park
updated: Feb 05, 2011, 8:45 AM

By the dedicated staff

Shoreline Park is a crown jewel in Santa Barbara's shoreline necklace.

This grassy expanse runs from Leadbetter Beach along Shoreline Drive, with cliffs that drop off dramatically to the ocean below all along the way. It's a much-loved place to walk a dog, jog, take the kids to play, fly a kite, or have a picnic.

To get there, head right (west) on Cabrillo Boulevard from Stearns Wharf's dolphin fountain. Cabrillo Boulevard becomes Shoreline Drive at Santa Barbara City College. You can park in a paid parking lot at Leadbetter Beach and walk the length of the park uphill, a length of a little less than a mile.

There are two free parking lots on the park that are not time restricted. The one at the top of the park is close to a children's play area. The lower lot is just up the hill from a popular surf break at Leadbetter Beach. On particularly nice days, overflow parking spills into the nearby neighborhoods.

Picnic tables and BBQ grills are available for public use, and there are large group areas available for parties, with reservations through the City of Santa Barbara.

Shoreline's beach access is via a set of steps that descend the steep cliff in the center of the park, leading to Mesa Beach. It is most often used in summer when the tide is out and there is more packed sand. In the winter, the ocean waves will often crash against the cliffs, eroding the shoreline. A major example of erosion is along the park, where the land is rapidly dropping into the sea. A portion of the park is fenced off as a result.

If you love a good view, Shoreline Park is a great place to take a long look into the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands. You can often see freight barges passing through the Channel and sometimes, even whales. Plenty of appropriately placed benches are available for sitting and gazing.

The park is a wonderful place for photography, people watching, and walking and jogging. There isn't much you can't do there besides cycling, which is prohibited. During the summer months, it is the starting line for the popular Nite Moves running and swimming competition. On weekdays in good weather, you will often see outdoor exercise classes meeting to get fit in the park. For walkers, the park is part of a walking tour that also includes Santa Barbara Harbor.

Here are some of the amazing images Edhat photographers have taken of and from Shoreline Park over the last few years. See a panoramic view of the park here

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