I notice that some reviewers seem to have had a difficult time finding the scenic view. (Actually, Santa Barbara is full of them, but to my mind, driving along the ocean is at the top of the list.)
Coming from the south on Hwy. 101, exit at Cabrillo. Turn left and go under the railroad tracks. You will drive by the Santa Barbara Cemetery on your left. If you have time, this is worth a visit for the views and tombstones of interesting people who are buried there. Otherwise, continue driving on Cabrillo. You will notice the gates to the Hugette Clark estate on your left (the book "Empty Mansions"). On your right is the Bird Refuge and the Santa Barbara Zoo.( If you look quickly, you may see a giraffe or two!) Looking to your left you will see beautiful beaches, the ocean, and the channel islands off-shore. There are several public parking lots, as well as parking on the street. It's not hard to find at all!
You can continue driving past East Beach and Sterns Wharf, past State Street to Ledbetter Beach, or when you reach State Street, you can turn right and continue into town.
If you are coming to Santa Barbara on the 101 from the north, there are several ways to get to the ocean. You can exit on Carrillo and just follow the road as it changes to Meigs and then Shoreline, or you can exit on Castillo and follow the street until it runs into Cabrillo at the ocean.
Santa Barbara beaches are easily accessible, clean, and as I mentioned, there is parking either on the street or in lots. Enjoy your visit!
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