Arroyo Burro Beach tips

SANTA BARBARA, CA: Arroyo Burro Beach Tips

SANTA BARBARA, CA: Arroyo Burro Beach

Arroyo Burro Beach, or “Hendry’s Beach” to the locals, is beautiful with it’s misty mornings and seaside bluffs. If you are only going for sea glass you will be disappointed. I went to this beach with my mom specifically for collecting beautiful, colorful glass, but didn’t find much at all even at low tide. Articles online gave the impression this beach was a gold mine for sea glass hunters. Don’t believe them! You’ll be disappointed with how little glass you find. If you go here, go for the beautiful photo opportunities and the chance to relax with some locals and their dogs. Yep, there’s a portion of the beach dedicated to unleashed dogs having the time of their lives playing fetch near the ocean.

  • Location: Arroyo Burro Beach County Park
  • Address: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Hours: 8:00AM to Sunset
  • Website:

Getting to the Beach

Arroyo Burro Beach is a short 4 mile drive from Stearns Wharf. I recommend driving if you are getting there early in the morning. Otherwise you might have a lot of trouble finding parking. Some other options are using a rideshare service (be conscious if you will have any wet clothes on when heading back to your hotel) or renting a bike (careful driving along Cliff Drive).

Short drive from Stearns Wharf

Misty mornings

The mornings are beautiful and perfect if you want moody, misty photos.

Misty mornings on Arroyo Burro Beach
Misty mornings on Arroyo Burro Beach

Crystal Clear Afternoons

Stay for the afternoons once the mist burns off, too! It is a beautiful beach for swimming. If that isn’t your jam you can stay to be entertained by the playful dogs and surfers.

crystal clear afternoons
Crystal clear afternoons

Dog Beach

As you can tell I got a kick out of the dogs playing on the beach. This is a perfect spot if you brought your favorite canine along for the trip.

Dog beach
Dog beach

Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach for Lunch

Once you get hungry after swimming or combing the beach, stop at Boathouse for some delicious food and drinks. You can’t miss this place since it’s right on the beach. Sit outside under an umbrella and live it up.

Cocktails at Boathouse
Cocktails at Boathouse


  1. Locals call this “Hendry’s Beach“.
  2. You won’t find as much sea glass as the articles online will tell you.
  3. Get there EARLY for parking – they open at 8a so shoot for between 8-8:30a.
  4. Great for misty morning photo shoots.
  5. There is a restroom for the park itself.

I could have stayed at this beach forever. Have you been here before? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

Happy travels,


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