To the east of Stearns Wharf — that famous and historic pier at the end of the even more famous main drag State Street — East Beach stretches down along the California coast toward Montecito. A city Art Walk on the weekends, the hilltop Santa Barbara Zoo, the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, and of course Fess Parker’s Doubletree by Hilton Resort attract visitors and residents to enjoy some of the most well-known features of this beautiful city. Weddings and other special events are fêted at the hotel, the zoo, and on the beach itself.
Wine and beer festivals, charity walks/runs, fireworks on the Fourth, and more are enjoyed in Chase Palm Park, on the palm-tree-lined lawn that meanders alongside walking and biking paths. You will see many travelers touring during the summer season, living their California dream of cruising with the top down along the oceanfront Cabrillo Boulevard, taking pictures of the palm trees or biking on beach cruisers and surreys between meals and shopping. All year-round, you’ll spy locals jogging and walking the paths, playing volleyball at the far end of the beach on popular courts, and resting on the sand.
Amid all these attractions, people live and vacation in properties ranging from about $500,000 to over a million dollars. Though a very short walk or drive takes you to all the usual markets, drugstores, shopping, and dining of the city, gems like Tri-County Produce Co. (for fresh, local food) and Stella Mare’s Bistro (for a relaxed French meal) are right within the neighborhood. Across from East Beach itself are El Escorial Villas and East Beach Town Houses. Nicely landscaped properties right across from the ocean have a tropical, world-apart feel.
There’s a lot to say about this gorgeous, idyllic California waterfront area, but a glimpse of Cabrillo Boulevard winding gently along the coast, palm trees towering above in a neat line, and the serene Pacific leading out to the horizon pretty much says everything.