Buffered by the Channel Islands, Refugio is a magnet for swimmers, divers, sea kayakers and casual surfers. Refugio State Beach offers excellent coastal fishing as well as trails and picnic sites. Palm trees planted near Refugio Creek give a distinctive look to the beach and camping area. There are 66 camping sites all on the ocean side of highway 101 most of which are under some sort of shade tree.
Refugio State Beach is located west of Santa Barbara along highway 101. A limited number of camping sites are just a few steps from the beach. One of the most striking features of Refugio Beach is the palm trees growing along the sandy beach. Camping site are on both sides of Refugio Creek which only runs during the winter rainy season. A bike trail connects to El Capitan State Beach to the east. There are 66 camping sites all on the ocean side of highway 101 most of which are under some sort of shade tree. Activities include swimming, fishing and hiking.
Refugio State Beach is located 20 miles West of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 at Refugio Road.
Refugio State Beach
10 Refugio Beach Road
Goleta CA 93117
Whether you are tent or RV camping Refugio State Beach is a great spot to park yourself. This beach has great waves that can turn pretty intense on a dime. Maybe that is why the surfers love it too.
The beach varies from clean and sunny to large seaweed piles and foggy, so be sure to have some other activities planned to fill in the down times. Tide pools on the north and south ends of the beach are fun to check out and stones and shells wash up every low tide.
Palm trees line Refugio creek, which runs north of the entrance. There are plenty of picnic tables, volleyball courts, and grass great for tossing the Frisbee. A small market carries everything from firewood to sand shovels.
Camping facilities are snug. There is such a demand for spots that they have decreased the size of the spaces and areas between campsites to accommodate more campers. So, if you find yourself next to a group of revelers, you might not get much shuteye. Eventually, the ocean pounding the surf 100 feet away should lull you into a sound sleep.
The paved bike trail accesses El Capitan just 2.5 miles southeast of here. Twelve miles north, you can take a strenuous three-mile hike (one way) to the summit of 2,450-foot Gaviota Peak, which pays off with superb views of Santa Barbara County, Point Conception and the Channel Islands.
Solvang is about 15 miles away, the perfect place to grab lunch and peruse shops. Wine tasting is a favorite event for this town, and don?t forget to try out the Danish pastries. Santa Barbara to the south provides tours of the historical mission, a zoo and other interesting spots.
Fishing from the shore is a favorite activity, the fisherman tend to stay clear of swimming areas and usually can be found in the early morning and late afternoon along the beach.