With scenic hiking trails and miles of bike paths; not to mention innovative eateries, world class shopping and vibrant nightlife; Santa Barbara epitomises the laidback lifestyle and active outlook of coastal California.
Of course, that coast gives way to Santa Barbara’s greatest asset: its sandy beaches and heralded surf breaks. From Montecito to the south and Goleta to the north, this central California city offers vacation spots for every kind of beach bum, be it sunbathers who prefer to stretch out on the sand, right up to surfers who live to find the best waves.
For ocean lovers who fall into these two categories—and everyone else in between—we’ve selected our favourite beachfront Airbnb homes located in the Santa Barbara area.
Also worth a look:
This ranch style home sits on the shores of Rincon Beach, a world famous break just south of Santa Barbara that attracts surfers from all over the world. With a consistent right that peels off the point for long, technical rides, and an inside section that provides gentle, fun waves, Rincon is an excellent spot for both experienced surfers and beginners alike.
But if waves aren’t your thing, the beach itself is the perfect place to bask in the sun, comb shallow tide pools and spot dolphins playing on the horizon. Better yet, the house’s location within the confines of the Rincon community’s private gates ensures the shoreline won’t be too crowded during your stay.
When the sun sets, the traditional beachside bungalow provides a cozy setting to unwind to the sound of lapping waves. On warm evenings, the oceanfront deck becomes the centerpiece of the home, giving you space to entertain, barbecue or simply relax as you look across the Pacific.
Carpinteria beach, a few miles south of Santa Barbara, provides an expansive stretch of quiet coastline where this beautiful house sits in front of shimmering waters. The recently renovated retreat exudes nautical vibes with wood finishings and surf-inspired decorative flourishes, while midcentury design touches and panoramic mountain views accentuate the home’s spacious feel.
The unique open plan design on the lower levels of the house makes it seem as if the rooms flow into one another; the kitchen, complete with breakfast nook, overlooks the living room, where glass doors open up onto the beachfront deck.
The deck itself extends right to Carpinteria beach, where waves will beckon surfers to paddle out and white sand will lure sunbathers to relax under blue skies. At low tide, guests can walk along the shore to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and Reserve, where birdwatching and beautiful trails await.
If your idea of a beachside getaway is more ocean breeze and breathtaking views than crashing waves and sandy shoes, then this hillside villa in the Mesa neighborhood of Santa Barbara is just for you.
Before you step out into the home’s spectacular outside spaces, you will be greeted by an interior boasting a minimalist aesthetic styled in cool, light colors that suit the unmatched coastal surroundings.
There is an open plan kitchen with modern fittings and plenty of space to entertain in the living area, while almost every room in the house opens on to a patio, deck or terrace, all of which will, quite simply, make you never want to leave.
The terrace itself features lounge chairs, a barbecue, full dining table and—best of all—an infinity pool. So even though you’ll be high above the ocean as you relax in it, you’ll feel as if you’re floating right on the Pacific.
Montecito is a community adjacent to Santa Barbara famous for hillside views, palatial homes and incredibly wealthy residents. If you want to fully lean-in to the high life, then this Montecito ranch will provide—and then some.
The six bedroom home sleeps 12 and boasts a state of the art media room, a patio kitchen equipped with a five-zone grill, rotisserie, ice maker and refrigerator, plus an outdoor space fit to host a party guests would talk about for the next year.
But if you want it all just for you and yours, no problem: you’ll be able to tread barefoot across lush green lawns or swim undisturbed in the sizeable pool, all while enclosed in the privacy of a tree-lined garden.
And if, for some unlikely reason, a change of scene is required, you can walk to nearby cafes and shops on your way to the famous Montecito surfspot Hammonds Reef.
When a house is located not on the beach and in a place called Summerland, how can it be anything but perfect? The appropriately named oceanfront community is home to this impressive three level retreat, the rental positioned mere feet from the shore.
While the outside patio lets you enjoy the waves at a moment’s notice, the true majesty of the ocean may, surprisingly, be best experienced from the living room. The enormous communal space features floor to ceiling glass that feels like it opens right on to the Pacific. Whether your reading on a couch, eating on the deck or relaxing in bed on the mezzanine level, you’ll be in perfect position to watch the sun descend below the blue horizon.
Afterwards, you can stroll to a corner of Summerland Beach only known to local residents, before returning to the warmth of the firepit.
Before we even discuss this home’s spectacular location, let’s look at some of the amenities located within its walls. There’s a gourmet kitchen, wine cellar and fully equipped bar. It’s got a home theater, arcade games and pinball. Guests can also take advantage of the gym, sauna and steam room, before checking out the shark and eel in the 400 gallon saltwater aquarium.
Still not impressed? Well, you will be once you see the five bedrooms, four of which are suites—with ocean views—that open up on to an expansive deck (the deck also has a pool and hot tub, by the way).
Despite all of this luxury, few things compare to the spectacular scene that surrounds the home. Whether you’re on the deck or the beach outside, you’ll enjoy views of the Pacific, the nearby mountains and the Channel Islands.
And as the home is on a secluded beach with private access, you’ll enjoy it all to yourself.
A contemporary masterpiece, this beachside villa is located in Montecito near the secluded calm of Butterfly Beach. The interior of the home is as innovative and modern as the exterior, mainly because sliding glass doors allow both to flow into to one another.
The living room sits beside the dining room, which leads seamlessly to the deck, where an infinity pool is framed by panoramic views of the mountains and the ocean. The deck itself has an outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, BBQ area, fire pit and patio seating, allowing the Pacific to serve as the backdrop to evenings of entertaining.
For sunbathers and surfers alike, the beach is a short stroll away. If you’re feeling energized—which, let’s face it, you will staying in a house like this—a gentle bike path will let you coast all the way to Santa Barbara.
Almost every room in this sprawling ranch style home has an ocean view. And with the ocean only a few steps away, it would be no great loss if that wasn’t the case.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about such a scenario; plus those glorious ocean views are complemented by manicured lawns, a huge outdoor patio and a swimming pool. Another beachside deck hosts a dining area, where guests will be able to see the Pacific expanding just above a verdant coastal bluff.
After returning from a tiring surf session (or restorative sunbathe) at the nearby private beach, or a brisk walk through the adjacent More Mesa conservation land, you can unwind in the hot tub while you watch the sun set