Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

I started the Malibu to Mexico Walkabout last summer but couldn't get in the next leg this year. Instead, my Walkabout buddy and I started from our home base in Santa Barbara and did miles up this beautiful Central California coast.

We had a great day going from East Beach which lots of hotels nearby, and a nice cafe for breakfast. Start 4 hours before low tide. Head up the coast (northwest) around the harbor. Because of the tide, we hopped uphill through Shoreline Park to a set of steps with a wooden Japanese Torii gate to get around the point. There are a couple of other beach access points from this Mesa area, including Thousand Steps, Douglas Family Preserve (Wilcox Property) and the parking lot at Arroyo Burro (Hendry's Beach). The BoatHouse at Arroyo Burro is a nice place for a water refill, bathroom break, or restaurant stop. You continue past Hope Ranch and onto More Mesa Beach, which is a nude beach so be prepared for the scenery! Here is where you can see seals on rocks and lots of natural tar and asphaltum rocks that smell just like oil.

If you don't hit low tide, you can climb up the beach access at More Mesa and hike on the Mesa or even connect with the bike trail. We were a bit early and waded around the rocks. (SB beaches have tons of tar. Hikers will need to bring baby oil and paper towels to clean their feet or extra socks because the socks may not survive). We continued on to a late lunch and cocktails at The Beachside Cafe in Goleta then walked up to Campus Point Beach at UCSB. That was about 9-10 miles by my estimate and took us about 5 hours of easy walking. There could be a hotel within walking distance or via a bus, but I'd probably just call for an Uber at that point.

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Thanks for sharing your adventure.  It sounds like a great hike.  I think there must be a multi-day walkabout in the Santa Barbara area.



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