Santa Barbara Harbor is a small harbor that offers paddlers wonderful views of the coastline once you head out past the wharf. It is a small sized harbor that consists of mostly boats docked in slips. The palm trees dotting the coastline, clean sand and blue water make this a premier paddling destination. The year round pleasant weather and great coastal scenery draws visitors from all over. The sandy beaches east of the harbor exit are a nice place to land (in calm conditions) and enjoy a lunch before heading back home. Santa Barbara is a stop for many commercial fishing boats. Commercial fishing boats often unload harvests of sea urchin (uni) here. The Santa Barbara Fish Market at the back of the harbor is a great place to come after a paddle and have some freshly opened sea urchin and other sea food.
The pilings inside the harbor hold many saltwater bass. Casting parallel to them with swim baits, rapalas and jerk shads and retrieving slowly will catch you fish. Santa Barbara Harbor is also a great halibut fishery. Fishing with the tides will make your experience much more productive. The bait barge in particular is a great place to catch all sorts of fish. Cast your baits parallel to the barge and you will be surprised at the amount of fish you can land. The sandy bottom of the beach just outside the harbor and behind the jetty is a great halibut spot that is easily accessible by kayaks.
Air temperature in Santa Barbara Harbor ranges from the 50s to mid 60s in the winter and the 70s to low 80s in the summer. The wonderful weather here makes the location great to paddle year round. Like other coastal paddling locations, the wind picks up a lot during the afternoon, so many paddlers choose to go out in the morning and return before the afternoon.
Santa Barbara Harbor Boat Ramp (Santa Barbara Harbor)
Leadbetter Beach (Santa Barbara Harbor)