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Gaviota State Park

10 Refugio Beach Rd., Goleta, California 93436 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Wed 7a-9p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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“As seen in the film Sideways!”

Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769.  Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses Gaviota Creek high above the day-use parking lot, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers, and scuba divers and surfers use a boat hoist on the pier to access the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel.  Visitors can explore the rugged upland portions of the park from a trailhead in the parking area. Ambitious hikers can climb to Gaviota Peak that offers a spectacular view of the coast and the Channel Islands.

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Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 296 Helpful
October 02, 2014
Rated 5.0

While being at Goleta, we decided to spend a few hours at Gaviota State Park since we heard it is beautiful and worth to see.

We truly enjoyed being there since it fulfilled all tastes. My wife wanted to walk within nature in order to relax and the kids wanted to play at the beach. We totally combined both needs.

When we finished our walk and took some great pictures of the park, we sat at the refreshment cabin by the entrance and enjoyed a cold drink.

Lovely place and for someone that needs to make a natural night-stop, there is a campground as well.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 28 Reviews
  • 20 Helpful
April 19, 2021
Rated 5.0

We stopped here in May 2018 for a picnic lunch. We had the beach almost to ourselves, and it was a lovely spot to walk on the beach. When we were there, a lone seal pup caused quite a clamor among the tourists. He sat on the rocks on the southern side of the beach for the entire hour we were there! It's a very picturesque beach, with the railroad trestle overhead and a bright blue lifeguard tower. Plenty of parking and the fee for day use is small, $5 I believe. Very worth it for a short break, and had the weather been warmer we could've stayed longer, half a day or more.

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Gaviota State Park

10 Refugio Beach Rd.
Goleta, California
93436 USA
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Open now until 9:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

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    Pets Allowed
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    Wheelchair Accessible
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