Refugio State Beach
Santa Barbara, CA
Snorkling, Beginner, Intermediate
Access: Easy Shore Entry
Amenities: Restrooms, Showers
Aquatic Life: 0
Boulder Pile / Shelves, Kelp Forest
Refugio is a pleasant dive with easy shore access with all the comforts of a state beach such as public showers, toilets, and a snack bar that is open during summer months. There are camp sites on site too.
There are two reefs, one at each end of the cove. The Eastern reef is a short swim (about 50 yards) and only about 20’-25’ deep. The western reef is out farther from shore by the entrance to the cove, just past the breakers. It can be a tiring swim in scuba gear but it is a little bit deeper (about 30’) and gives a change of scenery. Both sites are good for free divers. Common critters include sea hares, nudibranchs, sponges, stars and anemones plus fish such as opaleye, sheephead, calico bass, and senorita wrass.
As with all sites in the area, beware of surf and current.
How to get there:
Located about 20 miles from Santa Barbara on Hwy 101 heading toward San Luis Obispo. A small parking fee is required.
Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!