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Refugio State Beach, Goleta

4.0
#2 of 11 in Things to do in Goleta
State Park Nature / Park
Refugio State Beach is a protected state beach park located west of Santa Barbara, California. It is west of El Capitán State Beach. During the summer months, the Junior Life Guard program resides at the beach during the day.The Refugio oil spill occurred just north of park in 2015 when a pipeline ruptured. The spill went into a culvert that ran under the U.S. 101, and into the ocean. The spill spread over 7miles including this park and El Capitán State Beach. The parks were closed during the clean-up including the typically busy Memorial Day Weekend.
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92 reviews
Google
4.4
  • We spent today, Memorial Day at Refugio Beach. Arrive early to get good parking! We arrived at 8:45 AM and there was still plenty of parking and 2 close picnic tables for us. We brought our own double...  more »
  • During our last day at this campground we woke up to having my husband's bike stolen even thought it was locked up, they used bolt cutters to cut the lock. The campground patrol said that late at nigh...  more »
  • It has been my favorite beach for many years but the State has done and awful job of maintaining the campground. This is a very high use park because of the beautiful beach palm tree lined cove. This ...  more »
Google
  • Great location on a nice beach close by the campsites. Camp sites are spacious. Overall park maintenance very poor. Bathrooms do not have soap or paper towels or a hand dryer. No toilet seat covers either. Showers cost 25 cents for two minutes of water, with horrible shower heads and faucets. Shower floors are disgusting with sand and dirt. Could not get hot water in some of them. Outside faucets don't have appropriate drainage so there is a lot of standing water and mud. While we understand that the grass areas have been left to die due to the CA drought, weeds should still be mowed and debrie raked.
  • Huge campground sitting right on top of the Pacific. Well kept, clean showers (bring quarters! ). Perfect for families, kids exploring and grilling at night. And if you forgot anything...there's a convenience store.
  • We loved camping here on our week long expedition of central California! The campground was great! We stayed 2 nights, and had 2 different spots. Both great, easily accessible for the 22 ft RV we were in, and both spots were in a great location. Aside from maybe seeing difficulties parking your rig if it is very large, every camp spot seemed easily accessible, clean and maintained, and easily accessible to the beach... Really just a short walk from any camp site! There are bathrooms, and showers, so bring quarters! There is not any electrical hook up for RVs, and they have guidelines on when you can run generators. (Why can people enter the park at 8 am, but we can't run out generator to make coffee until 10 am??? .... My only complaint. But not enough to lose a star here since we were camping after all...) To anyone concerned about the tar, or oil, I think you need to understand that it has been happening for a very long time, (the indigenous people here used it too seal holes in their homes, baskets, etc... Look it up people) and it's really not a big deal to get it off your skin. Here's a tip, baby oil and a scrubby pad/brillo pad work miracles, and don't hurt your skin if you don't scrub too hard! Just be mindful where you walk, and you'll be fine! Lots of fun tide pools and rocks to explore at low tide. Beautiful picturesque beach. And the waves looked great for surfing... We saw a mom taking her 1.5 year old daughter for a ride on her surf board! Such a fun place! I highly recommend this beach and campground.
  • Beautiful beach in winter. I'm not sure how I would like it in the on season but that is because I don't like crowds. Campers were polite and quiet, staff was nice and informative.
  • Beautiful Beach and Coastline. Some RV spaces are difficult to access for larger rigs due to small roadways and obstacles (trees, marker signs...). This includes the few sites designated as "Pull Through". Typical State recreation facility, could use better maintenance....but it is The Beach!