The health benefits of the beach are pretty compelling. There’s a reason that so many people want to live by the coast, or at least vacation there. Those who live by the coast report better physical and mental health.
After a little over a year of living in Santa Barbara, I can definitely say that’s the case for me.
Blue skies and blue seas
I love the serene feeling of staring at blue skies and blue seas. Even when skies are overcast and the mornings are grey and foggy, the natural color palette sets m eat ease.
The Sounds of Waves
The gentle rhythm of the sounds of waves hitting the shore helps me silence the frantic thoughts in my mind. Meditation is so much easier when you’re sitting on the beach than when you’re in your apartment.
The Feel of Sand
I go on regular, long walks on the beach, which has been great for my physical health. Walking barefoot on sand burns more calories and strengthens muscles. Yes, sometimes I come home with tar on the bottom of my feet. I have to watch out for glass or sharp rocks. I wear my Chacos if I don’t want to worry about where I’m stepping, but most of the time I just carry my beat up Birkenstocks with me.
Favorite Santa Barbara Beaches
By far, my favorite beach to visit in Santa Barbara is just down from Shoreline Park. You can walk down the stairs at Shoreline then stroll along to Thousand Steps (which is in disrepair and quite treacherous). It’s the perfect stretch of beach for hunting for pebbles and sea glass.
At low tide, you can walk along the coast with your back to the cliffs, watching the sea anemone tentacles flutter and sway in the tide pools. As you follow the coast, you come to Arroyo Burro Beach, a dog park, and on to Hendry’s Beach, perfect for morning runs.
The transition to living in Santa Barbara has been a bit bumpy. I miss the midwestern charm of Lawrence, and settling in with Mister BS after running our own households for a year has been rough. But when we can spend the weekend walking along the shore, it feels worth it.
I’m reminded that there’s no lifeguard for real life—no one to tell you which turn to take and which chance to pass up. You just have to follow your own rhythm.
If you can’t make it to the beach, get swept away by this Sea Songs playlist on Spotify.