The first step of planning your Santa Barbara beach wedding is to choose an amazing venue that will set the scene for your big day. Luckily, there are a number of incredible Santa Barbara wedding venues, whether located in central Santa Barbara or the surrounding areas, that offer unbeatable ocean views (among other perks) to help bring your wedding vision to life. So if you’re dreaming of warm white sand, sunny skies, palm trees, and crashing waves, keep reading! We’re sharing a few of our favorite SoCal beach wedding venues in Santa Barbara to get you started.
Use these suggestions to find the best venue for your Santa Barbara beach wedding.
Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center
This historic property is one of the oldest Santa Barbara wedding venues on the beach, dating back to the 1920s. The Cabrillo Pavilion is managed by the Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation department and showcases Santa Barbara’s classic Spanish Revival style, with white stucco walls and a terracotta tile roof. Located on East Cabrillo Boulevard not far from Chase Palm Park, this venue is an ideal spot for hosting the ultimate Santa Barbara beach wedding if you want to get married in the heart of town. With a capacity of 100 guests for a seated reception, the pavilion is also an excellent choice if you’re having a smaller, intimate wedding – although you can accommodate up to 125 guests with a cocktail-style event.
This seaside wedding venue is as beautiful as it is versatile. Spanning nine acres, Oceanpoint Ranch is just steps from the beach and has four different wedding areas — three of them offering stunning ocean views. You’ll fall in love with Oceanpoint Ranch’s idyllic outdoor spaces, including a secluded, untamed meadow with ocean views and direct access to the venue’s private beach. Another venue option is the ranch’s creekside wedding area, which features a charming footbridge and overlooks both the ocean and hillside. Last but not least, a spacious oceanfront lawn accommodates up to 175 guests and can be used for your ceremony, reception, or cocktail hour. Guest rooms at the ranch are equally impressive, with rustic chic decor that gives off a modern, cabin-inspired vibe. Located in Cambria, Oceanpoint Ranch is easily accessible from Santa Barbara (about two hours by car) yet is far enough away to feel like your own slice of paradise along California’s Central Coast.
Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
Combine your dream wedding with a five-star resort at this gorgeous oceanfront location. Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Pismo Beach is a top-rated wedding venue for couples dreaming of a beach wedding in the Santa Barbara area, thanks to its picturesque views and exceptional event staff. With six different event spaces, including indoor and outdoor options, Dolphin Bay Resort has something for nearly every wedding size and style. This venue also provides additional services to make your wedding day a breeze, including event setup and cleanup, event rentals, in-house catering/bartending, lighting and sound equipment, and on-site accommodations.
Avila Lighthouse Suites
Whether you’re planning to elope or are envisioning a beach wedding ceremony surrounded by dozens of friends and family, Avila Lighthouse Suites is a great backdrop for your big day. The venue, located about an hour and a half north of Santa Barbara in Avila, has three unique beach wedding packages to cover all the essentials — and then some. After you say “I do” on the beach, head to one of the venue’s versatile reception spaces. Choose from an airy banquet room with tall ceilings, ocean views, and space for up to 110 guests. If you prefer to dance the night away under the stars, the venue’s outdoor sun deck and patio are two excellent options for your cocktail hour or reception.
The SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel
A quick drive up the coast from Santa Barbara brings you to the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel, where you’ll find amazing Pacific views from the venue’s location atop a private bluff. Choose from a variety of event spaces, including an oceanfront lawn, a rooftop terrace, and indoor banquet halls. The SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel can accommodate weddings with up to 120 guests and can provide chairs, tables, a wedding arch, room block options, floral design, and event lighting. With oceanfront guest rooms (hello, private balcony!), swanky pool area, and inviting, colorful decor, this hotel in Pismo Beach has a fun retro-chic aesthetic that encapsulates California’s signature laid-back vibe.
SeaVenture Beach Hotel & Restaurant
If you’re looking for all-inclusive Santa Barbara beach wedding venues, consider traveling a little farther north to Pismo Beach. The SeaVenture Beach Hotel is one of the best all-inclusive venues in the area, offering everything (and we mean everything) you need to plan an unforgettable beach wedding. From in-house event planning to catering, bartending and decor rentals, the SeaVenture Beach Hotel has it all. Your ceremony will take place on the venue’s white sandy beach, overlooking the Pismo pier and Pacific Ocean. For your reception, choose from an outdoor terrace or the on-site restaurant, which overlooks the coast. Catering selections are inspired by Santa Barbara wine country and use locally sourced ingredients for hors d’oeuvres, entrees and desserts.
If you like the idea of a Santa Barbara beach wedding but aren’t totally sold on the idea of actually getting married on the sand, the Ventana Grill offers the best of both worlds. Hold your ceremony on the venue’s oceanfront lawn, which has a garden-meets-beach feel and guarantees a breathtaking backdrop of the water, thanks to its clifftop location. The Ventana Grill can accommodate weddings for up to 150 guests, and will also provide catering services, an in-house wedding planner, event setup, and decor rentals.