Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer of the Beaches

Goleta Beach (left of the pier)
So several friends have asked in the last week what my quest for summer 2016, so with no further ado... we are visiting beaches of the Santa Barbara area! Unlike last summer, I don't think I will visit all the area beaches because a beach trip is a lot more work than a park visit. And we have so many area beaches. (Don't believe me? Check this site out!) We will start with the top ones recommended by Facebook friends (*) and John Dickson. I am working on a post with the best beach going tips, but here is the list of beaches!

Santa Barbara Beaches
Carpinteria Beach*
Gaviota Beach

Monte Vista Park (Carpinteria)


Monte Vista Park is a nice expanse of space with walking paths and a dog run area. It has a 2-5 and a 5-12 play structure over wood chips. The 2-5 area has 3 slides, a climbing area and a frog spring riding toy. The 5-12 play structure has 4 slides, 4 climbing areas, and monkey bars. There are also toddler and regular swings. It is located in Carpinteria off Bailard near Via Real.

Pros
There are bathrooms.
There is a climbing creek area (dry when we were there).
Well groomed dirt paths for running, biking and scootering. 

Cons
The equipment is somewhat dated. There were more kids in the creek than on the equipment the day we were there.

5-12 play structure

2-5 play structure

Regular swings

Toddler Swings

5-12 play structure (back view)

2-5 play structure (back view)

Creek area

Walking Paths



Bohnett Park


Bohnett Park got new play equipment in May 2016!

Of the parks I remember from childhood, Oak Park and Bohnett Park stand out. Bohnett has been redone, so it was a fun place to rediscover with my girls. The main park is still on San Pasqual St near Anapamu, but a pocket park has been added connecting though to San Andreas and is designed artistically like a house.  This is located on the Westside near the Boys and Girls Club. The play equipment is new (2016) and includes a 5-12 play structure, swings (toddler and regular) and a climbing structure over a rubber mat. This structure is for climbers and has 3 slides, bridges, a steering wheel and 3 climbing areas that look like a tree or rock. 

Pros
There are bathrooms.
There is a creek (it actually had water in this drought) running through the center. This might be a con for you!
The pocket park is very artistic and there are lots of small, hidden things to discover. 

Cons
The play equipment was very high for littler kids and is not toddler friendly.
There was a lot of trash (cigarettes, etc) here.
This park was busy! There were a lot of kids here on a summer weekday afternoon.

Double slide on the 5-12 play structure

Climbing Area

Climbing Tree

Play structure (side view)

Swings

Climbing Structure

Mural on the bathrooms

Soccer Field with the Boys and Girls Club at the far end

Creek

Pocket part on San Andreas