The Rake Dispatch: Santa Barbara - The Secluded Surfer’s Heaven

Santa Barbara embodies the best of the Golden State. Go north, and the wilds of Big Sur offer epic views of thrashing waves, mountains and Mamas-and-Papas spiritual escapes.
Surfer Henry Ford, photographed by LeRoy Grannis at Hermosa Beach, 1963.

To the south, the glamour of Los Angeles starts to introduce itself, slowly, as you enter Malibu. But Santa Barbara is easy to love—it mixes small-town Main Street with a vibrant surfing culture. It satisfies our prejudices of what we want California to be: a sixties Beach Boys groove and that feeling of freedom.

It’s good to be here; it’s especially great to surf here, with beaches far less crowded than Malibu or Los Angeles, making Santa Barbara rather hard to leave. Inspired byThe Endless Summer—the iconic documentary, which starred a group of Californians on the hunt for the perfect wave—we revisit one of the spiritual homes of the sport: the radical, freewheeling, and strikingly luxurious paradise that is Santa Barbara.


August 2022


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