There are many beautiful beaches in Santa Barbara you can have a small intimate ceremony on. If you have a large party, or need a specific space reserved then getting a city permit may be the thing to do!
However, if its just you and your fiance, an officiant and maybe a witness or 2, then that really opens up options. Don’t get stuck on the beaches along Cabrillo blvd either. Sure East Beach, Butterfly Beach and Ledbetter are great places to get married, but don’t discount Hendries, More Mesa, and some other off the beaten path spots. The Santa Barbara coast has beaches and bluffs with ocean views that span all the way from Carpinteria Ca to Goleta. Some beaches are set better for a Western view of the susnet, while others may have sand that dissappears at high tide!
If you’re planning a low key beach elopement, I’d be happy to chat with you about various beach locations and what they look like. I can give you details like how far you have to walk from car to location, what the view looks like at different times of day, the lighting, the crowds and so much more!