A Walk Along the Gaviota Coast

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to join a group of people for a walk along the Gaviota coast. Luckily, it’s about 5 minutes from where I live. This piece of the coastline has some history, which the Gaviota Conservancy folks can tell you about way better than I can.

The story goes loosely like this: rich people in the 1890s or so buy a big chunk of coastline because it reminds them of Naples, Italy. They plan to build a Naples of their own. They parcel up the land and get started selling lots. People buy into the dream of warm ocean water (hah!) and a bunch of other fun things and then the stock market crashes. An earthquake happens. Another recession (this time in 2008) after the land was sold to another developer and now it’s owned by a bank. The bank tried to disallow people access to this bit of coastline, but the people got together and made a big stink and now we can access it if we follow the rules which include no bothering the horses and cows that roam here – they’re allowed on leases.

Gaviota horses and cows

One thing I LOVE about this area is that they are rabid – absolutely rabid – about access to the coast. No one owns the coast and personally I think that makes sense. So, they have rules about access, easements, etc. to ensure that we can all GET to the coast no matter who builds a big fancy house and tries to fence in the coastline.

Now, for the really good part – the pictures! This is one beautiful bit of coastline folks.

The sandy beach leads to rock – rock that has been molded and shaped by the waves, it even looks like waves.

Gaviota coast walk

And there are so many critters living here in between the high and low tides … like this one. One biologist went to see if this was an empty shell and it wasn’t.

Gaviota critter

And these critters too.

Gaviota birds

So many birds, all wading in the water, picking at bits and finishing their dinner.

Here’s another picture of the rocks worn into wavy patterns all along the beach.

Gaviota coastline

There was a seal on this rock, but he dropped off into the water before I could get a picture of him.

Gaviota beach rock

And one of the fluffier birds – this might be an egret.

Gaviota bird


It’s just not a weekend without some time at the beach.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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