Thousand Steps, a historic beach access stairway in the Mesa neighborhood, has reopened after a six-month closure. During that time, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department made significant safety repairs and improvements to the landmark, which serves as one of three public beach access stairways in the city.

Thousand Steps, originally called Camino a Mar, was built by the city almost 100 years ago in 1925. Over time, harsh coastal conditions and regular use eroded the lowest stairs, making them difficult and dangerous to use.

Work at Thousand Steps required careful timing with tides and coastal conditions and strict adherence to coastal permitting requirements to protect sensitive marine habitats.

Repairs and improvements thus far include:

• Demolition and reconstruction of the lower 24 steps and installation of seven additional steps, to provide a safer and more accessible path during seasonal changes to sand level.
• Installation of a continuous handrail extending from the street level to the beach.
• Construction of a new concrete guardrail at the main landing mid-stairway.
• Drainage improvements to allow for groundwater capture to reduce algae growth and slippery stair treads.
• Installation of a bicycle rack on top of the bluff.

A brief closure for additional work is expected this fall or winter, when conditions allow, to add an apron at the beach level to protect the stairs for years to come.

Learn more about the Parks and Recreation Department at