Many visitors to Santa Barbara, as well as long-time locals, have fond memories of enjoying lazy afternoons at Hendry’s Beach, also known historically as Arroyo Burro Beach. For so many years this family beach was a favorite, where playing on the sand and enjoying the ocean was picture perfect, and in the spot where the Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach now stands there was once a Brown Pelican eatery, where burgers and fries were savored by hungry swimmers and surfers.


Boathouse Patio Entrance

Today, this destination continues to be a favorite beach destination for families and their dogs to relax, but is also home to the Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach, which opened in 2008 to become one of the hottest destinations in Santa Barbara to enjoy exceptional seafood and unique cocktails with an unforgettable ocean view. The ‘pet friendly’ restaurant provides an area where guests can tie their dogs in a shaded area to enjoy fresh water while remaining in eyes view as they enjoy their dinner or lunch on the patio. Hendry’s beach has always been a “dog beach” where visitors enjoy the beach with their pets.

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

The seafood menu at the Boathouse offers everything anyone could hope for, and includes delicious oyster preparations like oysters Rockefeller, fresh and delicious seafood entrees, along with imaginative daily specials. It’s easy to understand why their clam chowder has won awards at the annual Clam Chowder Festival, it’s outstanding! The side dish of sauteed mushrooms seemed like a main course.


Award Winning Clam Chowder

They have an amazing raw bar, and their seafood menu includes main lobster, grand seafood platters, cevice, oysters, clams, shrimp, stone crab delights and more. For non seafood eaters they offer a lamb with wine entree, a variety of great steaks, including a filet mignon wrapped in bacon, grilled tofu or pasta dishes. The salads, made with the freshest produce, are varied and some offer delicious seafood combinations. Currently, Ron True the talented founding executive chef/co-owner of the Arlington Tavern in Santa Barbara is redesigning many of their plates. Chef True is an award-winning chef who is renowned for his innovative and original competition-winning recipes.

Coconut Mojito

Coconut Mojito

The bar is a heavenly seaside respite and has an open view of all the action. Mixologists at the friendly watering hole stir up some of the most exciting cocktails in Santa Barbara. Their raspberry sparkler, dirty martini, coconut mojita made with Finlandia coconut vodka, muddled mint sprigs, coconut milk and lime juice topped with club soda and garnished with a lime is amazing. Wonderful local and imported wines fill their menu, as well as a respectable assortment of beer and ale. They will also create any cocktail combination if requested.

Boathouse Dirty Martin

Boathouse Dirty Martin

Whether you are at the restaurant during the day for a family brunch or in the evening for a romantic dinner it’s all seaside sensational. The views, relaxed ambiance and great service combined with the original and creative menu offerings explain why people keep coming back to the Boathouse. The Boathouse is a sister restaurant to the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., and the Santa Barbara FishHouse.


For hours and reservation information visit

The Boathouse at Hendry’s Boathouse

2981 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109


by Bonnie Carroll