California Cities | Mussel Shoals


Mussel Shoals on Ventura Coast, California

Mussel Shoals holds a special place in the hearts of those who aren't strictly passing by at a 65 mile clip on Highway 101. It is a beach destination sometimes slightly deserted, where the crashing waves splash onto the rocky coast in a near-direct path from the Channel Islands.

We stop at Mussel Shoals often to stretch our legs and also stop across the road and La Conchita. The traffic slows in this location often, inching along on the approach to the city of Santa Barbara. Things would be twice as slow if they hadn't built the overpass on State Street in Santa Barbara so cars are on Highway 101 no longer were forced to stop for traffic lights!

With cities of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara nearby, many locals see Mussel Shoals as a day-tripper beach, though there are many other Ventura and Santa Barbara County beaches to choose from. Across the highway from Mussel Shoals slightly north on the 101 is the lovely town of La Conchita. It has met tragedy when a landslide buried several residents, but the town's homeowners and renters love the location and beautiful beaches seen from many homes.

To the south of Mussel Shoals is Rincon, the surfing beach, and then Faria State Beach closer to the city of Ventura. At Mussel Shoals you'll find a single hotel with restaurant built right on the edge of the road overlooking the ocean. Cliff House Inn is a beach hotel with not much else to do but enjoy the beach. They have a fantastic swimming pool and lawn chairs overlooking the ocean. It is so serene--and beautiful!

Shown is a jetskier who launched from Mussel Shoals rocky beach that is really only accessible by car.

Enjoy a picnic, beachcombing and relaxing at this fantastic beach where you'll find less surfers than nearby Rincon at Hobson County Park.

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