It's a long beach and gets filled up just over the summer, mostly by tourists. The locals know the best parts of the beach are further down where Sat. & Sun. East Beach is the prime spot in Santa Barbara to play Beach Volley. Be there early (8:30AM) or all of the courts will be taken and there are about 20 of them! If you walk even further down you will end up at Buttersfly beach which is very popular among locals. The beauty of that beach is captured in many wedding photos over and over again. Santa Barbara is in general a jewel that uncovers it's true beauty to the locals. SB is full of great places to eat, enojoy outdoors, ...
Citiy Search reviewer is obviously a tourist who didn't take his time in Santa Barbara and that's what Santa Barbara is about.
Pros: beautyful, fun, cool
Cons: crowded, empty