Apart from the styles of the bathing suits, this Front Beach scene from around 1935 looks pretty much the same today. What changes there have been are mostly architectural. The mansard-roofed building in the center background has been replaced by the Shalin Liu Performance Center. The building to the right, atop the granite wall, is (I believe) the old firehouse that would still have been in service then. (Here is a 1905 view of Front Beach with the firehouse.) And just beyond that would have been The Manning House, where the Captain’s Bounty Motor Inn is today.
This card was published by the Rockport Photo Bureau. It is postmarked in 1936 from Santa Barbara, Calif. Given that the picture was probably taken at least a year earlier (if not more), I estimate its date to be 1935. Charles Cleaves, the photographer who ran Rockport Photo Bureau, died in 1937. His daughter, Virginia Cleaves Little, continued to publish postcards into the 1940s.