Santa Barbara is located right between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, making it the perfect place for all kinds of outdoor activities. There are the beautiful islands in California that sit just a few miles away from the sandy beaches where beachgoers can have a great time on. If you are a hiker seeking a real and more exciting adventure, head over to the Los Padres National Forest. You can have a real and wild adventure and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. And there’s more for you to check out. If you love outdoor activities, Santa Barbara is definitely not going to let you down. Here we’ve rounded up several things to do for your trip to Santa Barbara.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddleboarding has been a hot topic among water lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, and Santa Barbara is one of the places where most paddle boarders would enjoy. It’s home to many scenic places and nice bodies of water that paddle boarding lovers couldn’t resist. Can’t wait to start your SUP trip? Head over to Santa Barbara Harbor, it’s an ideal location to launch your paddle board and enjoy a day on the water paddle boarding. Grab your stand up paddle boarding and set off to enjoy the best paddle boarding experience possible. If you don’t have your own SUP board, rentals are available in the Santa Barbara Adventure Company and Cal Coast Adventures. It's suggested that you get your own paddle board. For a high-quality SUP brand, check out Goosehill paddle board, the company has one of the best inflatable stand up paddle board under $600. The flat water makes it easy for rookies to balance when standing on the paddle board and the sandy beaches are perfect for taking a break. Also, a nice meal can be managed in the nearby Chuck’s Waterfront Grill and the Shoreline Beach Cafe after you finish your paddleboarding session. If you like paddle boarding Santa Barbara will definitely be the ideal destination for you to visit. It’s one of the best places for stand up paddle boarding in California.
Santa Ynez Mountains
If you are looking for a real adventure, head over to the Santa Ynez Mountains. Hikers can find some nice hiking trails combined with great views of the city as well as the ocean. The Gaviota Peak could be a real challenge for hikers to take. It’s very close to the ocean and you can get there by going through a 6.5-mile trail with the approximate elevation of 2000 feet. There’s also a short trip to the popular Lizard’s Mouth where you can overlook the beautiful Santa Barbara more thoroughly.
Channel Islands National Park
The Channel Islands National Park is the perfect place to look for a wild adventure. Due to the fact that the five islands of the park have been isolated from the mainland for thousands of years, they have developed to have some plants and wildlife that can only be found on these islands. Although there’s the visitor center in Ventura Harbor Village you can go, the more recommended way to explore and experience the wonders of the park is to go on the relatively undeveloped islands. In winter and spring, there’s even a chance to spot migrating gray whales.
In Santa Barbara, you can have one of the best surfing experiences in the world. The surf breaks are so great that they attract some top professionals of surfing to settle down here. You can try surfing yourself or watch the professionals showing off their skills. There are a few spots worth noting here. Rincon point is also referred to as “Queen of the Coast”. If you are up for a challenging surfing experience, this is the place to be. Gentler waves can be found in Leadbetter Point, this place is more suitable for beginners of the sport. Surfing is one of the quintessential activities in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens
Go check out Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens and you’d be amazed by the plant life there. This area features 1000 plus kinds of native California plants. It’s been preserved well and a world-class research spot.
Santa Barbara is a paradise for beachgoers. You can find all kinds of beaches with different people doing different things on them. Things you can do include but not limited to volleyball, biking, eating, or simply lying on the golden sand.
Above are just several typical things to do and spots to check out. If you intend to explore Santa Barbara more thoroughly, there are other things to put on your to-do list, like biking on some of the beaches or mountains if you want a real challenge, exploring the coastline on a sailboat, golfing in one of the golf clubs with scenic views, etc. No matter what kind of traveling experience you are looking for, Santa Barbara is there to satisfy you.