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STUFF TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA: OUTDOOR FUN

Biking, Hiking, Surfing, Sailing and More

Getting outside is essential in Santa Barbara. The golden ridgeline of the Santa Ynez Mountains cascade into the Pacific which means both land and water adventures are abundant here. Plus, our perfect Mediterranean climate boasting over 300 days of sunshine invites residents to play outside all year long. Start the day with a hike. Go rock climbing or hop in an ATV and take an open-air tour. Hang ten or SUP to your heart’s content. Sail away and breathe in the salty ocean air. On any given day, you’ll find pick-up beach volleyball games, people sea kayaking from Stearns Wharf to the Harbor, people boarding boats for a whale-watching excursion or planes for the ultimate sunset tour. The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor adventure in Santa Barbara.

a guy catching a wave on his surfboard in Santa Barbara

Image courtesy of Santa Barbara Surf School

Water Sports

Santa Barbara’s breathtaking coastline is known as the golden state’s premier destination for on-the-water fun. And for good reason.

The Paddle Sports Center offers guided tours that bring you up close and personal with sea lions and dolphins. You can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and boogies there and set off on your own adventure. 

Some of the most beautiful views in the world can be found in Channel Islands National Park. Allow the experienced guides of the Santa Barbara Adventure Company to take you on a guided exploration of the caves via kayak. The pros there will also share some of their favorite snorkeling spots.

And for the surfer in you, many local outfitters offer daily surfing classes including the Santa Barbara Surf School. Hang ten on beginner, intermediate, or advanced surf breaks. A guided sailing lesson or class from the Santa Barbara Sailing Center is another great way to get out on the water.

There’s a reason why the Santa Barbara Channel is one of the west coast’s best places for whale watching. Its nutrient-rich water is home to hundreds of species of marine life as well as a wide variety of seabirds. Santa Barbara Sailing’s 50-ft. catamaran, the Double Dolphin silently slips through the waves to see whales and other aquatic animals without disturbing them.

Two women on horseback  with a view of a canyon in Santa Barbara

Image courtesy of Circle Bar B Riding Stable

Land Adventures

Channel your inner adventurer for an epic adventure on land.

Circle Bar B Riding Stable is the oldest public horseback riding stable on Santa Barbara County’s South Coast. For more than 70 years, guests have enjoyed the coastal mountain paradise of this California dude ranch, located on more than 1,000 private acres in Gaviota.

If you’re into biking, try one of the mountain biking tours on our local backcountry trails from Cal Coast Adventures Santa Barbara. Or rent a bike there for a cruise along the boardwalk on your own. The company’s most popular adventure is an electric bike tour of Santa Barbara. You can also Segway through Santa Barbara thanks to Segway of Santa Barbara & Things 2 Do Rentals.

How does a winery tour and tasting sound? Maybe you just want to relax and explore the richness of Santa Barbara by tour. Then head to Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours and allow the experts to customize an adventure for you.

Rock climbers don’t have to go far in Santa Barbara to find a great spot. Lizard’s Mouth, referred to as the Rock Playgrounds, is considered the crown jewel of the area by enthusiasts offering secret caves, and dozens of boulders to climb. The network of trails just off the side of the road leads to any number of climbs.

Hiking trails in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas feature some amazing vistas. If you’re looking for a moderate hike, head for Seven Falls, a classic Santa Barbara front country hike starting at Inspiration Point and ending with a splash when you play in the pools.

There are about a half-dozen good ATV/Quad riding options in Santa Barbara County and Enjoy The Mountain is the place to start. Another great way to see the American Rivera is on a three-wheeled buggie and thankfully, SBBoogies can get you going.

A couple soaring above Santa Barbara on a parasail at sunset

Image courtesy of Santa Barbara Parasail

The Sky’s The Limit

There’s no doubt that Santa Barbara is one of the most scenic places in the world. Imagine seeing all that beauty from the sky?

With Santa Barbara Parasail, you’ll soar 1,000 ft in the air and take in the incredible views of the Channel Islands. Ages 5 and over are all welcome.

Above All Aviation the only FAA-approved scenic flight tour in Santa Barbara and San Ynez, offers a truly unique airborne perspective of the region, from beautiful downtown to The Channel Islands National Park. You can even incorporate a stop at a vineyard in the San Ynez Valley for a wine tasting.


If you live in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, then you know the great outdoors are calling. So is real estate. If you are looking to move, call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. My knowledge, contacts, and experience can be invaluable to home sellers and buyers alike.


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