NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS SIGNATURE EVENT ITINERARY IDEAS

Santa Barbara Waterfront

The Santa Barbara Waterfront captures that postcard-perfect view of the area’s famous coastline. Pristine beaches, palm tree-lined shores, and the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop ensure plenty of photo-worthy moments. Take a bike ride or a leisurely stroll down the Cabrillo Bike Path, which runs parallel to three beaches. It’s easy to make your way from one beach to the next while soaking up the sunshine and ocean-scented air.

Make your way up to Shoreline Park, which overlooks the lovely seaside. And feel free to savor the view with a picnic. Walk off your picnic feast with a short hike down Thousand Steps (don’t worry, the name exaggerates the number of stairs), the staircase that leads to Leadbetter Beach, where you’ll find locals surfing the perfect beach break just about every day of the week.

santa-barbara-sea-urchin
A local delicacy, Santa Barbara Sea Urchin is freshly caught in the Santa Barbara Channel. Photo Credit: J. Sinclair

Stroll through the Santa Barbara Harbor and check out the day’s catch from local fishermen and sea urchin harvesters. Walk along the breakwater wall and watch the boats as they drift in and out of the Santa Barbara Channel. The harbor is also an excellent launch pad for a day of adventure. Book a kayaking or a scuba excursion through the sea caves of the Channel Islands.

Next, skip the walk and ride the Lil’ Toot water taxi from the harbor to Stearns Wharf to experience a hands-on, close-up view of sea life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, where you can even “pet” a swell shark or a manta ray! The oldest working wharf in California, Stearns Wharf is an excellent place to pick up some Santa Barbara souvenirs. Cap off your exploration with a little wine tasting at Deep Sea Winery, the city’s only wine bar that sits over the ocean.

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