Santa Barbara’s diverse natural landscape is a year-round playground serving up memorable adventures on land, at sea and even in the sky. Local outdoor gurus and adventure outfitters can help you experience the destination from extraordinary perspectives—and push your limits, if that’s what you’re seeking. Consider one of these guided escapades that range from low-key horseback rides to the ultimate, free-falling adrenaline rush.
You don’t need any horseback riding experience to saddle up for a 90-minute guided horseback excursion with Santa Barbara Beach Horseback Rides. Mosey along coastal bluffs or opt for the beach ride to trot where the sand meets the sea. Both tour options take you through prime real estate allowing you to admire the luxurious homes while enjoying the spectacular ocean views.
Learn to Rock Climb with Santa Barbara Adventure Company to amp up your adventuring skills. Get schooled on the equipment, knots, anchors and belaying before moving onto the hands-on teaching of climbing techniques, communication signals and terminology. Both basics and intermediate courses are offered and include gear and lunch.
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The Life Aquatic
Kayak in one of the largest sea caves in the world on Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s guided “Painted Cave Kayak” Santa Cruz Island excursion. Available May through September, the tour departs from Santa Barbara Harbor for a full day Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary experience. Kayak, snorkel and spot an abundance of marine life while learning about the unique ecology.
For a more immersive and exclusive island experience when it’s time to get off the grid, book a multi-day live aboard excursion with Truth Aquatics. You’ll island hop around the remote and unspoiled Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary with daily adventure options including guided naturalist hikes, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking.
Sky’s the Limit
Fly Away Hang Gliding offers hang gliding instruction and tandem flights for those looking to soar like a bird. Opt for group or private lessons and earn your wings on the 200-foot high training hill in Elings Park before taking flight.
If you want to get even higher, reach great heights with Skydive Santa Barbara, who offer training and jumps for novice and experienced skydivers alike. Flights take off from the Lompoc Airport and you can choose to jump from 8,000 feet, 13,000 feet or 18,000 feet—the latter being the world’s highest tandem skydive requiring supplemental oxygen on the ride up.