Outdoor Recreation

Santa Barbara Outdoor Activities

Getting outside is essential in Santa Barbara. The Santa Ynez Mountains offer endless opportunities to hike and bike your way to amazing scenic vistas. The golden ridgelines cascade into the Pacific where you’ll find a plethora of activities on the water, including kayaking, surfing, SUP and more, as well as incredible views of the California coastline. On any given day, you’ll find pick-up beach volleyball games, people sea kayaking from Stearns Wharf to the Harbor, boats setting sail to go whale watching, and stand-up paddleboarders sliding across the water.

Santa Barbara’s climate, which boasts over 300 days of sunshine every year, is a huge draw for those looking for some outdoor adventure year-round. Start the day with a hike. Go rock climbing, or take a surf lesson. Sail away, or hop in an ATV and take an open-air tour. You’ll find a wide variety of options for outdoor fun here.

Santa Barbara Outdoor Activities include:

And it doesn’t stop there. Just across the Santa Barbara Channel is the Channel Islands Marine Preserve, home to one of the most unique national parks in the world. Here you can hike, sea kayak, snorkel, or scuba dive to get one-of-a-kind encounters with local marine life. Keep an eye out for migrating whales and playful dolphins on the short ferry ride out to the islands.

It’s easy to start your outdoor adventure in Santa Barbara.

Featured Outdoor Recreation in Santa Barbara


El Capitan Canyon

Located fifteen minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, lies El Capitan Canyon, an incredible resort secluded amongst ancient sycamores opening onto El Capitan Beach. The Canyon…

Paddle Sports Center

The Paddle Sports Center is Santa Barbara's favorite ocean gym and playground. We provide you with the best gear and instruction for a unique and unforgettable Santa Barbara adventure. Kayaks for one and two people are the perfect 2-hour physical…

Santa Barbara Harbor

Are you wondering where you can go and please everyone in the family? The Santa Barbara Harbor has something for everyone: boat rentals, kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs), jet skis, a Maritime Museum, sunbathing on the beach, restaurants for…

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sb. Snapshots: A Visual Exploration of Santa Barbara


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