Outdoor Recreation

Getting outside is essential in Santa Barbara. The Santa Ynez Mountains offer endless opportunities to hike and bike to the next vista. The golden ridgelines cascade into the Pacific, where outdoor recreation defines this iconic 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.

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 where you can hike, sea kayak, snorkel, or scuba dive. Keep an eye out for migrating whales and playful dolphins on the short ferry ride there.

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.

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

Featured Outdoor Recreation in Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara Zoo

“The Audrey Hepburn of Zoos – petite, charming and beautiful." (The Food Network) Even the lions and the giraffes have sweeping ocean views at this charming sea-side park. The beauty of the animals is matched only by the lush gardens.…

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…

Santa Barbara Car Free

The Santa Barbara Car Free project encourages car free travel to and around Santa Barbara by offering information, maps, ideas and deals. Check out www.santabarbaracarfree.org to see all you can do without a car. Register on the website for train…

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