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 Los Padres Outfitters. 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 Rock Gym to amp up your adventuring skills. Get schooled on bouldering etiquette, how to fall and spot and efficient techniques during the Introduction to Bouldering class. Or, opt for the Introduction to Rock Climbing class, where you’ll learn all about how to properly put on a climbing harness, basic knot tying and how to top rope belay (managing the rope while a climber is climbing).
The Life Aquatic
Kayak in one of the largest sea caves in the world on Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s guided “Adventure Kayak Tour” Santa Cruz Island excursion. Offered year-round, this tour departs from Ventura for a full day of exploring Channel Islands National Park where you’re able to kayak, snorkel and spot an abundance of marine life while learning about the unique ecology. Channel Islands Expeditions offers kayaking trips directly from the Santa Barbara Harbor to Santa Cruz Island, ranging from day trips to multi-day excursions that allow you to explore the other islands throughout the island chain, like Anacapa and Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands—the only experience of its kind in Santa Barbara.
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. Soar over the ocean with Santa Barbara Parasail, where you’ll get sweeping views of the Santa Barbara coastline at 1,000 feet.
Santa Barbara Trapeze Co. combines aerial arts with fitness—and packs a major adrenaline punch. Ideal for all skill levels, the experts will guide you for a two-hour crash-course in safely 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.