Find Your Zen in Santa Barbara’s Great Outdoors

Photo Credit: Elliot Hawkey

In Santa Barbara, where the sun smiles year-round, the great outdoors is your playground for endless adventures centered in wellness. Explore the city’s incredible trails, unwind with beachside yoga, kayak along the serene coast or set off on a revitalizing bike ride—all within the breathtaking embrace of The American Riviera®.

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Horseback Riding

Horseback riding offers a therapeutic experience through interaction with these gentle animals. The sport is a unique way to connect with nature and even provides a bit of a workout! Explore horseback riding options on the beach with Los Padres Outfitters or take to the hills on Circle Bar B’s private ranch for some invigorating equine therapy.

Photo courtesy of Los Padres Outfitters

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Visiting a Local Park or Garden

Strolling through parks and gardens can be a meditative experience, promoting clarity and inner peace. Visit Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Old Mission Santa Barbara’s famed rose garden, Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden or Shoreline Park to start—just a few of the beautiful green spaces Santa Barbara has to offer. Meditation in one of these natural settings can reduce stress and increase self-awareness, as well, as it’s a practice that nourishes both the mind and spirit.

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Engaging in cycling from a holistic perspective goes beyond just physical benefits; it can also be a source of mental well-being. Cycling, especially with the incredible views Santa Barbara offers, allows you to connect with nature and your surroundings, offering a peaceful and mindful experience in The American Riviera®. Choose your adventure with the help from expert outfitters like Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Cal Coast Adventures or give your ride an extra boost with electric-assist bikes from Santa Barbara BCycle, located at stations throughout downtown Santa Barbara and along the waterfront.

Photo credit: @realjoshcook via Instagram

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There’s a unique sense of serenity that comes from breathing in the salty ocean air, and being on the water often brings solace, contributing to a sense of overall well-being and mental clarity. Take to the sea with a guided kayak tour from local outfitters Cal Coast Adventures, Paddle Sports Center, Santa Barbara Adventure Company or Santa Barbara Sailing Center. Or, rent just the kayak and set off on your own adventure—whether that means cruising through the Santa Barbara Harbor or heading out into open waters.

Photo credit: @sa.d.e via Instagram

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Exploring the hiking trails in Santa Barbara offers not only a chance for physical activity but also a breathtaking (literally, perhaps!) experience. It’s an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s rich natural surroundings and infuse your vacation with a sense of inner calm. Leisurely outdoor walks fit the bill, too. Take a stroll through open spaces like Douglas Family Preserve or Ellwood Mesa for some fresh air fun and even catch a glimpse of a stunning Santa Barbara sunset. At Ellwood Mesa, witness the great Monarch butterfly migration (November through February).

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Farmers Market Strolls

Exploring a farmers’ market is a mindful choice for your well-being. Has anyone ever questioned the irresistible charm of a Santa Barbara farmers’ market? Certainly not. Santa Barbara County boasts a wealth of local farms, offering the freshest produce available. Gather the essentials for a picnic to enjoy at one of the city’s picturesque parks or beaches and create cherished moments with your loved ones.

Photo credit: @rabeline via Instagram

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