Private Santa Barbara Experiences

There are indulgences, and then there are private experiences, tailor-made just for you. If there’s ever been a more perfect time to treat yourself to private tour, class, or adventure, this is it! Booking inherently socially distanced private experiences offered by some of our leading local outfitters will bring you greater peace of mind as you ease back into traveling. From outdoor excursions and memorable meals to expeditions at sea and educational endeavors, here are the quintessential Santa Barbara experiences that can be enjoyed exclusively by Y-O-U and your traveling party.

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Set Sail

Charter a boat for a private coastal cruise or Channel Islands day trip with your nearest and dearest. Celebration Cruises, Santa Barbara Sailing Center and Sunset Kidd all offer private charters at a wide range of price points and styles. Think elegant electric boats, sleek yachts, and charming sailboats. The captains and support crews will adhere to all of the rules and regulations around sanitation and social distancing, so you can feel at entirely at ease while relishing in those fresh ocean breezes and keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins. Learn More

Picnic Perfection

Elevate your picnic game with an Instagram-worthy spread styled and curated by Santa Barbara Picnic Company. They’ll customize a memorable alfresco dining experience and provide all the bells and whistles, from blankets, low tables, and pillows to food, wine, and cutlery. Whether you’re setting the stage for romance or family fun, Santa Barbara Picnic Company will take care of every detail, allowing you to focus on being fully present with the ones you love—surrounded by stunning scenery, of course. Some of their go-to locations include Leadbetter Beach, the Douglas Preserve, and Mission Rose Garden. Learn More

Table for Two

Up the romance ante further with the help of Slate Catering. Their private “pop-up” Backyard Bistro experience includes two hours in their mobile restaurant—an aesthetically on point, boho-chic van that can be parked at your preferred, pre-approved scenic location. The standard menu features Slate’s signature cheese and charcuterie platter, plus the libations of your choosing—four servings of the house craft cocktail by Milk & Honey, a 6-pack of local favorite M. Special Beer or a bottle of wine or bubbly. Should you get hungrier or thirstier, the minibar is stocked with additional items for purchase. Learn More

Hot to Trot

Los Padres Outfitters specializes in private horseback riding tours with sweeping views along the southern coast. Choose from a Montecito trail ride or a Summerland sunset ride right on the beach. You can also opt to have a picnic at the end of the ride—wine is optional! Tours require a minimum of two people and run at least 90 minutes. Learn More

Hang Ten

If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf, seize the day to check that item off of your bucket list and test the waters under the tutelage of knowledgeable instructors. Several local outfitters offer surf lessons by appointment and have proven track records teaching aspiring surfers of all ages and abilities: Surf Happens, Santa Barbara Surf School, Santa Barbara Adventure Company, Paddle Sports Center, and Cal Coast Adventures. After feeling the stoke of riding your first waves, you might have a new hobby on your hands. Learn More

Discover Your Muse

Express yourself and explore your creativity during an interactive painting class at the family-run Funk Factory. You’ll get fully suited up, complete with goggles, boots, and gloves before splatter painting the canvas of your choosing. Whether you’re channeling your muse or inner child, there’s something so satisfying about splattering paint with reckless abandon—and no fear of getting messy thanks to the protective gear! When you’re done, you’ll have a masterpiece to take home, be it one-of-a-kind jeans, a backpack, or a t-shirt. Learn More

Feast for the Senses

Savor the region’s culinary landscape on a delicious food tour. Eat This, Shoot That! pairs food and wine tastings with mobile phone photography tips on their grazing tours through some of downtown Santa Barbara’s most compelling neighborhoods. Santa Barbara Tasting Tours also offers gastronomic walking tours. You’ll learn about the city’s history and some key landmarks between tasting stops at up to six venues. While you can choose to go on a group tour, private tours are available and are guaranteed to fill you up with all sorts of local flavors. Learn More

On the Vine

One of the biggest perks of booking a private wine tour is leaving the itinerary planning to the pros. Not only will they pick you up and drop you off from your hotel or vacation rental, they’ll also be able to ensure you have private or very socially distanced tastings at each location. And oftentimes you can even meet the winemakers thanks to the guides’ connections. There are a plethora of amazing wine tour specialists to suit a variety of interests—from combining active pursuits like horseback riding and biking to focusing on sustainability or small, boutique producers. You can also go full-on gourmet with leisurely catered lunches amid the vines. Learn More

Architectural Journey 

The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is best known for its docent-led public walking tours on Saturdays and Sundays, which showcase the city’s signature architectural style. But many people don’t know they also offer private tours by appointment—a wonderful way to learn about the city’s history while visiting some of its most significant architectural landmarks on foot. Be sure to charge up your mobile phone before you head out because you will be taking pictures left and right. Learn More

Plan This Itinerary

Architectural Foundation of SB

Founded in 1983, the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara is a public non-profit charitable corporation whose mission is to support and provide programs that promote education about the importance of art, architecture, and design excellence.…

Cal Coast Adventures

If you’re looking for a rental or tour of Santa Barbara or just something fun to do, you’ve found the right place! Cal Coast Adventures offers 10 different types of bike tours from electric bike tours of the city to leisurely mountain…

Celebration Cruises of Santa Barbara

Whether you want to experience a tour of Santa Barbara’s beautiful coast, have a romantic evening with a loved one, enjoy music out on the water with friends, or plan your perfect party, Celebration Cruises has everything you need. Here you…

Los Padres Outfitters

Get off the beaten path, and explore the beautiful beaches and trails of Santa Barbara on horseback! Imagine starting your day with a pastel colored, morning beach ride, taking a journey through tree lined trails of our…

Paddle Sports Center

Explore the Santa Barbara Waterfront and get to paddle with Sea Lions and Dolphins! Paddle Sports Center is your gateway to ocean fun in SB and we have you covered with kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and boogies. We offer guided experiences…

Santa Barbara Adventure Company

See a part of Santa Barbara few visitors ever get to experience with the best outfitter in town. Our guides create thousands of unforgettable travel adventures each year – come join us!   CHANNEL ISLANDS TOURS Sea Cave…

Santa Barbara Picnic Co.

OUR MISSION is to provide you with the highest quality of picnic design and service for a memorable experience. Through our curated picnics, we aspire to immerse you into a tranquil space where you get the chance to relax, connect, and savor the…

Santa Barbara Surf School

Santa Barbara Surf School has been one of the top surf schools in Santa Barbara for two decades. Our instructors have extensive knowledge of the waves in the area to help ensure that your surf lesson will be a memorable experience. We'll provide…

Surf Happens Premier Surf School

Surf Happens is Santa Barbara’s premier surf school – this is our profession and our passion. We are a community-based business dedicated to sharing the spirit of Aloha and the lifestyle of surfing with people of all ages and…


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