Whether you’re in need of tranquil relaxation, exploring natural wonders, or seaside indulging in a beachy paradise, the Santa Barbara South Coast is your one-stop destination for a stress-free summer vacation. As travelers are eager to hit the open road and start traveling again, we’ve compiled a list of inspirational activities that will fuel your soul and ensure that you and your loved ones are at a safe and recommended distance from other travelers. From park picnicking and beach lounging to chasing waterfalls and playing a round of golf, there’s plenty of reasons to be outdoors this summer in Santa Barbara.
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Mountains to Beaches
Make summer in Santa Barbara as relaxing or adventurous as you want it to be. From mountains to beaches, Santa Barbara has all the outdoor offerings you could ask for. Use this downtime to clear your head with a scenic hike. Complete with photo ops along the way, picturesque views are motivation enough to hit the trails.
Santa Barbara knows how to show off some serious beach vibes, too. Think swaying palm trees, unforgettable sunsets, sandy and sparkling waters. At one of the area’s seven not-to-be-missed beaches, get your feet wet with a range of activities, experiences, and excursions beyond building sandcastles. Reenergize with a sunrise salutation or leisurely walk on the beach. Our panoramic ocean and mountain views can be downright cathartic.
Get on the Water
An “Endless Summer” spirit and catching waves have been a favorite pastime among locals long before it was a world-recognized sport. Offering something for every ability level, you’ll be able to find the perfect set at one of these top Santa Barbara surfing breaks. For a more chill experience, head to Santa Barbara Harbor for additional ways to get out and on the water. Glide your way across the Pacific and into serene ocean surroundings with a kayak or stand up paddle board.
Find a Path
Santa Barbara is a super bike-friendly town. Gear up for a leisurely palm tree-lined ride along the Waterfront on the Cabrillo Bike Path from Leadbetter Beach to Butterfly Beach. Make a pitstop on historic Stearns Wharf to look for sea lions then continue riding past the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. For an action-packed ride, mountain bikers love the challenge of Santa Barbara’s front and backcountry trails. No matter what path you take, enjoy the sun on your face and breeze in your hair.
On the Green
Gear up with your trusted clubs and tees and get ready for a round of golf on the sublime greens in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Revel in wide-open, fresh-air courses that come complete with ocean and mountain views. To get started here are three golf courses that offer lush fairways and smooth, fast greens, all within a short drive of one another.
Santa Barbara’s majestic wilderness is filled with unexpected finds and hidden gems, including some wonderful waterfalls. This summer, why not go on an invigorating outdoor adventure chasing waterfalls and soaking up Mother Nature’s stunning attributes? For beginning to intermediate hikers, these four waterfalls are worth the journey no matter the size and power of the falls themselves.
Flora and fauna have a long and fragrant history in Santa Barbara. Scattered throughout the destination, you can find pockets of paradise to spend the afternoon, take a stroll, have a picnic, or simply encounter breathtaking city views. While some parks and gardens are more well-known than others, we’ve compiled a list of the ten not-so-secret parks and gardens of Santa Barbara.