Parks

In addition to the variety of beachfront coastline, Santa Barbara’s parks and outdoor playgrounds are scattered throughout the city, offering an experience all their own.

At Santa Barbara parks, visitors can discover hidden treasures, unique vantage points, or even a new urban retreat. One of the best ways to spend an afternoon in these lush surroundings is to keep active and do as the locals do. Let the kids play at Kids World, before crossing the street and feeding the ducks at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, the “crown jewel” of Santa Barbara city parks, and located centrally in Downtown Santa Barbara. Or, bring your binoculars to go bird-watching at Rancho La Patera & Stow House. The gardens are located in the heart of the Los Carneros Natural & Historical Preserve and are a popular respite for bird-watching and outdoor enjoyment.

Parks and festivals in Santa Barbara go hand in hand. Lovers of lemon gather at Girsh Park in Goleta for a weekend of family fun and lemon-flavored treats at the California Lemon Festival. Beer aficionados flock to Elings Park every October for the Santa Barbara Beer Festival, while Alameda Park, one of the city’s oldest parks, is home to Earth Day and Summer Solstice. During summer nights, Chase Palm Park is a community gathering center, and visiting musicians play at the Concerts in the Park series every Thursday Night.

For a more relaxing getaway, take a morning stroll to delight in oceanfront views at Shoreline Park. Or, head for the hills and let the panoramic views of Santa Barbara take your breath away upon the American Riviera® at Franchesci Park. End your day with a dose of culture and pack a picnic to be enjoyed at The A.C. Postel Memorial Rose Garden, located adjacent to the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

Parks in Santa Barbara


El Capitan State Beach

El Capitán’s peaceful setting, sandy shoreline and close proximity to Santa Barbara make it a popular spot for camping, picnicking, wildlife viewing and other outdoor activities. Stands of sycamore, oak and eucalyptus trees create lots…


East Beach

East Beach in Santa Barbara provides the ideal atmosphere for fun in the sun. Its spacious, sandy coastline is bordered by a grassy park that’s lined with large palm trees which makes it a popular area for outdoor activities both on and off…


Gaviota State Park

Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses the winding Gaviota Creek, Gaviota State Park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, fishing, camping and hiking. The park is located 33 miles west of Santa Barbara, making it an…


Stevens Park

Nestled within San Roque Canyon, Stevens Park is a 25-acre recreation area that sits beneath the soaring Foothill Road Bridge. Known for its scenic hiking trails, access to San Roque Creek and array of amenities, Stevens Park is a popular spot for…


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Explore California’s unique natural landscape at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a 78-acre living museum designed entirely with California-native plants. Five miles of easy walking trails crisscross the wild-crafted gardens, so you can…


Additional Experiences


10 Not So Secret Parks & Gardens
Flora and fauna have a long beautiful history in Santa Barbara. These 10 not so secret parks and gardens are breathtaking sights to behold.
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