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


La Mesa Park

This lush and friendly neighborhood park features a children's playground and reservable group picnic facilities. Other highlights include towering trees and a short, pleasant walk to a spectacular ocean view.


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…


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…


Gaviota State Park

Editor's note: This beach is temporarily closed due to hazardous flooding and debris. Please check back as conditions improve. Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola…


El Capitan State Beach

Editor's note: This beach is temporarily closed due to hazardous flooding and debris. Please check back as conditions improve. El Capitán’s peaceful setting, sandy shoreline and close proximity to Santa Barbara make it a popular spot…


Jalama Beach County Park & Campground

Located one hour west of Santa Barbara, Jalama Beach Park and Campground is an secluded park where visitors can unplug and relax in nature. With more than 100 campsites, seven equipped cabins, a general store and spectacular ocean views, Jalama…


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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