Outdoor Recreation

Santa Barbara Outdoor Activities

Getting outside is essential in Santa Barbara. The Santa Ynez Mountains offer endless opportunities to hike and bike your way to amazing scenic vistas. The golden ridgelines cascade into the Pacific where you’ll find a plethora of activities on the water, including kayaking, surfing, SUP and more, as well as incredible views of the California coastline. On any given day, you’ll find pick-up beach volleyball games, people sea kayaking from Stearns Wharf to the Harbor, boats setting sail to go whale watching, and stand-up paddleboarders sliding across the water.

Santa Barbara’s climate, which boasts over 300 days of sunshine every year, is a huge draw for those looking for some outdoor adventure year-round. Start the day with a hike. Go rock climbing, or take a surf lesson. Sail away, or hop in an ATV and take an open-air tour. You’ll find a wide variety of options for outdoor fun here, including guided outdoor tours and lessons that give you a chance to learn a new skill.

Santa Barbara Outdoor Activities include:

And it doesn’t stop there. Just across the Santa Barbara Channel is the Channel Islands Marine Preserve, home to one of the most unique national parks in the world. Here you can hike, sea kayak, snorkel, or scuba dive to get one-of-a-kind encounters with local marine life. Keep an eye out for migrating whales and playful dolphins on the short ferry ride out to the islands.

It’s easy to start your outdoor adventure in Santa Barbara.

Outdoor Recreation in Santa Barbara


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SunSwept Sailing

SunSwept Sailing is Santa Barbara's most exclusive private charter, aboard the classic sailing yacht, Kelpie. Sailing in Santa Barbara has never looked so good. Private Charters Aboard Sailing Yacht Kelpie Your party of up to six passengers…


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Santa Barbara Adventure Company

Experience an unforgettable adventure in Santa Barbara with the city's premier outfitter, providing exciting experiences to thousands of visitors yearly. CHANNEL ISLANDS TOURS Sea Cave Kayaking Tour at Channel Islands National ParkExplore Channel…


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Condor Express Whale Watching

The Condor Express offers daily whale watching trips year round from the Sea Landing dock in the Santa Barbara Harbor. The Condor Express is a 75' state-of-the-art, ecofriendly, high-speed catamaran. Our cruising ground includes the…


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Santa Barbara Trapeze Co.

Santa Barbara Trapeze Company is Southern California’s premier flying trapeze school, but it’s not just a circus school - it’s a space where you come and find out who you are, and what you are made of; you will leave feeling…


Santa Barbara Sailing Center/Double Dolphin Cruises

California’s premier destination for on-the-water fun. If you're looking for a little adventure, we offer kayak & stand up paddle board rentals, tours & instruction. Learn to sail, charter a sailboat with a captain, rent a variety of…


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…


Land and Sea Tours ~ The Landshark

Voted the best City & Harbor tour of Santa Barbara! Make a splash aboard the LAND SHARK! View one of the most historical beachside cities on a boat with wheels designed for both land and sea cruising. Experience the best of Santa Barbara in…


Additional Experiences


The Ultimate Golf Destination
Lush fairways and smooth, fast greens. Discover three courses, just a short drive from one another, in one of the best vacation spots around.
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Activities Along the Waterfront
Take it from a local, waterfront activities in Santa Barbara are endless and offer visitors much more than lounging along the coast.
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