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


Recommended

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 National Park - Sea Cave Kayaking…


Recommended

Lotusland

Bask in Santa Barbara’s botanical beauty on a visit to Lotusland, a stunning 37-acre Montecito estate once owned by the late Madame Ganna Walska. A well-known opera singer and socialite, she purchased the property in 1941 and spent the next 43…


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 nutrient…


El Capitan Canyon

Located fifteen minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, lies El Capitan Canyon, an incredible resort secluded amongst ancient sycamores opening onto El Capitan Beach. The Canyon…


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…



Captain Jack’s Tours & Events

Captain Jack's Tours has been voted “Best Wine Tour” in the Santa Barbara News Press Readers Choice award for the 3rd year in a row. We offer Wine Tasting tours starting at $70, Beer Tasting tours, Coastal Sailboat Cruises and Kayak…


Additional Experiences


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The Ultimate Golf Destination

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Activities Along the Waterfront

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sb. Snapshots: A Visual Exploration of Santa Barbara


sailing in santa barbara
hiking in santa barbara lizards mouth