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

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…


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…


Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Established in 1911, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the third oldest polo facility in the United States and is world renowned for its four lush polo fields and international outdoor competition. In addition to the playing fields and…


Paddle Sports Center

The Paddle Sports Center is Santa Barbara's premier Kayak | SUP | Surf rental, membership, instruction center.  we have been around since 1993 offering the highest quality experience, gear and instruction.  We are conveniently located in…


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…


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…


Skater’s Point

This 14,600 square feet of skateboard and in-line fun is located in Chase Palm Park along the waterfront at Garden Street and Cabrillo Blvd. This state-of-the-art cement facility features a half-pipe, rails, fun boxes and other skating elements.…


Additional Experiences


NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS SIGNATURE EVENT ITINERARY IDEAS

The Ultimate Golf Destination

Learn More

NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS NEIGHBORHOODS & TOWNS SIGNATURE EVENT ITINERARY IDEAS

Activities Along the Waterfront

Learn More

sb. Snapshots: A Visual Exploration of Santa Barbara


sailing in santa barbara
hiking in santa barbara lizards mouth