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

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…


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 TOURS Sea Cave…



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…


Backroads

Let's see. How a spa treatment feels after a glorious ride past idyllic beaches and citrus groves. How exquisite our evening meal tastes after a brisk climb up the California coast. Let's enjoy the best of biking with the best of everything. The…


Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours

Captain Jack's began in 2005 after the founders spent a week in Hawaii engaging in fun-filled adventure tours. They knew that similar tours should be provided in Santa Barbara County. Owned by two Santa Barbara natives, Captain Jack's offers wine…


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…


Additional Experiences


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sb. Snapshots: A Visual Exploration of Santa Barbara


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