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

Channel Islands Expeditions

Santa Barbara is the entrance to the Channel Islands National Park across one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water on earth, the Santa Barbara Channel.  Giant sea caves (the largest on the planet), elephant seals, endemic island fox,…


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…


Recommended

Paddle Sports Center

Explore the Santa Barbara Waterfront and get to paddle with Sea Lions and Dolphins! Paddle Sports Center is your gateway to ocean fun in SB and we have you covered with kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and boogies. We offer guided experiences…


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…


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…


Celebration Cruises of Santa Barbara

Whether you want to experience a tour of Santa Barbara’s beautiful coast, have a romantic evening with a loved one, enjoy music out on the water with friends, or plan your perfect party, Celebration Cruises has everything you need. Here you…


Sandpiper Golf Club

The championship golf course at Sandpiper has been rated by Golf Digest in the top twenty five public golf courses in the nation. It was designed by William F. Bell and opened in 1972 featuring beautiful rolling fairways and challenging greens in a…


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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