It’s known as a sport for the soul, and when you paddle out in Santa Barbara, you’ll quickly see why. The surfing in Santa Barbara allows for some of the best in California, with something for every skill level.
If you’re just getting your feet wet, so to speak, it’s easy to find surf lessons or rent a board. Once you’re geared up, head to the inviting beginner surf breaks south of town, or up the bravery level with a visit to Gaviota or Jalama.
An alternative to surfing, is stand up paddleboarding, or SUP. It can be done anywhere there is water and Santa Barbara is no exception. Its curvy coastline offers respite from northwest winds. For the experienced standup paddler, enjoy an exciting downwinder that ends right in Santa Barbara Harbor. There’s nothing quite like paddling with a carefree pod of coastal bottlenose dolphins, the only sounds being the slice of your paddle through the water and one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet briefly coming up for air, breaking the surface of the water.