Santa Barbara really has it all when it comes to outdoor activities. There are waterfalls and kayaking and golf and beaches and a list that goes on and on. Add the fresh air and lovely climate and you have a recipe for the perfect active getaway. The only problem will be deciding what to do first.
Take in spectacular views of the city and the ocean while hiking in Los Padres National Forest. Avid hikers should not miss the chance to scale La Cumbre Peak, the area’s highest elevation. Novice hikers, or those just looking for a great picnic spot, should try the easy quarter-mile Lizard’s Mouth route. Don’t worry, the trail may be easy but the views are still spectacular.
Lots of nationally known surfers call Santa Barbara home. The surf season really picks up in the fall but there is fun to be had year-round. Beginners can find success on the small breakers at Leadbetter Beach. Want to watch more experienced surfers? Head over to Rincon Point, also known as “The Queen of the Coast.” The Paddle Sports Center has surfboards, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards available for rent.
There is just something about watching water cascading down a rock wall that mesmerizes people. Santa Barbara is home to some beautiful waterfalls. The whole family can enjoy the short hike to the 80-foot Nojoqui Falls. The best time to visit is spring but the falls can be enjoyed year-round. More experienced hikers can take the challenging trek to Santa Barbara’s tallest waterfall. Tangerine Falls is accessible via a trail that requires creek and boulder crossing but the 100-foot falls are a sight to behold.
The Santa Barbara Adventure Company is open and ready to take guests on explorations of the Channel Islands via kayak. The opportunity to kayak into one of the largest sea caves in the world often sells out so it is recommended that guests book early. Even the boat ride out to the island is part of the adventure as guests often spot dolphins and sea lions. If that isn’t enough, after kayaking guests can hop in and snorkel the area.
Golf is the perfect sport for social distancing. Sandpiper Golf Club sits along the Pacific Ocean and provides amazing water and mountain views from every hole. Advance reservations are required and the Sandpiper Grill is open for curbside pickup if you want a bite to eat after your round.
Does a day in the sun on a sandy beach sound like heaven? Santa Barbara has many beaches to pick from. West Beach and Stearns Wharf provide everything you need for a day full of fun. Head to the beach early in the day to splash in the surf and watch the windsurfers. Find a casual eatery at Stearns Wharf for a bite to eat. After lunch, pop into a specialty shop to find the perfect souvenir for your trip. Then head over to Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle for rod and crab net rentals, no fishing license is required at this location.