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Santa Barbara: It’s So Much Fun that It Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Things to do | 0 comments

Santa Barbara has such amazing year-round weather that it’s easy to spend a lot of time outdoors. There are so many options for exploring beautiful scenery. Before you know it, you will have biked 10 miles or enjoyed an hour of yoga. You’ll still break a sweat but it won’t feel like boring exercise.

Many yoga studios in the area offer outdoor classes. Divinitree Yoga has daily classes in three outdoor locations. Casa De La Guerra is a downtown historic building and courtyard with overhead lights for after-sunset classes. La Mesa Park boasts ocean views and the occasional gopher that pops up to check on your downward dog position. Keep your practice interesting and work on your balance when you take a class on the sand at Leadbetter Beach. Santa Barbara Beach Yoga promotes a Zen atmosphere by providing wireless headphones for their Immersive Silent Disco Yoga. Participants can spread out yet clearly hear the instructor and the music while practicing yoga on the beach.

There are numerous bike paths of varying lengths and difficulty levels. Take an easy 4.6 miles on the Cabrillo Bike Path from Leadbetter Beach to Butterfly Beach. The picturesque ride is flat and paved making it ideal for even the most novice rider. The ocean will be on your right side and you’ll pass Chase Palm Park and Andree Clark Bird Refuge. If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, the Obern Trail to Goleta Beach Park spans 10.5 miles. The difficulty in this trail lies in the distance as it is mostly flat with two gradual inclines. The Beachside Bar and Café is a perfect place to stop for a bite to eat while traversing this trail. Love panoramic views but want to task yourself with a real workout before you can see them? The Old San Marcos Pass and Painted Cave Road is only 5.5 miles one way but you’ll gain 2,392 feet in elevation.

It’s perfectly ok to stop and smell the roses (or, in this case, the natural plant diversity of California) while going on a stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The gardens encompass 78 acres and features 5.5 miles of walking paths. Stop and take photos at the Mission Dam and Aqueduct. The expansive Meadow is known for its spectacular show of wildflowers. At the bottom of the Arroyo Section, you’ll find an authentic Japanese teahouse set amidst a Californian tea garden. The Pritchett Trail brings visitors up the steep canyon wall west of the creek. Don’t forget to wear a step counter; you’ll be amazed at how far you go when you spend an afternoon wandering through the gardens.

Lastly, the area is full of hiking trails. Don’t miss Seven Falls and don’t forget your bathing suit when you go. The 2.5-mile round trip hike ends at a natural pool where many people like to cool off. If you’re looking for a quick hike to pair with a picnic, consider Lizard’s Mouth. The quarter-mile walk leads you to stunning views and plenty of space to spread out.