Outdoor Activities

downtown festival on state street

I warn you now: Don’t move to Santa Barbara if you don’t like being outdoors. With about 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s hard to hibernate. But there’s plenty to do outside in Santa Barbara. Cyclists, roller bladers, walkers and runners (including my wife) take advantage of the beachfront path along Cabrillo Boulevard, the harbor and up to Shoreline Park. There are cycle paths throughout Santa Barbara, and they often double as walkways for both people and horses.

And if you turn your back to the sea, you won’t be able to resist the call of the mountains, even if just for a Sunday drive. Not many are hardy enough to climb the steep slopes of Gibraltar, either on foot or on a bicycle, but there are plenty of other ways to explore the mountains, including rock climbing in the canyons and hiking trails for beginners and experts that start from Santa Barbara, Montecito and Goleta.

santa barbara polo matchBut all that activity is not for everyone—myself included. For a more tame outdoor experience that’s no less spectacular, my wife and I like to explore Lotusland, enjoy the view from Elings Park, take in a polo match in Summerland or walk the dogs in the Douglas Preserve.

But twice a day, we take advantage of one of our favorite outdoor experiences—sitting on our porch and taking in the view, with a cup of coffee in the morning and cocktails or a glass of wine in the evening.