As you’re driving, cycling, or walking through Santa Barbara, you’ll find some wonderful discoveries—parks you never knew were tucked away on city streets or in some corner of a neighborhood. Some are clearly for children, such as the Kid’s World playground at Alameda Park, but others, like Franceschi Park, offer not just spectacular views from the Riviera, but also an homage to a horticultural master.

Many of the city parks have features for parties, like barbeques and picnic tables as well as restrooms, but some are much more rustic, perfect for a stroll, hike, or dog walk.

Our small city of Santa Barbara has 48 parks with over 1,500 acres of open space, 24 volleyball courts, 21 tennis courts, 22 playgrounds, 13 recreation centers, seven softball fields, three community gardens, and two swimming pools—incredible, isn’t it?

Our favorites are definitely those that allow dogs (on leash or off, like the Douglas Family Preserve), but there are also three miles of oceanfront parks, including Chase Palm Park and Shoreline Park, that are lovely to stroll down. Both have paths for walking, running, and roller sports, and many Santa Barbara residents and visitors take advantage of them daily.

You can have a look at the city’s interactive map to see the amazing wealth of parks and find which one you’d like to visit first. Warning—you may be overwhelmed with all the choices!