Water Activities

channel islands coast

Part of Santa Barbara’s beauty comes from its location on the Pacific Ocean and views of the Channel Islands offshore. And that blue water is another lure for those who want to move to Santa Barbara, and a good reason many stay.

All water sports are available in Santa Barbara, especially on top of the water. Our protected harbor is the starting point for sailboats and yachts as well as kayaks, stand-up paddle boarders, jet skis and whale watching boats.

santa barbara harbor

Next to Stearn’s Wharf you’ll see something that you might associate with Hawaii: outrigger canoes. We have two clubs here, the Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club and Ka Nai’a Outrigger Canoe Club, both of whom welcome people with no experience whatsoever in this exciting team sport.


Surfers should head down to Rincon for the best waves, but Leadbetter Beach gets its fair share of locals. The Channel Islands are a diver’s paradise, not least because of the sea lion colonies, sea caves and kelp forests that make them some of the best diving in the world.

If that’s a little too adventurous, Los Baños Del Mar and the YMCA locations have public pools for recreational and lap swimming.

santa barbara surfing