Located just a few hours north of L.A lies the Oceanside city of Santa Barbara. Sandwiched between mountains and the Pacific Ocean this town has an energetic yet relaxing atmosphere. The city is buzzing in the summer with adrenaline junkies exploring the seemingly endless amount of adventures around the area while beach lovers sunbathe on the soft sandy beaches while being treated to fantastic views. So get your summer packing list together, pack your bags, and let’s head to Southern California!
Santa Barbara Summer Guide
If you are thinking of taking a summer break to this sandy California city then lets talk about the things to see, do, and explore before booking your hotel in Santa Barbara and you start planning your vacation. .
Where to go for the Best Views
Shoreline Parks is a great place to start when looking an incredible view. What makes this area so special is that you can see the coast, city, and mountains in one spot. A few popular thing to do in Shoreline is to cookout while watching the sunset, chill on the nearby beaches or even whale watch from the bluff. The best part of Shoreline Park is that it is entirely free!
For some more epic views of the coast check out Summerland’s Park. Spend your morning hiking or biking along the nearby trails and your afternoon having a picnic on the beach. It is also a good place for a cookout, but sadly there is a pretty steep fee to reserve a picnic table.
Belmond El Encanto
While Belmond El Encanto Requires a reservation, it is a great place to catch a panoramic view of the entire city. It is “the: spot for sipping on some of California’s famous wine, from places like Santa Rosa while sitting back and taking in the bright red sunsets.
Fun Things to do in Santa Barbara
Santa Barba isn’t all about beaches, picnic, and getting the perfect view. The city is also an excellent home base for adventures. Here are some great things to do in the summer in Santa Barbara
Scuba Dive with Sea Lions
For those of you who want to explore what is under the water instead of in the city then Santa Barbara is a great home base. Venture off the mainland and head to Santa Barbara Island; This is the largest of the Channel Islands and a good spot to swim and scuba with playful Sea Lions.
Catch a Wave
The famed Pacific Coast is not only beautiful but also full of great surf spots. I am a horrible surfer myself but have managed to catch a wave or two in the swells of Santa Barbara .
Road Trip Down the PCH
One thing I highly recommend is to rent a car for a day and drive down to L.A along the PCH (Pacific Coastal Highway). The views are incredible, and it is one of the best stretches of road in the world.
Rent Bikes and Explore the Coast
If renting a car isn’t in your budget and you still want to explore a bit of the beach then another option is to rent some bikes. There are some roads and paths that give you both amazing views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the coast.
Kayak the Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are famous all over America for this beauty. What better way to see them than by kayaking along the rocky coast while checking out some of the biggest sea caves on the planet. But still not as striking as Waitomo Glowworm Caves.. If kayaking doesn’t sound adventurous enough? Then try rock climbing, surfing or snorkeling around these pristine islands.
Hike to Tangerine Falls
This isn’t the easiest hike in California, but the landscape, and nature of this area are absolutely stunning. This rocky hike is well worth the view of the falls at the end.
Where to go in the Santa Barbara
The city itself has a lot of people to travelers with a broad range of food to gorge on as well as art galleries, museums to visit. These are places not to miss when exploring Santa Barbara .
Arts and Crafts Market
Filled with everything from cooking lesson to hand knitted items this market has a lot of appeals to travelers. You can wander the shops and stalls the handmade goods to find that perfect souvenir or eat at any one of the delicious food stalls. The market is open every day and a cool experience to have while visiting the city.
Wander Through the Botanical Gardens
If you’re running short on time and still want to see all the beautiful plant life California has to offer then venture to the Botanical Gardens. The gardens host over 1,000 rare plant life, most of them are plants that you’d see while hiking through some of California’s diverse nature hotspots like the Redwood Forest or camping in Big Sur.
Santa Barbara Natural History Museum
If the weather turns rainy, then head to the National History Museum to wait it out. It is the oldest museum in the city and has been open over 100 years! I not a huge fan of museums but I can’t deny that this one is impressive. I mean any place you can see a whale skeleton over 74 long has to be good right?
Summer is Santa Barbara is the perfect getaway for a summer vacation. This guide takes you to some of the best and most exciting spots the city offers travelers but make sure to get out and explore for yourself.