7 Ways to Live Your Best Life in Santa Barbara this Summer

Summer is upon us, travel is back, and some genuinely good times are waiting to be had here in Santa Barbara—where every day has the potential to be “the best day ever.” Think days beginning with a sunrise hike on a mountain trail and ending perched on the bow of a sailboat watching the sunset. Picture yourself sipping locally made wines in hidden paseos; pedaling along the waterfront with the sea breeze in your hair; and catching that long-awaited concert under the stars. Maybe it’s inspired art and retail therapy you need. Or simple pleasures like picnics, beach walks, and perfectly prepared seasonal plates. Whether you’re craving family connection, all things romance, or a reunion with your besties, the world has opened up again, and Santa Barbara is your oyster. Following are seven ways to live your best life in Santa Barbara this summer.

Find Your Flow

Ground yourself and sooth your spirit with an outdoor yoga class that takes full advantage of Santa Barbara’s stunning settings. Santa Barbara Beach Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes at on the sands of East Beach as well as on the Cabrillo Pavilion’s rooftop patio overlooking the beach. Divinitree Yoga, a local studio with a brick-and-mortar space, hosts outdoor classes in three diverse off-site settings: Leadbetter Beach, La Mesa Park (with ocean views!), and historic Casa De La Guerra’s courtyard in the heart of downtown. Over in wine country, Vineyard Yoga Santa Ynez Valley creates an extraordinarily blissful experience. At least once a month, yoga classes are held in different vineyard settings, and after class you get to enjoy a private group wine tasting and BYO picnic. We recommend booking as soon as you know your visit dates because classes sell out quickly!

Hear the Sound of Live Music

Attending a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl is a quintessential staple of summer here on The American Riviera, and we can’t recommend it enough. The outdoor amphitheater is nestled in the foothills and the setting is downright magical—which means catching a show there is absolutely worth it even if you’re lukewarm about the talent! Shows announced so far include Van Morrison, Roger Daltry, John Legend, Haim, My Morning Jacket, Lord Huron, Foreigner, Brothers Osborne, Phish, and Glass Animals. Comedians Chelsea Handler, Trevor Noah, and Sebastian Maniscalo are also on the line-up. Follow the Santa Barbara Bowl on Instagram to stay up to date with future concert announcements for the season that will go into November.

Sail Away, Sail Away

Whether you want to take sailing lessons, charter a private cruise to the Channel Islands, or join a sunset sail, Santa Barbara Sailing Center covers all things out to sea. Have you always wanted to learn the ins and outs of sailing? Make that bucket list dream come true and book one of their private non-certification introductory courses. If you’re already certified, you can rent a variety of different sized sail boats for the day. Or let one of their captains do the sailing on a private yacht charter. A public sunset cruise on The Double Dolphin catamaran is classic Santa Barbara—and the ultimate summer experience is the Friday evening Music on the Water cruise series.

Wine Taste in VIP Style

Spending a day in wine country is always a pleasure, from driving along picture-perfect country roads and strolling through charming one-street towns, to meeting the winemakers and sipping premium vintages. Hiring a wine tour specialist is a great way to get access to private tastings at exclusive wineries and benefitting from a designated driver. Santa Barbara Wine Canyon Tours will customize a private tour for your party to include round trip transportation, tastings at ultra-boutique wineries, and a gourmet picnic lunch. Sustainable Vine Wine Tours offers private day-long tours in luxury vehicles (Tesla Model X SUV or a custom Mercedes Benz) featuring tastings at private estates with winemakers and owners who are just as passionate about being good environmental stewards as they are producing quality wines. Cheers to that!

Take Private Dining to the Next Level

If you’ve got something special to celebrate—or simply want to celebrate your good health and the freedom to travel—plan a special meal for two (or four, or more!) that will live long in your memory books. Santa Barbara Picnic Co.curates and designsInstagram-worthypicnic settings in locations around town such as parks and beaches. Their inclusive bespoke packages include the set up and take down of all rentals, décor, and florals. Slate Catering also caters beautiful private picnics. And for a date night to remember, you can’t go wrong booking theirBackyard Bistro. The adorable mobile restaurant is a converted van outfitted with a boho chic dining table set-up. The back door opens up to whatever epic view you selected to enjoy while savoring cheese and charcuteries spreads and craft cocktails, or a seasonal dinner prepared by Milk & Honey.

Ride into the Sunset

There’s something undeniably romantic about horseback riding along the coast. Los Padres Outfitters leads private 90-minute beach rides in the Summerland area. You can also opt for an enhanced, 2.5-hour picnic beach ride package, which includes a gourmet curated picnic with a stunning view following your beach ride.

Stay Three Nights & Four Days

Spending three nights allows you to truly settle in and savor all that Santa Barbara has to offer—while living your best life, of course! Our Four Days, Three Nights in Paradise package for two includes three-night accommodations at your choice of one of our four inns. Your stay will feature a customized Santa Ynez Valley tour with Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours, a Sunset Cruise with Santa Barbara Sailing Center, a $50.00 dinner credit at Bouchon, and in-room perks like a bottle of wine, gourmet chocolates, and more. Treat yourself, and book your stay today!