8 Ways to Chill Out in Santa Barbara

Beat the heat with a coastal getaway to the American Riviera

Summer is on full blast and things are really heating up across the country. When you’re ready to cool down, Santa Barbara offers the ideal coastal getaway. Here on the American Riviera, you’ll find plenty of sunshine and summer fun paired with moderate average daytime temperatures in the 70s and sublime evenings in the 60s. Following are eight ways to chill out in Santa Barbara when you come stay with us this summer and fall.

  • Beach Hop:  Santa Barbara County is home to 110 miles of coastline, so that perfect stretch of uncrowded sand is always easily accessible. You could hit a different beach every day, exploring different parts of the region as you go. Padaro Lane in Carpinteria and West Beach are very family friendly. For a sense of adventure, drive up the coast to spend an afternoon at one of the more rugged state beaches like Refugio or El Capitan. Back in town, Thousand Steps beach has a quiet, hidden away quality. And Montecito’s Butterfly Beach is one of the best spots to take an evening walk and catch a dreamy sunset.
  • Meditate in the Dark:  When you book our “Sweet & Salty” package, you’ll get a Salt Cave session for two with your room nights. That equates to 60 blissful minutes breathing in cooling Himalayan salt-infused air while listening to soothing music—great for mind, body, and soul!
  • Eat an Ice Cream:  Two prominent artisan ice cream brands were founded right here in Santa Barbara. McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams has two “Scoop Shops” on State Street, including one in the Funk Zone near the waterfront. And Rori’s Artisanal Creamery has outposts in the Santa Barbara Public Market downtown, on Linden Street in Carpinteria, and in the Montecito Country Mart.
  • Sip an Icy Cocktail:  Transport yourself to the tropical islands with a round of cocktails at Test Pilot in the Funk Zone. The contemporary tiki bar serves up boozy slushies and exotic cocktails. Its sister bar, Shaker Mill, offers another transportive cocktail experience with a creative menu of frozen cocktails, punches, and sours. Three cheers to that!
  • Scout for Whales:  Our “Whales & Tails Package” is your ticket to an invigorating afternoon at sea. The package includes passage aboard one of the Condor Express’s daily whale watching tours. While aboard the high speed catamaran, expect to spot migrating whales in the Santa Barbara Channel as well as dolphins, sea lions, and birds.
  • Chase Waterfalls:  A few Santa Barbara front country hikes lead to waterfalls, which might not be flowing very strongly at this time of year, but you will definitely be able to enjoy plenty of shade and splash in some refreshing pools and creeks. Check out Visit Santa Barbara’s guide to Four Stunning Waterfalls to get trailhead info for the Tangerine Falls, Seven Falls, and San Ysidro Falls hikes.
  • Relax by the Pool:  Each of our four properties is outfitted with a sizable swimming pool for those afternoons when you feel like staying closer to your home away from home. Lavender Inn by the Sea, Brisas Del Mar Inn at the Beach, and Inn by the Harbor are situated in the West Beach neighborhood in walking distance to the waterfront, while Best Western Plus Santa Barbara puts you in close proximity to the shaded streets near Old Mission Santa Barbara and downtown’s historic theatre district.
  • Go ParasailingSanta Barbara Parasail offers invigorating flights along the coastline. Ages five and older can join the fun, reaching up to 1,000 feet above the Pacific as you’re towed in a boat helmed by a Coast Guard certified captain. The excursions depart from Stearns Wharf daily, up to three people can go up at a time, and no experience is necessary. And if you let the captain know you want to get wet, they will drop you down so your feet splash in the sea in flight. Please note advanced bookings are required.