A Man Holding A Kite While Standing In The Grass
A Large Ship In The Water
A Group Of People On A Beach
An Animal Swimming In The Water
A Group Of People On A Beach With A Mountain In The Background
A Couple Of People That Are Standing In The Grass
Person and Dog on Leadbetter Beach

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Discover Central Coast

The Best Outdoor Activities in Santa Barbara

Located in California’s breathtaking Central Coast, Santa Barbara is a city rife with outdoor activities and attractions. From whale watching to hiking to relaxing on the beach, there is no shortage of outdoor fun to be found in Santa Barbara.


Our coastal city is home to many of California’s most beautiful beaches. Catch some waves, soak up the sun, and relax in the sand during your stay in Santa Barbara. Visit our favorite local beaches: El Capitan State Beach, Butterfly Beach and Leadbetter Beach.

Whale Watching

Enjoy your whale watching experience aboard the Condor Express, one of the most advanced whale watching boats on the West Coast. Specially designed for stability and comfort, the Condor Express offers a scenic observation deck perfect for photography and cozy indoor seating along with a well stocked galley for drinks and snacks. Whale watching is one of the most fun things to do in Santa Barbara all year around. The Santa Barbara Channel is home to more than 30 species of whales, dolphins, seals, sea otters, sea birds and sea lions that visit throughout the year.


Take to the water and spend a sunny California afternoon sailing in the Pacific Ocean. Local vendors, like Santa Barbara Sailing Center and Sunset Kidd Sailing, offer visitors amazing opportunities to go on cruises, sailing, kayaking, whale watching, and more.

Learn more about our Seashore Cruise and Soother Package, which includes accommodations for two and a sunset cruise for two. 


Be swept away by Santa Barbara's coastal beauty on our hikes, trails and paths. There are many routes to choose from with varying levels of difficulty, all of which promise heady memories and rigorous exercise. Read more on the best hikes in Santa Barbara. 


Get a taste for the California wilderness during your visit. Explore the many County Parks within close distance to our Santa Barbara hotels. Guests will enjoy the range of parks available; a favorite among locals is the beautiful and mountainous Los Padres National Forest.

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