Santa Barbara outdoor activities are a great way to explore a city that is the perfect blend of big-city excitement and relaxed beach living. It is this balance that makes it one of the best places for a family vacation. It is so treasured and beautiful an American vacation rentals and has such a wonderful beach life that is known as the American Riviera. Right next to the beach are some of the finest and most affordable hotels that you will find. One of the most popular and posh is the Belmond El Encanto, complete with a spa and a huge outdoor pool. For shopping pleasure, check out State Street, which has some of the best shopping in town.


Here you will find all of the popular retailers and countless specialty boutiques. One great place to find lots of different kinds of food offerings is a neighborhood between downtown and the waterfront known as The Funk. You will find different stuff here depending on which season you come. Another restaurant, which is probably a favorite with the kiddie crowd, is Lucky Penny. For some amazing seafood venture to the city’s harbor area where you will find top-notch seafood restaurants like Brophy’s Brothers, and On the Alley.

Rent a Bike

Don’t leave the waterfront area without checking out Steams Wharf, East Beach, and West Beach. Probably the most popular way to tour its expansive waterfront area is to rent a bike for the day.


The city has some great museums. Families will also want to visit the multiple Santa Barbara Museums which focus on art, natural history, historical, maritime, and contemporary art. They are packed with activities and interactive displays that will both entertain kids and adults and educate everyone. Also, check out Moxi, one of the newest kids museums in Santa Barbara. Fun for kids and parents alike!

Sea Center and Maritime Museum

Your family should also visit the Museum of Natural History Sea Center. This provides a hands-on education of marine life that kids love. The museum also has a 1,500-gallon tide pool tank and movies about marine life. And there is the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Whale Watching

During the day, tourists love going on whale watching tours with Candor Express. And, of course, the place is famous for its white sand beaches with its sunbathing, hours of playing in the water, and surfing. You will not regret to stay until sunset; this vacation rentals spot is famous for its breathtaking sunsets. Probably the best of them is viewed at Butterfly Beach.


On top of the many other fun Santa Barbara outdoor activities, this city is also known for it’s great fishing.