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Santa Barbara, California Beach trips

Our most recommended Santa Barbara, California Beach trips

Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

1. Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

Discover the best bike routes, historical landmarks, and viewpoints of Santa Barbara on an electric bike with an expert guide. Choose between a customizable private tour or a shared group tour where a route is decided by your guide. Start with an easy stroll along the scenic Cabrillo bike path and quickly venture into the artsy area of Santa Barbara. Check out the delicious wine and dine culture of this area. Let your tour guide show you the must-see historic buildings in the heart of downtown. As you bike through downtown, enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down the energetic State Street Promenade allocated for bike and pedestrian traffic only. After downtown, your guide might have a few secret gems that he or she will show you before heading back along the waterfront. The finale of this tour will take you through the bike path that winds through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the boardwalk back to the bike shop.

Santa Barbara: Self-Guided Walk with App-Based Audio Guide

2. Santa Barbara: Self-Guided Walk with App-Based Audio Guide

Take an idyllic walk through Santa Barbara with a GPS-based app as an audio guide. Walk the route at your own pace, and stop by sights including El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, West Beach, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Start on the corner of Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden and Alameda Park, where you’ll learn about Santa Barbara’s earliest roots, including the Chumash Natives who lived there more than 9,000 years ago. Discover one of the city’s most important historical sites, the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, before walking the city’s Urban Wine Trail. Soak in the fresh air along West Beach, and learn how the Funk Zone got its name. Stop by spots significant during prohibition, and take in some of Downtown’s most iconic landmarks including Hotel Californian, Lobero Theatre, Hotel Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Gaze at one of the city’s oldest structures, the Covarrubias Adobe. As you wind your way across State Street to Stearns Wharf where the walk ends, hear about the disastrous 1925 earthquake that destroyed the area, and the preservation efforts in place in the Downtown district.

Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

3. Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

Learn to surf at Mondos Beach with a private 1.5-hour beginner's surf lesson. Take advantage of the more gentle waves and generous space at Mondos Beach as you pick up the techniques and etiquette of surfing. Meet your instructor at the surf van located on Mondos Beach and get suited up in a wetsuit. Grab a longboard and walk to the sand for beach instructions. You'll be briefed on water and surf safety, etiquette, and proper technique before jumping into the ocean to catch some waves. Follow your instructor as they coach and push you into waves to give you an experience that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the gentle long breaking waves of Mondo Beach lending itself to longer rides for you. Your lesson is private so you or your group can have their own instructor and a more personalized experience.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

4. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

Santa Barbara: City & Sand Electric Bike Tour

5. Santa Barbara: City & Sand Electric Bike Tour

Start with an easy ride along the scenic Cabrillo Bike Path, then explore the artsy funk zone of Santa Barbara. After learning a little bit about the wining and dining options of the funk zone, see some of the historic buildings in the heart of downtown. Enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down lively State Street Promenade, which is reserved for bike and pedestrian traffic only. Get insider info and hear of some hidden gems from your expert guide, before heading to the beach. Ride onto the sand at Santa Barbara's Harbor and pass alongside the waves and palm trees as you glide from the beach to beach along the waterfront. Discover Butterfly Beach, Secret Beach, and Miramar Beach in the ritzy town of Montecito. End the tour with a final stop outside at the 5-star Rosewood Miramar Hotel, with a stunning view of the beaches directly on the sand.

Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

6. Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

Join us on an exploration of the Gaviota Coast, home to more than 1,500 species of plant and animal life. This is our most popular coastal trip and offers a perfect day of kayaking, swimming and fun in nature. We will meet at Haskell’s Beach, a secluded icon in the Santa Barbara beach scene. Your guide will outfit the members of your group and offer a thorough kayaking lesson onshore. Once on the water, we will tour a total of 3 miles, stopping in pristine kelp beds to learn about marine ecology and the Santa Barbara Channel (and hopefully kayak with dolphins and sea lions!). If you want to pack a sack lunch, we can stop mid-way through for a beach picnic for an hour or so or you’re welcome to picnic at the conclusion of your tour. As the trip progresses, your guide may offer a fun series of kayak challenges and games. This unforgettable trip will provide great opportunities to swim, play or just float. It’s perfect for all ages of adventure seekers!

Santa Barbara: Stand-up Paddle Board Rental

7. Santa Barbara: Stand-up Paddle Board Rental

Make your way to the beach rental stand located at West Beach located between Stearn's Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor. Upon arrival, get equipped with all the gear required, as well as a safety briefing before you set off. With plenty of advice from the team on where to go and what to see, start discovering the beautiful coastline at your leisure. See various points of interest within the harbor and the areas around Stearn's Wharf. Search for marine life, with sightings of sea lions, seals, and dolphins common in the area.

Frequently asked questions about Santa Barbara, California

What top attractions are a must-see in Santa Barbara, California?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara, California?

The best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara, California are:

Solvang

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara, California

Want to discover all there is to do in Santa Barbara, California? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santa Barbara, California

Very accommodating business. We had a strict timeline and they went above and beyond to get us out 1 hour earlier than out scheduled appointment. The employees that we encountered were super friendly, especially Andre who visited with us until our guide Dale arrived. Dale was fantastic! He knows the city well and was full of information. He made sure that we were always safe while cycling and kept us informed of anticipated turns well in advance. He took us to Montecito at one end, to the centre of town and then to the Mission on the other side. A highlight in town was the Court House where the bell tower recently reopened and the view from there was amazing. Best day of our holiday thanks to Dale of Cal Coast Adventures.

What an amazing tour! We thoroughly enjoyed our 2.5 hrs with Sergio, our tour guide. The route was fun and interesting; we also felt very safe on the roads/cycle paths. The tour gave us a great overview of the city plus we got fabulous restaurant/cafe recommendations.

We found the tour very good. Tray, our guide, was great!! :) Unfortunately, the time went very quickly. Were only on the road with three other boats, a total of 5 participants, great :) Sea lions, saw great boats, it's worth it!! :)

Davis did his city proud, showing us the sights, best places the ea at, explaining the history and even his bad jokes were good! Comfy bikes and good value for money.

Sophia was very nice and explained everything to us well. We really managed to ride several waves. Beach a bit crowded in the afternoon.