Santa Barbara
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Santa Barbara Nature & Adventure

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

1. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

Experience the beauty of Santa Barbara on this coastal catamaran cruise. Sail along the coast and breathe in the salt air, with the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands surrounding you as the backdrop. Try to spot local marine and aerial life and relax in the sun with friends and family. Bask in the afternoon sun as you sail the Santa Barbara coastline on a catamaran. Climb aboard and set off, with the Santa Ynez Mountains calling in the distance. Over a dozen beaches and stunning villas line the ocean-carved coastline, making the best view of Santa Barbara, from the ocean. Enjoy a unique experience with family and friends, spotting California sea lions, otters, seals, dolphins, and many coastal birds. Lear, about local life and why this city is a popular place to visit year-round.

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

2. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Unwind with a relaxing early evening sunset cruise on the Santa Barbara Harbor. Admire the beauty of the scenery as you sail along the coast in a catamaran, then enjoy the romantic atmosphere as the sun sets over the water. Board the Double Dolphin catamaran at the meeting point and set off from Santa Barbara Harbor. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, otters, birds, and other coastal wildlife. Sit back and relax alongside friends or family, and put your feet up after a day of work or sightseeing. Marvel at the sunset views before returning to your original starting point.

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

3. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Meet your guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will continue through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach.  Keep a look out for wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and seagulls.  Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. Enjoy a relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of Santa Barbara from the water.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

4. Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Discover the beautiful landscapes of Santa Barbara on a relaxing sunset kayak tour. You will watch a basic paddling demonstration and hear the safety talk before setting out on the water. Spend 2-hours on the water exploring the Santa Barbara harbor and the shoreline. Watch the sun as it settles over the sea, creating a gorgeous backdrop of the city and the Santa Ynez Mountain range. Enjoy paddling along the coastline and soak in the stunning surrounding views of the sea. Immerse yourself into a dream-like nature experience for all sea kayaking skill levels, including beginners to advanced.

Santa Barbara: South Coast Mountain Bike Day Trip

5. Santa Barbara: South Coast Mountain Bike Day Trip

Discover the mountains of Santa Barbara on this cycling tour. Sip on cold water as you follow your guide thorugh stunning vistas of the mountains, city, and the ocean. Pick from a simple course for beginners or an intermediate course for avid cyclers. Have the option for a beginner mountain bike tour over mostly flat terrain with a few dips and climbs, or opt for a more challenging intermediate tour with single track turns, berms, and jumps. Meet before your scheduled start time to get set up on bikes. Have the suspension and seat heights adjusted to ensure you are comfortable on your bike. Load the bikes up into the vehicle and head to the trailhead. Experience some of the local mountain biking hot spots in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, and Santa Ynez. Let your guide take care of navigation as you ride through eucalyptus trees. Transfer back to the supplier's bike shop at the end of your tour.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

6. 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.

From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

7. From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

Enjoy a memorable day exploring California's famous wine culture and take off on a fun-filled, cultural tour of some of California's finest wineries, each with a character as rich and individual as the wines they produce. Leave your Santa Barbara-area hotel at 10:00 AM aboard a spacious custom shuttle. Throughout the day, stop at 4 different wineries to get an insider's look into wine-making and wine-tasting while sampling a full selection of wines at each of the various wineries. Pause during the day for a delicious picnic lunch in a scenic winery setting catered by one of Santa Barbara's top lunch restaurants. Santa Barbara Wine Country offers more than 120 wineries, and this tour supplier is one of the few companies that does not limit tours to a small portion of these. Instead, your day is flexible and takes into account your preferences in wine and scenery, as well as any special events or offerings at the wineries. In addition to the exciting tour, you will receive your own Value Passport that will enable you to get great discounts on a variety of top-quality wines that you may wish to purchase.

California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

8. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

This 3-day tour includes highlights of the Golden State, such as Santa Barbara, Solvang, the famous Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. Day 1: Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: Santa Clara – La Quinta Inn & Suites Day 2: Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. The tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn (In Winter: Monterey/Holiday Inn hotel) Day 3: Wednesday Today’s route goes through farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and the Half Dome before walking to the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America, the 730-meter-high Yosemite Falls. In the winter, depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.

Santa Barbara: City & Sand Electric Bike Tour

9. 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.

From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

10. From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

Day 1: Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - 17 Mile Drive/Carmel or Solvang/San Francisco Depart north from Los Angeles up the spectacular California coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Summer:Head north to the world-famous 17 mile drive (part of route #1), where you will get to see the spectacular California coast line up-close. After your visit, head to the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through the town before heading onto Silicon Valley for an overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport Winter:Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. Enjoy the Danish-style architecture while browse in the local shops and restaurants. After our lunch break, we head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach our hotel for overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport    Day 2: San Francisco - Bay Cruise - Golden Gate Bridge - Chinatown Today, understand why San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that will take in all the city’s famous landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown and Nob Hill. Your tour will end with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn.   Day 3: Modesto - Yosemite Summer Route: Head east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls and Half Dome to continue for a walk from the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach one of the highest waterfalls in North America (730 meters) Yosemite Falls. Winter Route: Start the day with a tour of Monterrey to include the wharf and Cannery Row. After your tour, depart to the south for a visit to the world-famous Hearst Castle. Built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th-century. In the evening, drive south towards Las Vegas. Overnight at the Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch. Day 4: Stevenson Ranch - Las Vegas Today’s route is east through the dessert and Death Valley to arrive at the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas. Stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow, which is filled with all the famous brand names like, Levi’s, Nike, Reebok, Timberland, Ralph Lauren and more. In the evening, take a tour of the strip to see some of the truly amazing hotels and fantasies that are built in the middle of the desert such as Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, Mirage, Paris, Venetian, Bellagio, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. Finish off the evening at one of the many shows or try your hand at one of the many casinos - who knows, maybe lady luck will be smiling on you tonight. Overnight: Linq Hotel. Day 5: Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell  Start the day traveling southeast through the desert and through the Navajo Indian Reservation before you come to the South Bank of one of the seven wonders of the world - the Grand Canyon. Tour along the south bank and learn how throughout the years the Colorado River carved its way down to the sea and created the wonderland for geologists. After lunch, continue along the canyon east stopping at some of the many Indian market places to browse the handmade arts and crafts. Overnight – Quality Inn View of Lake Powell.   Day 6: Antelope Canyon - Bryce Canyon After breakfast, depart for the Lower Antelope Canyon and visit the spectacular dunes created by the wind, water, and sand. Then head west to Bryce Canyon home to the most amazing natural sculptures of the world. This tour will take you to see amazing rock and sand sculptures honed to perfection over thousands of years of rain, wind, and sunshine. Experience the unique changing of the colors during the sunset from one of the vista points in the park (may change due to changing sunset times).  After the visit, head towards the town of Kanab. Overnight: Days Inn. On certain departures, the tour will continue to Cedar City for an overnight at the Comfort Inn, Cedar City.  Day 7: Zion Park - Las Vegas After breakfast, head into Zion Park. This park got its name from the Mormons that settled in the area. They gave it this name after claiming that visiting the park is like a religious experience, the majesty of the mountains and silence of the wilderness make you feel like you have been transported to another place. Tour the park and enjoy a short walking trail along the Virgin River that runs through the park, before leaving this amazing area for an early evening arrival in Las Vegas. Option for a late night return to Los Angeles.  

Frequently asked questions about Santa Barbara Nature & Adventure

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 29 reviews

This surf lesson really made our trip to Ventura special! It was a really fun lesson and our guide, Quincy, was excellent and patient with us beginner surfers. He first showed us how to pop up on the sand before going into the water and then once we were out there, he guided us through which waves to take and when to pop up. He was also really nice and good to talk to between waves. It was great that the wetsuit was included because the water was a little cold and that they had us use foam surfboards. It was pretty easy to stand up on the boards they provided. Overall, loved this experience and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun beach activity. 10/10!

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

Super organized, safe and fun!!! Beth was a great guide and we look forward to coming back for another kayaking tour!

Jacob was very helpful as a tour guide and the hotel was excellent

It was a really good tour with a little bit of everything