After going to school at UCSB for four years and subsequently moving downtown, I have discovered some great outdoor things to do in Santa Barbara. When I first started school as a freshman, I was completely absorbed by the UCSB and Isla Vista communities, rarely exploring all the amazing things that the city and surrounding area has to offer. As I matured at UCSB, I started to explore the area and realized what an amazing place it is. I want to share with you my top three favorite outdoor places in Santa Barbara (at least currently).
I know many of you who read this are local experts, but if you are new to town, these spots are a must see. To find more great local Santa Barbara activities visit my site at www.inLife.co. Other than that, I will be blogging here to highlight some great local spots each week (or maybe less frequently).
Top Three Outdoors Things to do in Santa Barbara:
1. Hike up to Inspiration Point - This is a standard "welcome to Santa Barbara" hike that almost all locals know of, but the view at the top is unreal. You'll have to see it for yourself, but towards the end of the trail, which starts on Tunnel Road, the overgrowth will open up to see a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and the ocean.
2. Check out the rose garden at the Santa Barbara Mission - This place is much cooler than it sounds. With sprawling lawns and dozens of varieties of roses, it is a great place for a picnic, to toss a frisbee around, or to just people watch on a sunny day. Even though it sounds like it would be a touristy site packed with people, the Mission in SB is mostly locals.
3. Walk along the seawall at the Santa Barbara harbor at sunrise - I know waking up early is tough, but Santa Barbara is one of the few places in the world where for part of the year the sun rises over the ocean and part of the year it rises over the mountains (both are beautiful) so seeing the sunrise is really worth sacrificing the extra hour of sleep. The seawall by the harbor is the perfect spot. The area is lined with sailing flags and the ocean is strangely calm at sunrise. The only noise is the ocassional seabird or a fishing boat going out for it's morning catch.
The natural beauty of Santa Barbara is unreal. I hope if you haven't heard of these places, you check them out. Also, I'm not claiming to be an authority on the best SB places. Feel free to add more in the comments.
Tags: Lifestyle, Outdoors, Hikes, Nature, santa barbara, ucsb