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Santa Barbara’s Best Parks

Throughout the year guests from around the world travel to Santa Barbara to enjoy the temperate climate and explore the area’s many parks, some offering a reeling grass knoll to view the ocean and others with scenic hiking trails of the front country. Santa Barbara offers many beautiful parks at which to relax and enjoy the amazing weather.  A few of our favorite parks are listed below:


Refugio State Beach
Refugio State beach hosts a long stretch of undeveloped coastline, where various types of wildlife can be spotted daily. This beautiful beach also has palm trees planted along the creek and campground area for shade. This is a great location for kayaking, provided by Santa Barbara Adventure Company!

activities in santa barbara parks


Alice Keck Park and Kids World
If you are downtown and need a great spot to relax for lunch, let the kids roam or take an afternoon nap – this is the place. The gardens include a pond filled with turtle and koi, as well as a gazebo and many walkways and paths. All the plants in the garden are chosen specifically to be able to thrive in Santa Barbara’s climate. Just across the Street you will find Kids World, an amazing play structure with swings, climbing and much more.

Chase Palm Park
This park runs from East Beach to Stearns Wharf.  On the harbor side there is a long bike and rollerblading trail, a skateboard park, a recreation house and access to the beach. There is grass for soccer and other activities. On the other side of the street there is a pond, music pavilion, merry-go-round, playground and many paths.

Shoreline Park
Shoreline Park is one of Santa Barbara’s most popular parks and includes a playground, a whale watching area, as well as a  Japanese garden. It also has a clear view of the Channel Islands on a virtually cloudless day. Walking from the Harbor to Shoreline Park is about 5.8 miles round trip. Santa Barbara Adventure Company offers a Coast Biking Trip that explores this area and often stops at Shoreline Park.

channel islands park

Channel Islands National Park
Are you ready to relax, snorkel and kayak at a home away from home? Channel Islands National Park is the perfect place. Kayaking through the various caves, you may see seals, sea lions, bright colored fish, sea stars, different species of bird and other wildlife. The translucent water paired with the giant kelp beds is very picturesque. Channel Islands National Park also has great campsites available for those who wish to savor its grandiose beauty for more than a day.

These are a few of our favorite parks. If you have a favorite, please share it with us in the comment section below.

Updated 9/2016

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