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Fun Things to do in Santa Barbara: July 2020

Hot summer days and long evenings are the perfect time to take advantage of Santa Barbara’s best events and activities. Check out some of our favorite places and tips for enjoying the coast in July. We included as much helpful information as possible, including both free events and some with fees. If we missed something, feel free to add details in the comments section below. Hope you are enjoying your summer, exploring the beaches and having lots of family fun!

Stand Up Paddle Lessons – available most days in July. Enjoy a unique view of the American Riviera while enjoying an ocean sport quickly becoming a favorite among locals. Most tours see wildlife including sea lions, seals and sea stars.

Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens – Tours are scheduled on weekends at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and are included in admission. Join the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: Mariposa Lily on July 14th as you hike from Tunnel R. up to the famed Inspiration Point. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve ahead of time. Tours are currently restricted to Garden Members only.

channel island fox
Channel Islands Foxes Playing

Channel Islands National Park Kayaking Tours – available every day in July. Kayak and explore this remarkable ocean environment. Only 20 miles off the California Coast, the Channel Islands isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants and birds found nowhere else on Earth. Come explore the beauty and richness of California’s Channel Islands.

Learn To Surf – available most days in July. Experience the waves of the Pacific Ocean with our surf instructors who have over 25 years of experience. Find the best local breaks in the area while mastering the fundamentals of one of Santa Barbara’s favorite past times.

eat in santa barbara

Explore the Funk Zone or Presidio, Santa Barbara’s foodie neighborhoods, through your taste buds and camera lens with Eat This, Shoot That! Spend an afternoon savoring amazing food or sipping top-shelf wines while learning food and travel photo tips from a pro tour guide/local foodie.

Fun Paddle – available most days in July. $55 per person. Join us for a relaxing introduction to kayaking where we’ll take a 2 hour paddling adventure around Santa Barbara shoreline. This tour is the perfect half day activity, and a great introduction to the exciting sport of sea kayaking. Fun and affordable for the whole family!

LotusLand or wonderland?
Lotusland or Wonderland?

Lotusland — explore and immerse yourself in this 37 botanical wonderland, offering an artistic landscape display to visitors while preserving some of the most unusual plants the world. July and August usually align with lotuses in bloom, making it a truly special experience. Self-guided tours are available 10am and 1:30pm, Wed- Sat., by reservation only.

Downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market – Come down and buy local fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, small plants and specialty items. Street musicians, music and downtown shops and restaurants. Year round, rain or shine. Corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Streets on Sunday and on State Street (500-600 bocks) on Tuesday. Every Saturday and Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m/4:00pm – 7:30.

Please add events and activities that we may have missed in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Zabowski/Creative Commons


One Comment


July indeed seems like an ideal time of the year to visit Santa Barbara and enjoy the fun adventures. I won’t be able to explore it this year, but next year it will be my top summer destination. Thanks for the suggestion!


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