Visitors to Santa Barbara often first think of the incredible wharf along the coast or shopping and dining opportunities found throughout the city. Santa Barbara is also home to a variety of natural attractions that have helped establish the area as we now know it.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
In order to get a true understanding of the vast varieties of plant life in the area, one needs to visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on their list of attractions in Santa Barbara. This spacious preservation offers 78 acres of plant life diversity and stunning views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The garden helps conserve the infamous redwood trees that are gigantic in size. Wildflowers and live oaks make up the rest of the flora seen in the garden. Visitors can gaze upon these beautifully conserved plant life by taking a stroll on the 5.5 miles of walking trails. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is typically open 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday through Tuesday and can be found at 1212 Mission Canyon Rd.
Douglas Family Preserve
The Santa Barbara region is known for beautiful coastal views. Visitors can find these views along with a variety of preserved flora when visiting the Douglas Family Preserve. This particular preserve is especially known for being located right off the coast and even allows dogs off leash to help you explore. The preserve itself is located on top of 70 acres that features winding trails, some with elevation change and others being relatively flat. Preserved plant life includes vast oak trees and also eucalyptus trees too. If you are bringing a pet, please keep an eye out for them as small critters such as gophers, rabbits, and even hawks can be in the area. You can find the Douglas Family Preserve near the Arroyo Burro Beach and is open 24 hours a day.
In 1953, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation built the Bradbury Dam that allowed over 9,000 acres become what is now known as Lake Cachuma. This picturesque lake lies in between the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains. The lake offers the necessary resources to help local wildlife thrive and features an abundance of fish in the water. Many visitors often spend time here relaxing and enjoying the temperate sunshine. Lake Cachuma can be found just off Highway 154 outside of the Santa Barbara. Since you have made the short trek to Lake Cachuma, there is nothing stopping you from visiting the nearby Danish community of Solvang. This nearby city has a variety of Danish style architecture and historical exhibits; it makes for a unique visit each time you go.
Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
The geological formations around Santa Barbara have created some unique and mesmerizing cave formations nearby. One of these natural attractions is the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park. The name of the park comes from the historic Native American cave paintings found inside. These caves were used for shelter hundreds of years ago and continue to inspire the locals in the community. Getting to the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is a trek up a windy trail, so be prepared before you make the drive. The park is located off Highway 154, making it easy to get to for visitors staying in Santa Barbara.
Just outside of the Santa Barbara city limits is Seven Falls, a lush spring that features multiple falls and a relaxing hiking trail. The terrain surrounding the falls is rigorous, making it the perfect spot for rock climbers to test their abilities. Unfortunately, consistent droughts during the summer season can cause the creek to dry up. Make sure to make the trek to Seven Falls during the spring season to guarantee the flowing falls the Santa Barbara community loves to see.
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
Near the downtown neighborhood in Santa Barbara you can find the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. This natural attraction is another incredible preservation that holds a vast array of local flowers and trees. The gardens were established by the Santa Barbara community to honor Alice Keck Park and offer an oasis for the growing city. Small ponds create habitats for local wildlife such as ducks and turtles. Small bridges cover streams, allowing visitors to walk the gardens from start to finish. The Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is smaller than the other natural attractions on our list but still a worthy visit for any Santa Barbara adventurers.
Santa Barbara is Waiting
These are just a few of the many natural attractions waiting for you in the Santa Barbara area. Get started on your planning by reserving one of our exclusive vacation rentals in the area today. You will be just a short drive away from these incredible natural attractions.