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Santa Barbara Activities


Santa Barbara Fitness & Pilates

While on a vacation in Santa Barbara, it might be hard to imagine people working or exercising here, as the beautiful beaches and weather make it seem like a land of complete and utter relaxation. But it is actually a bustling community with plenty of both. There is no shortage of places to get a good workout in, whether you want to hit the bag at a boxing gym, lift some weights, do some yoga, take part in some Santa Barbara Pilates. Here are some of the best places to get a practice your fitness in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Museums

European settlement in Santa Barbara dates all the way back to 1786. In a region so steeped with history, it’s no surprise that the city celebrates the works of mankind and nature with its many museums; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Historical Museum all offer ways to examine and appreciate the forces which shape and represent the world of today and that of the past. Santa Barbara museums are educational, stimulating, family-friendly, and a trip to one will a feeling of sophistication to your vacation. Read on to learn about these amazing museums in Santa Barbara!

Yoga in Santa Barbara

We all need a break from the hectic nature of our lives from time to time. Taking that break frequently can make all the difference in calming your mind and making life feel just a bit less hectic. Yoga has been one of the most loved and successful ways in doing just that for centuries. Today, there are so many forms of yoga that serve to exercise your body and calm your mind, and many of those forms are represented in countless yoga venues throughout Santa Barbara. While there are seemingly endless places to do some great yoga, these are some of the most popular Santa Barbara yoga places you will find in this amazing area. Trust us; when it comes to planning a Yoga Retreat, Santa Barbara style, we have you covered!

Family Activities

Santa Barbara Family Activities

Located on the coast of central California, Santa Barbara offers so much to so many: arts, culture, shopping, amazing dining establishments, wineries, and panoramic views of rugged coast lines framing the cool, clear waters of the Atlantic. But what many people don’t realize is it’s the perfect vacation destination for your next family vacation. There are tons of Santa Barbara family activities, including museums, zoos and aquariums where children of all ages can learn everything there is to know about sea life while getting the opportunity to touch and handle some of the exhibits. Santa Barbara is a city the whole family can enjoy! Our great staff at Paradise Retreats has compiled a list of things to do with family in Santa Barbara that are fun, educational, and are perfect for bringing families closer together on vacation!

Santa Barbara Zoos

The many hiking trails and campsites around Santa Barbara attract nature-lovers from across the country, and east of downtown you can find two places that cater to our local and visiting nature-lovers in a different way: The Santa Barbara Zoo and the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. If you’re looking for a zoo in Santa Barbara to visit, these are the two places you have to see!

Pet Friendly Santa Barbara Attractions

No family is complete without Sparky the dog. We at Paradise Retreat know how important pets are to people, and it’s our goal to make sure everyone is included on vacation. So grab your four legged furry friend and read on to find out the best pet friendly Santa Barbara activities.

Santa Barbara Weddings

When it comes time to tie the knot, you want your wedding to be as beautiful as possible, beauty like you can find in Santa Barbara. Not only is this a perfect location for the day itself, but it’s a great first stop for a honeymoon. Weddings in Santa Barbara are the topic, and this Paradise Retreats guide will help you with the planning. It’s your special day, so relax, and learn about how relaxing Santa Barbara weddings can be.

A Couple of Our Favorite Things to Do in Ventura, California

With a population of over 100,000, Ventura can’t really be considered a SMALL coastal town, but it still manages to impart the small-town charm that is so magnetic. With a vibe that can be considered laidback and surfer “chill,” the people who reside here are friendly, charismatic, and will be the first ones to tell you that a Ventura vacation is one worth taking! Located just 34 miles down the coast from Santa Barbara, this thriving community features an exciting array of events, to activities, and to attractions perfect for keeping an entire family busy and romantic enough to be a getaway for lovebirds young and old!

Some of Our Favorite Things to Do in Los Olivos, California

Some towns along the California coast just have that extra something that attracts people of all statures, including mega celebrities that have the opportunity and the means to live anywhere in the world. Los Olivos is one such town! The quaint downtown area is decorated with historic buildings that are charming, beautiful and have been repurposed to serve today’s needs. Acres of rolling hills surround the city, topped with neat rows of colorful grapes and backed by the majestic beauty of the Santa Ynez mountains. Even the suburban neighborhoods with middle class homes help to create a town so wonderful, even Michael Jackson couldn’t pass it by. Los Olivos is the former home of Neverland, the estate once loved by the king of pop himself.

A Few of Our Favorite Things to Do in Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Close your eyes and begin to picture your ideal vacation spot. Does it involve rolling green hills that spread out for miles, topped with wild green grasses blowing softly in the wind? Maybe your dream features neat rows of grapes of all colors and shapes, just waiting to be picked and made in to your favorite wine, or majestic mountains, mature trees, and sprawling ranch homes of all sizes and shapes.

The Best Things to Do in Summerland, California

Small, quaint, and oh so charming, when you spend your experience an unforgettable Summerland vacation, you may find yourself starting to consider what it would be like to live here full time. The magnetism of the people, the breathtaking beauty of the landscape that surrounds you, the unending lists of activities and adventures that helps rebuild the bonds of a family that has forgotten that its members are actually cool people—how can you not? We get it, and whether you are contemplating the big move or are content to keep Summerland as your once a year vacation destination, you will find plenty to do while you’re here!

A Few Great Things to Do in Montecito, California

Another coastal town famous for attracting celebrities is Montecito, located just outside of Los Angeles. Home to luxurious estates overlooking the oceans and mountains, Montecito has been attracting interesting people for years and is famous for being the town where celebrities live! Who knows, maybe you will catch sight of Oprah, Tom Cruise, or even Troy Aikman as you explore the historic streets of Montecito. It truly is a breathtaking place to visit!

The Best Things to Do in Santa Barbara’s Inland

Santa Barbara is a region with different climates. The coastal areas can be cold, rainy, and a bit temperamental, adding to the romantic ambience and incredible views. The sight of angry waves crashing against craggy boulders against a steel gray sky is hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly peaceful.

Experience the Beauty of the Weather in Santa Barbara, CA

Many of us live in places that are either too hot or too cold during certain points of the year. Winters in the Midwest and on the East Coast can be temperate with a bit of snow or trap you in a blizzard for a week straight; it all depends on the year. Also, the summers in the Southwest can be unbearably hot, sometimes reaching over 110 degrees. Due to some natural phenomenon in southern California, the weather in Santa Barbara stays nice and cool in the summer and stays pretty warm in the winter. If you are looking to escape the heat or the cold, look to Santa Barbara for those moderate conditions that you dream of!

Experience The Great Weather in Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Are you thinking about taking a vacation to the California Wine Country? Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez Valley are great choices for a vacation. The grapes and vines are plentiful, the people are great, and the weather is to die for. Year-round, the Santa Ynez Valley weather acts as an escape from the harshness around the country, making the it the perfect location for a vacation.

Experience Great Weather in Ventura, CA

When choosing a vacation destination, many people choose locations based on attractions, family, or even hobbies, but one thing that consistently gets overlooked until you arrive is weather. The weather of a location is crucial when looking to escape the routine of everyday life. If you live in the desert, you probably want to escape the heat; if you live in a state where snowmen are a constant feature, maybe visit somewhere warm. Where these two ideas meet lies Ventura, California. Ventura weather is temperate and has over 270 sunny days per year, making it a great vacation destination.

Things to Do in Santa Barbara When It Rains

While most of our year is gloriously sunny with the bluest of skies and the most perfect temperatures you can imagine, we still have days when the skies turn to steel, the sun hides, and the rains pour down from the heavens. It happens infrequently enough that you may spot Santa Barbara residents doing crazy stuff, like standing in the middle of their yards, laughing, and chatting excitedly with friends; we love the rain, we can’t help it!


Santa Barbara Hiking

Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature When you are on vacation in Santa Barbara. And whether it’s the wildflowers of our National Parks or the rolling waves of our beaches, Santa Barbara hiking has the prime spot for your excursion.

Local Tours

Santa Barbara Tours

Santa Barbara is a unique location, nestled between the sea to the south and westward-running mountains in the north. This combination of diverse geography and a fantastic climate make Santa Barbara a host to many kinds of activities. With so much to offer, visitors and locals are never at a loss for something to do! You’re sure to spend the day smiling and head home with great stories and memories. All you need to do is find the Santa Barbara tour that suits you!

Cal Coast Adventures

As the sister company of Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Cal Coast Adventures operates family-friendly guided tours of the Santa Barbara region by bike, kayak, and more. Additionally, CalCoast Adventures also offers lessons in surfing and stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP), as well as equipment rentals for visitors who want to go off and explore Santa Barbara on their own.

Captain Jack’s Tours

Traveling somewhere new is always an adventure, but what if you don’t know a lot about the area you’re visiting? You could do research on the popular activities, but there’s still the chance you may miss something that could change your entire getaway! For example, what if your journey to Santa Barbara took place without you ever experiencing a horseback riding and wine tasting tour? Sure, your vacation would continue just as it always had, but is that what you really want? Fortunately, it’s not something you will have to consider if you start your California vacation by reserving one of the special tours offered by Captain Jack’s Tours, located right here in beautiful Santa Barbara!

Day Trip Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a diverse area that’s popular with tourists, so there’s sure to be something that appeals to your interests! Just look below for your particular niche and plan your perfect Santa Barbara day trip!

Santa Barbara Helicopter Tours Aerial Tours

Santa Barbara is one of the most visited places in all of California and even throughout the country. There are many reasons for this, like the incredible beaches and rolling hills, the amazing weather, and the charming town itself. Seeing all of this one of a kind beauty from the air is one of the most incredible experiences that you can have. Good thing for you, there is ample opportunity to do just that with countless air charter tours of Santa Barbara. Here are some of the best Helicopter Tours and Air Tours you’ll find in this beautiful beach town.

Santa Barbara Limo Tours

You can really make a Santa Barbara vacation your own. It is a place that affords the opportunity for an elegant experience in the beautiful weather, or a laid back vacation that won’t break the bank. For those that are looking to pamper themselves a bit in this beautiful city, you should definitely look into the endless opportunities for tours and having your very own chauffeur (trust us, the limo service Santa Barbara has to offer cannot be missed!)

Outdoor Recreation

Horseback Riding Santa Barbara

The domestication of the horse paved the way for the rise of human civilizations, and ever since, our partnership with these wonderful creatures has been the subject of tales of partnership, heroism, loyalty, and love. Today our bond with horses has remained strong, and one of the older human pastimes — horseback riding — remains a favorite leisure activity. Read on to learn about horseback riding in Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara Scenic Drive Route

Santa Barbara has more scenic value than just about any other place that you can find, not only in the United States, but in the world. It’s blend of mountainous terrain, rolling hills, ample vegetation, and beautiful beaches make it a diverse place of unparalleled wonder. Given all this beauty, it is amazing how the people of the city found unique ways to take advantage of their beautiful spot on the Pacific Ocean. There is perhaps no greater testament to this appreciation of beauty than the Santa Barbara scenic drive.

Santa Barbara Beaches

The sandy wonderland of Santa Barbara is made up of many beaches, children of this great California city which deserve attention. Of course during your stay in one of our vacation homes, you already plan to visit beaches , so we aren’t telling you anything new; it’s a staple of every California visit. But perhaps we can help you find the best golden paradises, as there are many that exist! Follow this Paradise Retreats guide and you’ll know about the best beaches in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Biking

Besides being great exercise, biking in Santa Barbara is a fun way to get out and see the sights while soaking up its great weather. Plus, getting around on a bicycle offers more flexibility than a car does, freeing you to explore anywhere you want — not just where there’s a road and a parking lot. With all these benefits, it’s clear why so many people love biking Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Camping

Vacations are always great, but sometimes you need to get even further away from it all than usual — that’s what makes camping in Santa Barbara so popular. In particular, Santa Barbara camping offers plenty of incentives to leave it all behind, with welcoming weather 10 months out of the year and scenic wildlife and vistas ready to welcome you wherever you head. This makes Santa Barbara beach campingthe perfect place to pitch a tent or park an RV and enjoy nature and the company of your favorite people. If you want a break from civilization, and want to get away from your vacation rental for a day, camping can be a blast in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Golf

Your time in one of our vacation rental properties isn’t complete without a good game of golf. Luckily, Santa Barbara golf is growing, with many award winning courses. Amongst the beach and great food, take some time to golf in Santa Barbara. This short guide will help you to find the best areas to get your game started.

Planning Your Santa Barbara Sky Dive

For the daring and adventurous souls out there, the opportunity to jump from a plane—and live to see another day—is an irresistible one that most people find outrageous. It’s ok, we get you, and we understand that it takes a particular type of personality to really enjoy sky diving. If you’re that person, then this article is written just for you. Going for a sky dive near Santa Barbara is one experience that EVERYONE should try at least once in their life time!


Santa Barbara Shopping

Do you want to return home with something to show for your vacation? Are souvenirs your favorite way to bring back the memories of an amazing vacation? Do you enjoy fresh air and a little exercise? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you need to hit the streets for some shopping in Santa Barbara!

Water Sports

anta Barbara Sailing Center

Sailing in Santa Barbara is a pastime that anyone visitor can get into. There’s just something magical about skimming across the water’s surface, the sails snapping in the wind and the cool ocean mist dampening your hair and cheeks; once you try it, you will be hooked. Admit it, you’re intrigued already, aren’t you?

Sailing Santa Barbara Style

Sailing in Santa Barbara is a pastime that anyone visitor can get into. There’s just something magical about skimming across the water’s surface, the sails snapping in the wind and the cool ocean mist dampening your hair and cheeks; once you try it, you will be hooked. Admit it, you’re intrigued already, aren’t you?

Kayaking in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara hosts one of California’s best features: miles of gorgeous, breathtaking ocean shores. But the ocean isn’t just for looking at — for many, it’s the best way to cut loose and explore!

Santa Barbara Watersports

In every great beach location there’s an opportunity that can’t be passed up. That opportunity is water sports. Take a break from the tanning and get your adrenaline pumping with one of these exciting activities. Here at Paradise Retreats we know the best water sports activities, so get ready for your vacation to be kicked into high gear.

Snorkeling in Santa Barbara

Grab your flippers, wetsuit, and snorkel and get ready for some fun! Snorkeling in Santa Barbara is a great activity for everyone, singles, couple, and families alike. The marine life of the ocean is like an alternate world, filled with wonder. It’s a great way to see ocean life in a way that’s not possible from the open air.

Looking for something fun to do on your Santa Barbara vacation? Above all, Paradise Retreats has you covered! Most importantly, we can help you find what you’re looking for or even organize an awesome itinerary. We’ll find a fun beach for you to enjoy or even the best restaurants in town for you to try! Click below to see the best activities in Santa Barbara. In addition, you can contact us today to learn more about our amazing vacation rentals in the area. Trust us; you’re going to love it here in Santa Barbara!