Nature & Outdoors

Santa Barbara is home to a spectacular variety of marine life, not to mention birds and other beautiful creatures. Whether you want to see butterflies at the butterfly preserve or go whale watching or birding, opportunities to enjoy wildlife abound.

Birding in Santa Barbara

Birding in Santa Barbara

Birding and Bird Watching in Santa Barbara and Goleta

Along the Santa Barbara waterfront area, gulls populate the landscape, and majestic pelicans dive for fish. You’ll also see herons and many other sorts of birds.

Goleta is the natural habitat of a rare endangered species known as the snowy plover. If you want to see plovers, as well as herons and other interesting birds, it would be worthwhile to check out the Coal Oil Point Reserve, Ellwood Beach and the surrounding areas.

Santa Barbara Beaches

Do you enjoy sunshine, ocean breezes, and the meditative swishing sounds made by the waves? Not to mention swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking? If so, Santa Barbara’s beaches hold plenty of appeal.

  • Go Kayaking: Whether you’re a total beginner or an experienced paddler, you’ll find ample kayaking opportunities in Santa Barbara. Check out our page on kayaking in Santa Barbara for the lowdown.
  • Surf Some Waves: Grab a surfboard and a picnic lunch, round up your best friends (or family,) and hit the beach for a surfing adventure.
  • Go for a Swim: If you don’t mind water that’s a little on the chilly side, ocean swimming is an excellent way to get out and enjoy nature.
  • Work on Your Tan: If all you want to do is relax, you can sunbathe to your heart’s content.

Santa Barbara Parks

Santa Barbara maintains some of the loveliest public parks in the world. Here are links to a couple of them that we’ve written about:

You’ll find bunches more of them if you visit Santa Barbara.