Santa Barbara Hotels
Santa Barbara Restaurants
Santa Barbara Real Estate
 Santa Barbara > Community > Education > International Student Guide > Activities


Santa Barbara is a best place to play outdoor activities. Check out some information and enjoy your staying in Santa Barbara!


Boat launching in the harbor: Harbormaster's Office (564-5531). Sailing lessons: UCSB (893-2181) or private instruction. 

Rentals: Cachuma Lake Boat Rentals (688-4040), Sailing Center of Santa Barbara (962-2826), or Zuma Charters (965-2267).



Orchid Bowl (967-0128): 5925 Calle Real in Goleta. Lanes sometimes closed for league play so call ahead for availability.



Freshwater: Lake Cachuma, Davy Brown Creek, Manzana River, and Santa Ynez River: stocked with trout when the temperature and water are ideal. Required permits: Lake Cachuma Marina, some liquor stores, or K-Mart. Sea Landing Inc. (963-3564): sportfishing boats, diving boats to Channel Islands, dinner cruises and twilight fishing cruises during the summer, as well as whale watching cruises and island excursions


There are several public courses in the area, both regulation nine-hole courses and full-size 18-hole courses. 

Check the yellow pages for listings and information about lessons or equipment.

Hang Gliding

Santa Barbara is a popular place for hang gliders with its mountains, cliffs, and beautiful views. 

For information on lessons and equipment rental, check the yellow pages.


The hills in the Santa Barbara area are filled with many great hiking trails. Trail books and maps are available in local bookstores and sport shops.

For more information, check Santa Barbara

Horseback Riding

Check the yellow pages for stables for rentals, boarding, and lessons. One popular stable is Circle Bar B Guest Ranch: Rides cost $30/person for 1.5 hours, $50/person for 2.5 hours or $65/person for a half day (approximately 4 hours and includes a light lunch); call in advance for reservations; 1800 Refugio Rd (North of UCSB on Highway 101); 968-3901.

Jet Skiing

Jet skiers are often seen at Goleta Beach since there is a convenient ramp for lightweight equipment. Check with local authorities concerning current jet ski rules and regulations. Consult the yellow pages for rentals.

Mountain Biking

The hills in the Santa Barbara area are filled with many great biking trails of varying difficulty. Detailed trail books and maps are available in local bookstores and bike shops.

Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department

The Parks and Recreation Department provides programming and facilities for children, teens, adults, seniors, and physically and developmentally challenged individuals in a variety of areas such as aquatics, cultural arts, sports, and social activities. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to assist with programs such as youth sports programs and beautifying city parks. In addition to community service programs, the Parks and Recreation Department also offers a full range of sports including golf, tennis, dance, swimming, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. 620 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara; For more information call: 564-5418.

Santa Barbara YMCA

The Santa Barbara YMCA offers: aerobic and fitness classes; an Aerobic Training Center loaded with Stairmasters, Lifecycles and more; a full Cybex and free-weight gym; an indoor pool; 7 racquetball courts; 2 tennis courts; and a full-size gym. The YMCA also offers after school programs and runs a licensed preschool. Stop by for a complimentary tour. Hours: Mon-Fri, 6am-9:30pm; Sat, 6:30am-7pm; Sun, 11am-6pm. 36 Hitchcock Way; 687-7727.

Scuba Diving

People come from all over the world to dive around the Channel Islands. There is also a good beach diving at Refugio State Beach and at Tajiguas, north of Refugio on Highway 101. Mohawk Reef, near Isla Vista, is accessible by small boat (or by foot for the diehard -- it's quite a haul with heavy equipment). Check the yellow pages for rentals, instruction, and boat dives.


Roller skating: Skating Plus, Ventura, 1720 Mesa Verde Ave.; 656-2121. Ice skating: Easy Street Arena, 131 West Easy Street, Simi Valley; 520-7465.


Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of surfing locations. Point breaks include Campus Point and Devereux; beach breaks can be found at Sands Beach and all along Del Playa. A short drive north on Highway 101 will lead you to many fine surfing beaches including Refugio Point. A few miles south toward Santa Barbara is Arroyo Burro Beach (at the foot of Las Positas Road) and for the hard-core surfer, the classic Rincon Point lies at the S.B./Ventura county line off of Highway 101 (Bates Road exit).

Whale Watching

In Santa Barbara, you can go to a whale watching tour. It cab be a really exciting experience. Captain Don's Whale watching and cruises;The largest boat in the harbor with room for 149 passengers and 45 foot sun deck for great viewing.  Three trips daily at 9am, 12noon and 3pm. All trips are narrated by a professional naturalist and are 2 1/2 hours long. Cost: $27 adults, $17 children 12 years and under. Captain Don's is located on Stearn's Wharf under the large blue flag across from Moby Dick Restaurant. (805) 969-5217, Condor;  2 1/2 hour trips run at 9am, noon and 3pm daily. Located at the Sea Landing, 301 W. Cabrillo Blvd. Adults: $27, children 12 and under $16. Call (888) 779-4253 for reservations.(805) 882-0088 or (888) 77-WHALE, Double Dolphin Cruises; Rates: Adults $27.00 Children 12 and under $17.00 Group Rates & Private Charters Available.  The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is located behind Los Banos in the harbor.  Trips leaving at 9 am, 12 noon and 3pm.  For reservations call The Santa Barbara Sailing Center at (800) 350-9090 or (805) 962-2826


A beginner's best bet is the harbor between Stearn's Wharf and Sea Landing. Leadbetter Beach is usually the best area for Santa Barbara's prevailing wind conditions but East Beach, Arroyo Burro Beach, and Isla Vista are occasionally good. Surf sailing is done at the foot of California Street near the Fairgrounds in Ventura. Check the yellow pages for lessons and equipment rentals.

Rodolfo Galvao from Brazil
video interview