Santa Barbara is a great sightseeing destination. We wanted to share some of our favorite outdoorsy and nature-oriented picks. You don’t have to be a botanist to enjoy these spots. Beyond Stearns Wharf and Cabrillo, there are plenty of scenic parks and gardens in Santa Barbara for the average tourist.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The S.B.B.G. is a “living museum” of sorts. The institution doesn’t simply host tours and guests, either, as their collections and exhibits support scientific research, conservation, display, and education. Get a taste for native California plants. Learn about their roots (literally) and the interdependent history that Californians have with the environment. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden offers classes for kids, adults, and school groups, and these often include gardening basics and morning “bird walks.” The herbarium and nursery are open year-round.
Chase Palm Park Center on Cabrillo
Hop on a beach cruiser and you’re already halfway there. Located just a few blocks away on Garden Street, this beachfront park is the perfect area for Frisbee or letting your dog get some exercise. While it mainly serves the city as an events venue (there’s a very cute villa on-site), some good timing will give you run of the place.
Mission Rose Garden
Another popular spot for weddings and gatherings, you can’t miss it. With more than 1,500 varieties of roses, this garden is situated across from the historic Mission of Santa Barbara. Avid gardeners and flower enthusiasts will enjoy the visit. Pack a picnic lunch for the family or just stroll on through. You hardly need a reason.