Top 10 Santa Barbara Activities

Marina Beach Motel has been a unique part of Santa Barbara since we first opened our doors in 1976. We love Santa Barbara, and we love being able to share the area and Santa Barbara activities with our guests. From first-time visitors to our regulars who come back with their families year after year, there’s something for everyone as far as Santa Barbara activities go. Over the past forty years, many customers have asked us for our suggestions, so here it is – our long-awaited, much overdue list of Top 10 Santa Barbara Activities.

#10 Shopping. Downtown Santa Barbara features several world-class shopping centers.

Ranging from local boutiques to major chains, you’re sure to find something to fill your prescription for retail therapy.

#9 Golfing. Golf is one of the most popular Santa Barbara activities. The area includes five driving ranges as well as six public golf courses. Here, you have plenty of opportunities to hone your craft (and maybe get better than Tiger).

santa barbara golf

#8 Hiking. Santa Barbara county offers day hikes for trekkers of all levels. With the beach to the west and mountains to the east, you won’t be able to find better views anywhere else.

#7 Festival going. Santa Barbara serves as a hub for a multitude of cultures, which means the city hosts many cultural festivals annually. From the Maddonari Italian Street Painting Festival in May to the French Festival in July, the spring and summer see lots of unique activities and visitors.

santa barbara, maddonari street painting festival

#6 Surfing. This area is known worldwide as one of the best for surfing. The surf culture of Southern California is still alive and well in Santa Barbara.

#5 Wining and dining. Santa Barbara County is home to literally dozens of vineyards and wineries. From tastings to tours to trails to the annual pinot noir festival, you could spend your entire vacation sampling local wine and never taste the same one twice.

pinot noir festival

#4 Beach bumming. Sometimes, the best vacation is one where you do nothing. Year round, Santa Barbara weather accommodates your desire to lie on the sand, read a book, and soak up some sun.

#3 History exploring. Santa Barbara and the rest of Southern California have a rich historical heritage stemming from Native American Indians and Franciscan Catholic monks. The Santa Barbara Mission is one of the longest-standing, still functioning structures in the western United States.

santa barbara mission, santa barbara history

#2 Paddling. What better way to experience the Pacific Ocean than from the seat of your own boat? Canoe and kayak rentals are a popular way to see the sights and get some fresh air and exercise.

#1 Biking. Marina Beach Motel offers guests free bike rentals as either an activity in itself or a method of transportation between the many Santa Barbara activities. With so much to see, you want to get around fast – but not so fast that you can’t take it all in. The Santa Barbara Visitor Center provides self-guided bike tours of the area and there are also trails ready for you to explore.