Where to Watch the Sunrise in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is known for some stunning sunrises and sunsets. While you’re here, you should take advantage of the opportunity to see them! These are some of the best places to watch the sunrise in Santa Barbara during your next visit.


Get up before the sun does to take a hike and enjoy a beautiful sunrise. These are some of our favorite hiking trails: 

Romero Canyon

Romero Canyon is a 6-mile loop trail with a moderate rating. Here, you can hike, walk, run, and even take your leashed dog for an outing. And you’ll be able to enjoy great views while you’re there.

More Mesa

More Mesa is a shorter trail, only 2.8 miles, and is also accessible to on-leash dogs. This trail is near Goleta and offers incredible views from the cliffs, including ocean views. Plus, you’ll also be able to see beautiful mountain backdrops during your hike. 

Ellwood Mesa

This is a trail system with over 10 miles in different trails linking throughout Goleta. Here, you’ll discover beautiful nature and great views. Beach access trails bring you close to the water, where you can get up close with the sandy shore. 


If you’re going on an early morning bike ride, there are a lot of great places to see a sunrise in Santa Barbara. Some of our favorite options are: 

Gibraltar Road

This trek is not for the faint of heart. This difficult climb starts at Tucker Grove Park and is about 6.5 miles to the top. However, if you’re a biker, this will reward you with incredible views, including the sunrise! 

Old San Marcos Pass

At Old San Marcos Pass, you’ll need to be a serious cyclist to make this climb. Again, though, the views are worth it. With difficult, steep switchbacks, you’ll certainly earn the right to relax for the rest of the day after this!

Goleta Obern Trail

This trail is flatter than the other two and is a 21-mile loop with plenty of beach views. And after you finish, you’ll be able to enjoy the views from the pier—including sunrise views! 

Cabrillo Bike Path

Take the Cabrillo Bike Path from Leadbetter Beach to Butterfly Beach and enjoy a leisurely ride. This 4.5 mile path is paved and flat, so it’s great for riders of all skill levels. Relax and pedal along as you take in the incredible views of the ocean.

And after you watch the sunrise in Santa Barbara

You can enjoy a full day of fun at all the local attractions. Visit Stearns Wharf for a day of shopping and eating, stroll around town to enjoy the local boutiques and incredible restaurants, or visit one of the many remarkable beaches. And when you stay at Marina Beach Motel, you’ll be only half a block from the beach! Plus, while you’re here, you can end your day by watching an incredible sunset—see some of our best spots here

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