Our most recommended things to do in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara: Channel Islands Day Trip with Kayaking Tour

1. Santa Barbara: Channel Islands Day Trip with Kayaking Tour

Visit Channel Islands National Park for the day and stop at Painted Cave, one of the largest sea caves in the world, only accessible by boat! Our very special day-trip offers the ultimate experience, with sight-seeing, kayaking, cave explorations, snorkeling, swimming, snippets of fascinating history and Channel Island facts and great food. We are often accompanied by marine mammals, including whales, dolphins and orca. The boat is incredibly well fitted-out, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, sundeck viewing, plenty of facilities, hot showers, and a large swim deck close to the water. We visit a part of the Channel Islands that is remote and mostly steep cliffs and beautiful coves. There aren’t any landing piers or docks, so we don’t bring you on land. This is the only way to experience the deepest sea cave on earth!

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

2. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Unwind with a relaxing early evening sunset cruise on the Santa Barbara Harbor. Admire the beauty of the scenery as you sail along the coast in a catamaran, then enjoy the romantic atmosphere as the sun sets over the water. Board the Double Dolphin catamaran at the meeting point and set off from Santa Barbara Harbor. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, otters, birds, and other coastal wildlife. Sit back and relax alongside friends or family, and put your feet up after a day of work or sightseeing. Marvel at the sunset views before returning to your original starting point.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

3. Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Discover the beautiful landscapes of Santa Barbara on a relaxing sunset kayak tour. You will watch a basic paddling demonstration and hear the safety talk before setting out on the water. Spend 2-hours on the water exploring the Santa Barbara harbor and the shoreline. Watch the sun as it settles over the sea, creating a gorgeous backdrop of the city and the Santa Ynez Mountain range. Enjoy paddling along the coastline and soak in the stunning surrounding views of the sea. Immerse yourself into a dream-like nature experience for all sea kayaking skill levels, including beginners to advanced.

Santa Barbara: Guided Sea Lion Kayaking Tour

4. Santa Barbara: Guided Sea Lion Kayaking Tour

Explore the Santa Barbara harbor on this guided kayaking bay. Follow your guide out to look for California Sea Lions who like to visit the green navigation buoys at the entrance of the harbor. Discover iconic Santa Barbara sights like Stearns Wharf along the way.  Meet your guide and get set up with a high-quality paddle, kayak, and life jacket. Set off into the harbor on this family-friendly adventure. Expereince the joy of spotting local wildlife like playful California Sea Lions, sea gulls, and sliver fish.  Keep your things stored in the included lockers and feel free to make use of the onsite changing rooms. After your tour is over, you can stay in the harbor complex area and get some quick food, or sit down for a fish dinner at the famous Brophy Brothers.

Oxnard: Anacapa Island Sea Cave Kayaking Day Tour

5. Oxnard: Anacapa Island Sea Cave Kayaking Day Tour

Kayak Sea Caves on the longest downwind kayak tour in California. Wildlife for the whole family – a SEAfari 🙂 Non-landing Anacapa Island Cruise. Whales and dolphins on the channel crossing. Get close to the Anacapa Arch and see the historic lighthouse. Great chance to see California Sea lions hauled out and sunbathing. View a wide variety of seabirds on one of the largest nesting colonies on the planet for pelicans and gulls. Anacapa has more sea caves per mile than any other island we can find… and we’ve looked everywhere! What’s a “Sea Cave River”? Around every bend and turn there is another cove or cave that we explore. With a little current at our backs, it’s just like paddling down the “Sea Cave River”. Kayak through the iconic Anacapa Arch, symbol of Channel Islands National Park. This 50′ tall arch is incredible and surrounded by beautiful kelp forests and sea lions. Experience one of the largest brown pelican breeding colonies in the world. During the summer the pelicans are busy feeding their young and teaching them to fly. It’s an incredible experience that doesn’t usually make the headlines, but it’s worth it! Short channel crossing to the islands, only 75 minutes to and 60 minutes from the island. We regularly see whales and dolphins on our your journey to and from the island. Check-In: 7:45am Departure: 8:00am Caves and Coves Kayak Expedition starts: 10:00 am SUNFISH departs Anacapa Island: 2:30 pm Whale Watching on return to Oxnard: By 4:00pm

Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

6. Santa Barbara: Catamaran Coastal Cruise

Experience the beauty of Santa Barbara on this coastal catamaran cruise. Sail along the coast and breathe in the salt air, with the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Channel Islands surrounding you as the backdrop. Try to spot local marine and aerial life and relax in the sun with friends and family. Bask in the afternoon sun as you sail the Santa Barbara coastline on a catamaran. Climb aboard and set off, with the Santa Ynez Mountains calling in the distance. Over a dozen beaches and stunning villas line the ocean-carved coastline, making the best view of Santa Barbara, from the ocean. Enjoy a unique experience with family and friends, spotting California sea lions, otters, seals, dolphins, and many coastal birds. Lear, about local life and why this city is a popular place to visit year-round.

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

7. Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

This is a simple introduction for a first-time surfer or someone who has tried surfing a few times and needs some pointers. The instruction starts with beach lesson reviewing: how to position yourself on the board, paddling techniques, and proper stance. Once in the water students will get pointers on maneuvering waves, balance techniques, and surf etiquette. Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s surf lessons offer students a great foundation for this exciting sport. Our knowledgeable instructors have over 25 years of combined experience and will use their skills to point out the finer points of catching waves. Instructors choose surf sites based on the current swell and tide conditions, finding the best breaks for successful learning. Lessons require a minimum of four students.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

8. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

Your group will be picked up by an air-conditioned van in the morning. Travel then to the first winery in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Once there, begin wine tastings and sometimes are offered barrel room tours. On the weekdays, lunch will be served in the shade at a favorite winery or park. Your guide will pick up a delicious lunch sourced from local, fresh ingredients. Cold beverages will be provided. Visit 3 local favorite wineries in the area. Each has its unique vintages and award-winning selections. The winery staff will offer insight into specific blends and selections to our guests.

Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

9. Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

Discover the best bike routes, historical landmarks, and viewpoints of Santa Barbara on an electric bike with an expert guide. Choose between a customizable private tour or a shared group tour where a route is decided by your guide. Start with an easy stroll along the scenic Cabrillo bike path and quickly venture into the artsy area of Santa Barbara. Check out the delicious wine and dine culture of this area. Let your tour guide show you the must-see historic buildings in the heart of downtown. As you bike through downtown, enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down the energetic State Street Promenade allocated for bike and pedestrian traffic only. After downtown, your guide might have a few secret gems that he or she will show you before heading back along the waterfront. The finale of this tour will take you through the bike path that winds through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the boardwalk back to the bike shop.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour with Lunch

10. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour with Lunch

Explore Small-Production and Family-Owned Wine Tours in Santa Barbara! Enjoy a fun-filled day on our Santa Barbara Wine Country Tour. Join the group as we explore wines from boutique, family-owned wineries. We work with 25+ wineries, so the route varies from day to day. The tour is designed to showcase the the quality and diversity of fine wines in Santa Barbara. We give you the full wine tasting experience by visiting a mixture of vineyards and small production wine tasting rooms. Door-to-door transportation is available from Montecito, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Los Olivos and Buellton. Pick-ups begin in the Santa Barbara area at 10:00 a.m. and then on to the Santa Ynez area at 11:00 a.m. Tours typically last about six hours. Lunch is served at the third stop. (Vegetarian, vegan and meat centric options are available)

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 139 reviews

Very accommodating business. We had a strict timeline and they went above and beyond to get us out 1 hour earlier than out scheduled appointment. The employees that we encountered were super friendly, especially Andre who visited with us until our guide Dale arrived. Dale was fantastic! He knows the city well and was full of information. He made sure that we were always safe while cycling and kept us informed of anticipated turns well in advance. He took us to Montecito at one end, to the centre of town and then to the Mission on the other side. A highlight in town was the Court House where the bell tower recently reopened and the view from there was amazing. Best day of our holiday thanks to Dale of Cal Coast Adventures.

For those, like us, who want to be amazed in a short time, this tour is ideal. I shared these moments with my 10-year-old daughter…unforgettable… The roads are long, of course, but the discovery of all these mythical places steeped in history offers us magical moments. The bus is air-conditioned, comfortable. The guides are friendly.. a small flat on the breakfasts of certain hotels which do not offer much choice.

The tour was great. Our driver Sunny was very nice. She kept everything running smoothly and was informative. My friends and I were celebrating a work anniversary and it was a perfect day. Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants a relaxing day of wine tasting in Santa Barbara.

The GPS functionality worked very well and the tour was quite interesting. I wish the additional points of interest feature worked without Wi-Fi or service and was more imbedded into the tour. Definitely worth the money!

Fantastic Sunset Cruise. The Catamaran was beautiful, and the staff was excellent. We all enjoyed the music as well!