family horse back riding

There are many things that help Santa Barbara maintain as a top-of-the-line destination for active families. Year-round sunny weather makes it easy to be outside, and the area’s dynamic geography leaves much to be explored. For those interested in some more specific examples, check out our list of great day trips for active families staying in Santa Barbara.

Horseback Riding

A day spent horseback riding is always invigorating. Santa Barbara is an especially wondrous area to explore by this timeless mode of transportation, especially when you’re climbing way up high in the Santa Ynez Mountains, or trodding softly along a gorgeous beach. Check out Santa Barbara Horseback Riding, and Circle Bar B Stables for outings.


Biking is a great idea for an active family looking to get out and explore Santa Barbara. Guests staying with us can take out one of our bikes from Hotel Milo, and explore a wide range of terrain and sights around town. For some examples of where you can cruise, check out our breakdown of The Best Places To Bike Around Milo.


Sailing is an active and exhilarating way to get out and about around Santa Barbara. You can book a sunset cruise with a guide, or rent your own little ships from various water sports companies around town. Your family can also enjoy additional marine excursions after checking out our guide to the Best Ways To View Santa Barbara From The Water.

Whale Watching

Another water-based excursion for the active family visiting Santa Barbara, whale watching is especially cool in Santa Barbara. In our guide to whale watching here, we discuss how there are over 27 different types of whales and dolphins that can be spotted off our coast. Some of these magnificent creatures include blue whales, humpback whales, and California grey whales.

Road Tripping

Santa Barbara is located near the Pacific Coast Highway, and within an hour or two drive both north and south, there are tons of excellent sites, outings, and attractions. If you’re an active family that also enjoys seeing new things, you’ll dig this list of 5 Quick Day Trips From Santa Barbara.

Discover more of Santa Barbara

Planning a visit to the American Riviera? Explore Santa Barbara like a local and discover insider recommendations on the Hotel Milo Santa Barbara blog!