With so many outdoor sport options in Santa Barbara, it’s no wonder people here are active and healthy year-round. Sometimes, though, it can be best to get your daily exercise while enjoying the serenity of this beautiful city. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite long walks in SB—places you can go to experience nature, burn some calories and truly feel at peace:
Shoreline Park is an absolute local’s favorite in Santa Barbara for its great views and friendly atmosphere. The park includes a playground and picnic tables, so expect to find plenty of people and birthday parties. For walkers, though, it provides a great one-mile paved-path on which to get a little exercise and soak up the sun. The great thing about Shoreline is the walk is easily extendable to as long as you’d like. We recommend heading down towards Leadbetter Beach and reaching Stearns Wharf before turning back.
Parma Park is actually the city’s largest undeveloped plot of land, encompassing 200 acres. Tucked back in the foothills along Sycamore and Coyote creeks, the park is filled with Santa Barbara’s signature oak trees and stunning views. There are around 5 miles of trails here, giving you the option to explore the park extensively. For the best view, take the Ridge Trail to Rowe’s table, which leads to the highest peak of the park at 775 feet.
Skofield Park serves as Santa Barbara’s only reservable campsite and includes ½ mile of easily accessible walking path. Better yet, it is located right next to Rattlesnake Canyon Park, which offers gorgeous views of SB and Montecito. More extensive than Skofield, Rattlesnake Canyon is 5 mile trip to and from Gibraltar Road. We suggest a long walk followed by some good old-fashioned camping!
Douglas Family Preserve
The Douglas Family Preserve is a shorter walking trail, but offers some of the best ocean views in SB. The 70 acre property sits atop the cliff at Arroyo Burro Beach and includes a 1.5 mile long loop. After your walk, it’s easy to head down to the shore for a beach day, or stop by the Boathouse for a post-workout snack. Bonus: both the path and the beach are dog friendly!
Inspiration Point is exactly what the name would suggest: a relatively short but extremely gratifying trail leading to one of SB’s best lookout points. Mostly uphill on the way, you’ll find the path at Tunnel Trail and head through the mountains until you reach a truly inspiring panoramic view of the city and ocean. The walk can be adjusted to your comfort level: either take the routine 3-4 mile walk, or extend your day to include the Jesusita Trail!