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The beautiful rolling Santa Ynez mountains hug the Eastern side of the city of Santa Barbara and have a lot to offer, from awesome day hikes, to amazing views. A favorite local attraction off of Highway 154 is a favorite rocky mountain outcrop.

Lizard’s Mouth

For a rad, self-led outdoor day, begin by follow the directions, here, to get to the parking spot to start your short and easy hike. Lizard’s Mouth is simple stroll from the car to an open rocky mountain side with astounding views that stretch from the beginning of Ventura to the the far edges of Goleta.

How to Have Fun

Visitors scramble their way into the lower cave or trek to the top of the rock slope that provides the overhang resembling a lizard’s face (hence the name). This destination is also popular for overnight campouts, \afternoon picnics and innocent sunset gazing.

For those who are up for some extra excitement, the area is filled with boulder fields that are often occupied by local climbers and there’s no reason you can’t join the fun. Many musicians, yogis and artists also come here to practice and play, so whether you’re kicking back to a melody or using the mountain as a playground, you’ll be sure to have some company.

Wrap it Up with a Nice Meal

After you’ve spent an afternoon running around and exploring here, follow the directions, here, to take a quick six mile drive further up the 154 and stop in at Cold Springs Tavern for some world-famous tri-tip. This old tavern was established in 1865 as a stagecoach stop and now is a popular local restaurant that serves breakfast-dinner with dishes ranging from steak to kangaroo.

image via flickr