A popular outdoors destination, Santa Barbara is well stocked with breathtaking hikes that both run along coastal cliffs, and climb to the tops of nearby mountains. For great views and workouts, check out these picks for our favorite hikes in Santa Barbara.
One of the highest peaks in Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Mountain Range, Montecito Peak is an excellent hike that leads to grand views of the Pacific, and the area’s coastal towns. The hike itself is a 7-mile trip on the Cold Springs Trail in Montecito, a short drive from Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara.
Gaviota Hot Springs
Natural hot springs are located near the main trail to Gaviota Peak, which offer a fun, mini lagoon-like escape for weary hikers. Maybe push yourself to see the peak and the view first, both of which are lovely, and then nourish the body with a dip on your way back down.
There are several hikes that lead to this favorite lookout in Santa Barbara. Hikes range from 8-4 miles roundtrip, and they all lead to a peak that offers panoramic views of the coastal region from 1,800 feet up. It’s breathtaking, and a must on all Santa Barbara hiking lists.
The Douglas Family Preserve
This 70-acre nature preserve in Santa Barbara offers a variety of coastal hikes that are popular amongst dog owners. Short trails include sea cliff lookouts, gorgeous varieties of trees, and access points to the neighboring Arroyo Burro Beach. Fun fact—the Douglas family is that of actor Michael Douglas.
The Coastal Vista Trail: Carpinteria Bluffs
Twelve miles south of Hotel Milo, this single-mile trail is one of the most gorgeous sea-cliff hikes in Santa Barbara. An easy walk, and a gorgeous view, it’s a great option for sunset strolls, and afternoon picnics. Hang out there long enough, and you should spot some harbor seals in the water.
There are so many amazing things to see and do in Santa Barbara. Check out our blog for more guides, from the best Santa Barbara beach walks to the California wines you should be drinking this summer.