Set sail along the coastline of the American Riviera and relax as the beauty of Mother Nature makes all your stress fade away. Sip wine on the sea and get up close with marine life. From whale watching trips to romantic sunset cruises, a journey to the Channel Islands, and even the famous Santa Barbara Harbor taxi, Lil’ Toot, there’s a sailing adventure for everyone.

Memories on water

Take a short trip around the harbor or cruise into deeper waters. See Santa Barbara’s coast from a different perspective and get out onto the open sea. Feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face through one of these many Santa Barbara sailing options. Whether you’re looking for a trip for the whole family or plan to steal away a couple of hours with your sweetheart, check out four sailing trips in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Sailing Center – The Double Dolphin

Santa Barbara Sailing Center is well-known for its wide variety of cruises and its famous vessel, the Double Dolphin, a 50-foot sailing Catamaran. Come aboard and sail along-side sea lions, dolphins and whales. Choose from whale watching cruises, sunset cruises, wine sipping cruises or even learn to sail yourself; some courses also offer overnight stays on the Channel Islands. If you have a special event coming up, you can also charter a private boat.

Condor Express

This 75-foot catamaran can carry 127 passengers for a whale watching experience deep into the Santa Barbara Channel.  Aside from whale watching, they also offer sunset cruises, dinner cruise charters, wedding charters and specialty cruises.

The whale watching cruise has been in action since 1979 and captains are said to be real pros at whale spotting and know all of the secret spots to get guests up and close with marine life. But don’t worry, the Condor Express is an eco-friendly vessel with water jet propulsion “specially designed for allowing ocean mammals to visit the boat up close without endangering them with a spinning propeller.” Whales and other marine life can approach the boat without fear of being injured or hurt.

Lil’ Toot Water Taxi

Perhaps no harbor cruise is as beloved as the Lil’ Toot waterfront taxi. This 15-minute narrated boat ride is a fun mini-trip and convenient way to get from SB Harbor to Stearns Wharf and back. This boat seats just 19 passengers. Purchase tickets at the entrance or online. If you want, you can even charter a Lil’ Toot for private parties, events or even an intimate wedding!

Lil’ Toot is a fun experience for all ages, with tooting bubbles from its smokestack, you can’t help but smile on this ride.

Sunset Kidd Sailing Charters

The Sunset Kidd is a 41-foot sailing yacht that aims to stay true to the tradition of sailing – you won’t hear any motor in the background, just the lapping of the ocean waters. They offer a variety of sailing trips, including sunset and daytime cruises, happy hour and wine cruises and whale watching tours between February and May. Feel free to help out the crew on deck or relax with a drink in hand. There is a full bar on board with a variety of liquor, wine, beer and champagne.