Stress-relieving outdoor activities in Santa Barbara that will soothe your body & mind

02/15/2021 | by Rosette | Vacation Rentals

While the public health restrictions caused by the pandemic have led to canceled events, celebrations and an overall damper on our usual way of life, it’s more important than ever to seek out fun activities that you, your partner or family can enjoy to help provide some relief from the extra stress many of us have been feeling this past year. When you’re outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing the droplets you might encounter from others. Outdoor activities also offer the benefits of an emotional boost and sunlight can give your body a dose of vitamin D, too.

Fortunately, Santa Barbara is located on what’s called the American Riviera, a strip of the California Central Coast that boasts a temperate climate and sunny days most of the year. Outdoor living is a way of life here in this beach town. While staying in Santa Barbara you’ll be able to enjoy any number of stress-relieving outdoor activities that will allow plenty of space between you and others.

Walking, running, picnic at Shoreline Park, Santa Barbara

stress relieving outdoor activities in santa barbara
Photo by JessyLynn Perkins, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Shoreline Park is a linear grassy park area on what’s called the “Mesa” of Santa Barbara. Shoreline Park is up on a bluff that overlooks the beach below that can be reached by stairwell. The park is outfitted with paved paths that allow visitors to comfortably walk or jog while taking in the vast ocean views on one side and the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other. Large grassy areas are perfect for spreading out a blanket and picnic or there are benches situated in vista areas for a look out and beyond the cliffs’ edge. Up on the Mesa, high above everything else, you’ll feel a sense of quiet relief at this lovely park favored by Santa Barbara locals.

Cycle Santa Barbara

Bicycling is a popular pastime for Santa Barbarans. This bike friendly town makes it easy to get around on push-peddle bicycle or electric-bike. As an added service for our guests at Haller Coastal Homes vacation rental properties, beach cruiser bicycles and e-bikes are available for rent on a first-come basis.

social distance activities in Santa barbara
Photo by Jay Sinclair/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Zip down State Street Promenade and past the Funk Zone, head toward the Santa Barbara Waterfront and down the bike paths that lead all the way along East Beach and toward Montecito. For a more challenging trip, peddle up the hill passing the Harbor and up to the Mesa. Traffic? What traffic? After a weekend of bicycling or e-biking around Santa Barbara, you might even be tempted to sell your car. Learn more about cycling in Santa Barbara.

Stand up paddle board Santa Barbara

body mind stress relieving activities santa barbara
Photo by Jay Sinclair, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

Surfing is an obvious choice, but what about an alternative to surfing, such as stand up paddle boarding, or SUP. Stand up paddle boards can be rented near the water and it’s an easy outdoor sport for most people to pick up fairly easily. Santa Barbara Harbor is a popular launch off point for paddle boarders. Meander past the beautiful boats and out into the calm open waters where you might encounter the occasional sea lion. Make your way over and across to Stearn’s Wharf and get up close with the barnacles and muscles stuck to the pier. You’ll see plenty of pelicans and other seafaring birds and maybe even spot dolphins. When stand up paddle boarding in Santa Barbara, you’re certain to be at peace with the marine life and nature as you glide blissfully along the calm waters.

Hiking in Santa Barbara

Few places are better than the Central Coast when it comes to a nature lover’s dream come true. Nestled between the ocean and the mountains, Santa Barbara is a picturesque escape that rivals many of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. From the winding Santa Ynez mountain trails and sweeping ocean vistas, the exercise and ocean breeze will quickly melt away city life stress.

outdoor activities social distance
Photo by David Collier, Courtesy of Visit California/Visit Santa Barbara.

When it comes to hiking in Santa Barbara, whether easy, flat terrain or moderately steep and challenging hikes, there is something for everyone and age group. Scenic views abound, but the great thing is, you don’t have to go far. There are so many close Santa Barbara hikes to choose from, check out the map and descriptions of these 11 popular Santa Barbara hiking trails. https://santabarbaraca.com/itinerary/best-hikes-in-santa-barbara/

Where to stay in Santa Barbara

If you want to stay in a vacation rental home that’s ideally located in proximity to outdoor activities in Santa Barbara, search our short-term and long-term rentals. Most homes are either a short walk or quick bike ride away from Santa Barbara’s popular attractions, restaurants, shops, beaches and parks.