Explore Santa Barbara’s vibrant city life, rich history and exhilarating outdoor activities on National Parks Unbound’s fun weekend adventure. Treat your family with four days of fun along the Central Coast. There’s something for everyone with days full of cycling, paddling, hiking, sightseeing, swimming and dining.
Surf in Santa Barbara, paddle through Santa Cruz Island’s sea caves, explore Channel Islands National Park, and dine in bustling downtown Ventura. And with your lodgings situated in downtown Santa Barbara, there’s plenty of access to the delights of famous State Street, museums, shops, and cafes. Santa Barbara breathes California living and California sun—breathe it in!
- Pedal along the Santa Barbara oceanfront, through sunny wine country and into the stunning Santa Ynez mountains
- Kayak through Channel Islands National Park, exploring secluded sea caves
- Climb the foothills above Santa Barbara to Inspiration Point
- Surf the waves on a Santa Barbara beach
Your adventure begins as you meet up with your guides and group at The Canary Hotel before a short drive to Girsh park. There, enjoy some light snacks and a brief orientation before settling onto your bike for a relaxing ride along the Santa Barbara coast. The ride takes you through the campus of University of California, along the oceanfront bike paths and into the unique Hope Ranch neighborhood before taking you to downtown Santa Barbara. There, you can choose to continue your ride with a trip to Skofield Park or check into your hotel. Later, rejoin for drinks and a fresh, southwestern dinner at Casa Blanca Restaurant.
Ride: Approximately 18 miles with 625 feet of climbing
Longer Option: Approximately 26 miles with 1,300 feet of climbing
This morning, we begin by setting off on an early morning drive to Ventura Harbor. There, hop on your boat for a 90-minute trip to Santa Cruz Island—California’s largest island filled with plenty of diverse wildlife and plant life. Upon arrival, settle into your kayak for a guided tour of Santa Cruz’s stunning sea caves.
Take a break with a picnic lunch set on a sunny beach. After some exploring, we journey back to the mainland. This evening, our guides take the kids out for a slice of pizza in Ventura while parents get to explore Ventura’s downtown nightlife and dining experiences on their own.
After breakfast, pedal along tranquil coastal paths to the quaint surf town of Carpenteria. Relax from the morning ride with a cup of coffee and the feel of sun-warmed sand beneath your feet at Carpenteria State Beach. Then, you may either hop on your bike for a return ride to Santa Barbara or catch a van ride back.
Upon return, enjoy an independent lunch in one of State Street’s tasty cafes before heading out for some time in the water. You can either catch a surf lesson with the Santa Barbara Surf School, do some stand-up paddle boarding, or simply soak up some sun. This evening, indulge in a fresh, locally-sourced seafood dinner at Hendry’s Boathouse, situated right on the coast.
Ride: Approximately 12 miles with 250 feet of climbing
Longer Option: Approximately 24 miles with 500 feet of climbing
Enjoy your final Santa Barbara morning however you choose. If you’re up for a hike, you may take a short drive to the trailhead for Inspiration Point—a great hike through canyons and views of the city and the Channel Islands. Or if you’re hoping to fit in one last ride, pedal through Hope Ranch for a final coastal ride.
After your morning of outdoor fun, return to your room to freshen up for departure. Rejoin the group for a farewell lunch at a bistro downtown before heading to the airport for your flight home.
Ride: Approximately 17 miles with 600 feet of climbing
Hike: 3.5 miles with 1000 feet of climbing
Dates & Rates
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FAQ & More
Children as young as 6 may join this trip, but must be 9 or older to ride their own bike. For younger children, parents must ride a hybrid bike with the child riding alongside in a pedal bike attachment.
Each guest is provided with a packing list prior to their trip.
This trip is intended for recreational cyclists with an average fitness level who feel comfortable riding about 2-3 hours at a time, and anywhere from 30 to 50 miles on a long day. We recommend that you feel comfortable riding rolling terrain with a few bigger hills in between.