central coast
Santa Barbara

Year round, Santa Barbara is a great weekend destination with kids. On whale watching cruises, look for gray whales in winter, humpback and blue whales in summer. There are miles of sandy beaches, from Carpinteria to El Capitan, for boogie boarding, surfing sand castle making, and just playing in the waves.


At the Beach
Mid Town
Learn to surf - California beaches are fun for kids to learn to surf, and Santa Barbara has great beaches to ride the waves. Lessons include wet suits and surf boards. Kids need to be good swimmers in the ocean.
Horseback riding - Explore the Santa Ynez Mountains behind Santa Barbara on horseback, riding through sycamore canyons up to viewpoints with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Take a short one and a half hour ride or half day ride with lunch (for kids 7 and up).
Family Hotels

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and beach house rentals, all styles and price ranges, convenient to fun things to do with kids in Santa Barbara:


Santa Barbara family hotels
Santa Barbara family house rentals

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