By the edhat staff
It’s Labor Day weekend and while some of us have braved the roads and airports to travel elsewhere, many locals stay put and enjoy what Santa Barbara has to offer.
If you’re looking for fun activities to enjoy with family and friends, or want to avoid the dreaded “so, what do you want to do?” conversation, refer to this article!
Here are 10 things to do in Santa Barbara this Labor Day weekend:
1. Head to the Beach
This is a given but it must be said. From the Stearns Wharf to Butterfly Beach to Jalama, Santa Barbara County has some of the best beaches in California, nay the world. Spend the day lounging in the sun, surfing, or playing beach volleyball, or just people watching.
2. Take a Bike Ride
Rent a bicycle or bring your own to explore our picturesque streets and scenic bike paths. Take in stunning views of the mountains and the ocean while getting some exercise.
The City of Santa Barbara has recently launched an interactive network bike map to help assist in your planning. Read our article about it here.
3. Go Wine Tasting
As we all know, Santa Barbara County and is Sta. Rita hills are known for producing world-renowned wines. Santa Barbara also offers some of the best wine-tasting tours and vineyards in the state.
Sip on some of the region’s finest wines and experience the beautiful vineyards whether you choose to embrace the touristy Funk Zone or head up to Santa Ynez Valley. (Pro Tip: Ditch the funk and check out some of the quieter tasting rooms in the El Paseo courtyard.)
4. Visit the Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the city and provides a fun-filled day for the whole family. It’s a small but well-curated zoo with over 1,000 animals from around the world and a great place to learn about animals and have a fun day out.
If you don’t have kids or grandkids, you might forget how cool this local attraction is. September 2nd is actually International Vulture Awareness Day and the Zoo is planning fun and educational activities about nature’s cleanup crew.
5. Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding
Kayaking and paddleboarding are great ways to explore the Santa Barbara coastline. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards from several places in the city.
Or take it step further and check out Santa Barbara Adventure Company for excursions to the Channel Islands.
6. Plan a Picnic
Pack a basket filled with your favorite snacks and enjoy a picnic at one of Santa Barbara’s beautiful outdoor spaces, such as Alice Keck Park, Mission Rose Garden, or Shoreline Park.
7. Go on a Hike
Take to the hills! Santa Barbara offers various hiking trails suited for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a beginner, you’ll find a trail that suits your needs.
Inspiration Point and Lizard’s Mouth are popular destinations and so is the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. But be sure to pack plenty of water, bring your cellphone, and don’t hike in extreme weather conditions.
8. Splurge on Dinner
Chances are there’s a restaurant you have yet to try, or an old favorite that’s calling your name. Make a reservation for that special someone or invite a few friends for happy hour and dessert.
9. Attend a Concert
The music scene is alive and well in our creative town. Take in a show at SOhO, head down to Dueling Pianos or Red Piano for a nightly show, or hit up most any wine tasting room for some live tunes.
10. Pamper Yourself
After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than relaxing at a spa. Santa Barbara has several great spas that offer a variety of treatments to help you unwind.