The fall’s warm days are always perfect for visiting a park. And this year, as outdoor activities and social distancing are encouraged, the parks are absolutely perfect places of refuge. Whether it’s to watch leaves blow in the wind, hike vigorously, or simply sit on a bench and observe passersby, parks are the salve to life’s aches. What’s more, park options abound throughout Santa Barbara, CA.
So, the biggest challenge seems to be choosing just which of the city’s 48 parks to visit. In this case, technology is your friend, as the city has created an amazing interactive map that describes each site. But if you don’t feel like clicking around and are ready to go explore, it’s probably best to decide just what kind of a park you’d like to visit.
“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature,
which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Passive parks are places to relax and observe nature. The Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden has an impressive botanical collection as well as a koi pond, walking paths and picnic areas. Its sensory garden has both audio and braille access, making it one of the top nine passive parks in Santa Barbara. These quiet sanctuaries are sought after for their beauty and peacefulness.
The city’s 13 neighborhood parks are just as they sound, offering glimpses in the surrounding community and most often populated with local residents. The Eastside Neighborhood Park links to the local school and has a creek running through much of its two-acre property, while Bohnett Park’s three-acre site includes playgrounds and basketball courts.
If you’re looking for action Santa Barbara’s eight community parks boast a variety of activities, including biking and skateboarding. The popular Shoreline Park is an easy walk from the Eagle Inn and its 15 acres are some of the prettiest waterfront settings in the city. In this park there are walking paths, grassy areas, a playground, views of the Channel Islands and even a sister-city Japanese Garden.
Open Space Parks
Folks who want to get away from it all seek solace in the city’s open space parks. These grand swaths of outdoor areas offer a variety of terrain options, and provide various levels of physical activity. Sheffield Open Space, which used to be an open-air reservoir is perfect for walkers, as the trails wind throughout and offers scenic views. While Rattlesnake Canyon’s desert terrain offers excellent and challenging hiking and even horseback riding trails.
And although most people consider the beach as a beach, and a park as a park, in Santa Barbara there are actually three beach parks: East, Leadbetter and West beaches. Filled with sport activities such as volleyball as well as picnic tables these sites really are the best of both worlds and a perfect place to spend a memorable day at Santa Barbara.
No matter where your outdoor park travels take you in Santa Barbara, download or print this map and after your exploratory day be sure and return to the Eagle Inn for a relaxing and perfect night’s stay.