8 Best Outdoor Activities In and Around Montecito

8 Best Outdoor Activities In and Around Montecito

  • The Di Prizito Group
  • 04/24/23

Montecito is a posh seaside town in Southern California full of high-end boutiques, cultural experiences, amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, and endless outdoor activities. If you are considering making a move to Montecito real estate, you have so much in store. Here are some of the top outdoor activities in the Montecito area that you can look forward to.

Walk the Ennisbrook Trail

If you’re up for a bit of adventure, don’t miss the 1.85-mile-long Ennisbrook Trail, which is a peaceful walking trail with a round-trip loop that ascends a modest 150 feet in elevation. Along your journey, you can marvel at the beautiful oak woodland within the San Ysidro Creek Preserve, which spans about 44 acres. The path will take you across some old stone bridges that span along San Ysidro Creek. During the springtime, you will see some gorgeous bursts of yellow and orange nasturtiums and other flowers that make the hike even more relaxing and pleasant.

Climb Montecito Peak

If it’s amazing vistas you’re after, look no further! Montecito Peak is one of the best places in the area to catch a scenic view of the coastline. This 7.6-mile trek will test your endurance but reward you with the calm sounds of nature, glimpses of the wonderful flora and fauna, and picture-perfect mountain landscapes. You can access the Montecito Peak trailhead through East Mountain Road; follow signs for the Cold Springs Trail.

The 3,214-foot peak is one of the highest summits in the area, and the journey to the top is full of switchbacks, narrow scrambling paths with loose dirt, creek crossings, and a steady upward climb. The hike is considered challenging, but once you reach the top, your efforts will all pay off. You will be rewarded with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the nearby coastal cities.

Visit Seaside Gardens

For a bit of a more relaxing journey, Seaside Gardens in nearby Carpinteria is a gorgeous botanical wonderland that spans a little over three acres. The 11 garden vignettes here offer a global sampling of plants that truly thrive in Carpinteria’s coastal environment.

Designed by local landscape designers, the gardens feature a number of different themes, including tropical, succulent, grassland, cottage, Australian, Asian, California native, and Mediterranean. Guests often come away from their visit feeling inspired, with design ideas for their own gardens. From the butterflies of the perennial garden to the intensely purple lilacs and tropical ferns, there is no shortage of natural beauty here.

Seaside Gardens also features a garden shop with planters, nutrients, amendments, soils, gardening tools, and more. You can also visit the gift shop, which includes a number of books, hats, soaps, candles, and glassware to commemorate your visit.

Picnic at Manning Park

If you’re searching for a tranquil spot to enjoy a quiet, sunny afternoon break from touring Montecito real estate, Manning Park is the place to go. Pack your picnic basket, grab some friends or family, and head to Manning Park on San Ysidro Road. This popular park also features a barbecue area and an open green space with horseshoe pits, ball courts, playgrounds, and fields, perfect for a day of family fun. 

Spend the day at Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach is a stunning, pristine white sand beach in Montecito, where water recreation and relaxing under the rays are always on the roster. The charming beach is just a 10-minute drive away from downtown Santa Barbara, so it’s the perfect beach destination if you want to spend some time in the sun before venturing downtown.

From swimming to stand-up paddleboarding to sunbathing, this beach is the ideal spot. You can try surfing, kayaking, wading through the waves, or spotting dolphins and whales on the horizon. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some celebrities out on the sandy shores. 

Hike the Hot Springs Canyon Trail

This popular 3.7-mile hiking trail on East Mountain Drive is one of the best spots to explore the natural beauty of the area. Along your journey, you’ll encounter river crossings, plenty of mud, and stunning views. Hot Springs Canyon is a renowned landmark on the trail, a remnant of a hot springs resort from the 19th century. If you want to just relax and forget your troubles, you can take a dip in the hot springs, surrounded by lush greenery and stone ruins. 

Visit the Montecito Country Mart

The Montecito Country Mart was first built in the 1960s and is a perfect example of the beachy Santa Barbara way of life, with carefree vibes and luxury taking center stage. This is the go-to place for community events, fashion-forward shops, and fantastic eateries, all centered around an open-air market. The market’s central courtyard features intimate outdoor seating and creative landscaping — the perfect backdrop for a fun day out. The Montecito Country Mart is one of the best ways to experience the authentic side of Montecito. 

Explore Ganna Walska Lotusland

Feel inspired at Ganna Walska Lotusland, a serene and mystical garden on Cold Spring Road that spans about 37 acres of unique plant life and astounding landscape designs. The historic estate and expansive gardens here were initially owned by Madame Ganna Walska, and her estate was opened as Lotusland in 1993. These stunning gardens contain more than 3,000 plants, including euphorbias, cacti, ferns, orchards, succulents, rare cycads, and much more. The gardens are the perfect place to take a relaxing break from your daily life and surround yourself with lush greenery and a tranquil atmosphere. 

Ready to get started?

If you are impressed by all the beauty of Montecito, begin your search for homes for sale in Montecito with an expert by your side. Reach out to the trusted team at The Di Prizito Group for guidance every step of the way. This award-winning team is ready to get results and help you achieve your dreams.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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With over 20 years in Real Estate, Timothy Di Prizito has become a recognized top-producer brand in the industry. Now with the launch of his new DPG team and the support of AKG | Christie's, the plan is simple: to be the new, cutting-edge, one-stop force in luxury real estate worldwide.

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