The Santa Barbara Harbor area is one of the city’s crown jewels. Whether you’re looking to get in the water, shop boutiques, enjoy a great seafood meal, or just take in the sights, a visit to the harbor is a must.
Located along the scenic Santa Barbara Waterfront, this historic working harbor is an ideal starting point for a variety of ocean adventures. If you are looking for scuba gear or diving instructions a great stop is the Blue Water Hunters Dive Shop. They have tanks, fins and wetsuits for sale or rent. Also, because Santa Barbara has occasional floating tar balls it’s a good idea to pick up a bottle of Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover before you head out. For paddle sports, a favorite stop is the Paddle Sport Center, where you can rent sea kayaks, stand-up paddle boards (SUP), surfboards and boogie boards. They also offer kayak tours and SUP lessons and they too carry Oil Slick Beach Tar Remover to keep your feet and equipment clean. In the harbor area you will also find boat charter businesses for sport fishing and whale watching and sailboat rentals.
Attached to the harbor is the picturesque breakwater that has a paved walking path atop it and offers spectacular views of the moored boats, the Channel Islands, or the city skyline. At the end of the breakwater is a small beach and one of the best seats in town, a comfortable bench in the shape of whale’s tale. It’s the perfect place to watch boats come and go and check out surfers testing their skills on the Sand spit surf break. Sand spit is a challenging right break that usually only gets big on rare west swells. It’s a spot for advanced surfers and enthusiastic onlookers.
So if a trip to Santa Barbara is on your travel itinerary, or if you’re a local looking for a relaxing kick-back spot, the Santa Barbara Harbor area is a great place to spend the day.