5 Ways to Get Outdoors in Montecito

Due to its natural beauty and glimmering community, Montecito and the rest of Santa Barbara County has been nicknamed “The American Riviera.” Montecito is best known for its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean coastline and idyllic neighborhoods stretching upwards to the Santa Ynez Mountains.

One reason people buy homes for sale in Montecito is that they want to live a healthy lifestyle in the warm Southern California sunshine. There are plenty of ways to get outside in Montecito, from surfing, swimming, diving, and boating in the Pacific Ocean to hiking on the many trails that snake their way up into the foothills. Residents and visitors can conveniently enjoy golf, tennis, and pickleball all year long at some of the nation’s best country clubs.

Below are some ways to enjoy the great outdoors near Montecito.
Photo courtesy of Conde Nast Traveler

Hit the beach

Butterfly Beach is located along Channel Drive, near where the city limits of Montecito and Santa Barbara meet. It’s possible to walk from Butterfly Beach to East Beach in Santa Barbara at low tide. A bike path also runs from Butterfly Beach to the Santa Barbara Pier, giving residents of Montecito the chance to get a workout while enjoying the scenery. Butterfly Beach is a favorite of both visitors and locals alike to watch the sun sink slowly behind the blue Pacific.
Photo courtesy of Wikiwand
Hammonds Beach is popular with local surfers who come to ride the perfect break. One advantage Hammonds Beach offers locals is that the area is somewhat hidden away behind private developments and luxurious Montecito real estate—making the beach a true hidden gem. Hammonds Meadow, a beautiful open space borders the beach.
Photo courtesy of California Beaches
Miramar Beach is peppered with beautiful Montecito homes and the new Rosewood Miramar, a resort hotel on the beach that is open for dining. For surfers, Miramar Beach is best suited for longboarders.

Go birdwatching

Andrée Clark Bird Refuge, just inside the Santa Barbara city limits, is a wonderful place to get outdoors and enjoy birdwatching, hiking, and biking on a paved path. The refuge is a 42-acre saltwater marsh that includes a brackish lake and a man-made estuary that drains into the Pacific Ocean at East Beach. There are boardwalks and overlooks where visitors can spot an astounding 200 species of birds that make their home at the refuge. Fishing, boating, and feeding the birds are prohibited.

Visit the botanical gardens

Photo Courtesy of Outside Suburbia
Visitors and owners of Montecito real estate who enjoy the outdoors should not miss Ganna Walska Lotusland, one of California’s best botanical gardens. These fabulous public gardens display more than 3,000 different tropical and subtropical plants on the grounds of the historic Madame Ganna Walska estate. Lotusland is so popular that reservations are recommended at least three weeks in advance.

Hike the Santa Ynez Mountains

There are some great hiking trails connecting Montecito with the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Tangerine Falls Trailhead is one of the most popular trails in the Montecito area. The highlight is the 100-foot waterfall on the West Fork of Cold Springs Creek. The out-and-back trail is 2.3 miles long and is rated as difficult, with hikers having to scramble over large rocks at some points. Hikers should allocate plenty of time to complete the trip and bring lots of water.

Hot Springs Canyon Trail is an enjoyable loop of just under four miles that is rated as moderately challenging. The trail is managed by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, and dogs are welcome. Just make sure to use a leash and pick up after your dog!!

Enjoy world-class golfing and tennis 

Owners of Montecito homes don’t have to go far to enjoy a round of golf or tennis. The Valley Club of Montecito is a private club that has been in operation for nearly a century. In addition to a world class course, The Valley Club also provides a long list of social activities available for members.
Photo courtesy of Next Golf
According to British–American golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., the Birnam Wood Golf Club is “The best short course I’ve ever built.” The par-70 course plays to just 5,931 yards, making it perfect for golfers of any skill level. Members can also enjoy tennis, a fitness center, and fine dining.

Montecito Club is a private golf and social club that has reopened after a $119 million renovation in 2019. Montecito Club captures the club experience seamlessly with its panoramic ocean views, historic setting, world-class golf featuring the newest Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, excellent dining, luxurious facilities and the unparalleled service. The Club also features a beautiful pool, pickleball and tennis courts, an arcade, movie theater, and bowling alley.

People who buy homes for sale in Montecito have great options for tennis as well. Established in 1970, the Knowlwood Tennis Club is a family-oriented tennis club with popular junior and adult tennis programs. They have a dedicated teaching staff that offers private lessons and group clinics for all ages and skill levels.
Photo courtesy of mapquest

Ready to explore Montecito homes for sale?

The process of buying a Montecito home begins with hiring an experienced and well-qualified real estate agent. The agents at Randy Solakian Estates Group have deep expertise and a vast network in Montecito. If you’re ready to see the best real estate on the American Riviera, contact Randy Solakian Estates Group today.

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