Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Extensive Santa Barbara Park and Open Spaces List

Sisters at Orpet Park
It is tricky to create a list of all the parks in the Santa Barbara area. We are ridiculously blessed with beautiful, generally well-maintained parks. Some parks are city owned, some county owned and some owned by private organizations like The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. Some have play equipment and some area simply small open spaces to walk your dog. Here is a link to our original resources. Here is the list we ended up with, surely incomplete. (* means we have not been there to review it)

Playground Parks
Santa Barbara
Alemeda Park (Kid's World)
Bath Street Pocket Park
Bohnett Park
Chase Palm Park
Dwight Murphy Park
East Beach (Cabrillo Pavilion)
Eastside Neighborhood Park
Elings Park
Escondido Park 
Franklin Park
Hidden Valley Park
Hilda McIntyre Ray Park
La Mesa Park
Los Banos del Mar Park
Mackenzie Park
Plaza de Vera Cruz
Rocky Nook Park
Oak Park
Ortega Park
Parque de los Ninos
Shoreline Park
Stevens Park
Sunflower Park
Westside Neighborhood Center
Willowglen Park

Calle Barquero Open Space (Noleta)
Rhoads Open Space (Noleta)
Tucker's Grove (Noleta)
University Circle Open Space (Noleta)

Santa Barbara County
El Carro Park (Carpinteria) 
Lookout Beach Park (Summerland)
Manning Park (Montecito)
Monte Vista Park (Carpinteria)
Tomol Interpretive Play Area
Toro Canyon Park (Carpinteria) 
Westmont Park (Montecito)

Goleta (including Isla Vista)
Andamar Open Space
Anisq'Oyo' (Dinosaur) Park
Armitos Park
Armstrong Open Space
Bella Vista Open Space
Children's Park
Emerald Terrace Open Space
Estero Park
Evergreen Open Space
Girsh Park
Goleta Beach Park
Lowell Park
Marymount Park
Mathilda Park
Nectarine Park
San Miguel Open Space
Santa Barbara Shores
Scott Court
Stow Grove Park
Tecolote Playground
Tierra de Fortuna
Wallis Park
Winchester Open Space II

Other Nearby Parks
Hans Christian Anderson Park (Solvang)
Nojoqui Falls (Gaviota)
Oak Park (Buellton)
Riverview Park (Buellton)
Sunny Fields (Solvang)

Other Parks and Open Spaces
Santa Barbara
Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
Ambassador Park
Andree Clark Bird Refuge
Arroyo Burro County Beach Park
Calle Puerto Vallarte (Cabrillo Park)
Courthouse Gardens
Douglas Family Preserve
Equestrian Circle
Franchesci Park
Gould Park
Honda Valley Park
La Coronilla
Laurel Canyon
Leadbetter Beach Park
Los Robles Park
* Mesa Lane Steps
Mission Gardens
Orpet Park
Parma Park 
Pershing Park
Plaza de la Guerra
Rattlesnake Canyon
San Roque Park
Sheffield Open Space
Skofield Park
Sylvan Park
* Thousand Steps
West Beach

Kellogg Tennis Courts Open Space
Lassen Open Space
Patterson Open Space
San Marcos Foothill Preserve
Tabano Hollow Open Space
Tarragona Open Space
Thunderbird Open Space
Town and Country Open Space

Santa Barbara County
]Arroyo Honda Preserve
Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve (Carpinteria)
* Creek Park (Carpinteria)
* Franklin Creek Park (Carpinteria)
* Greenwell Preserve (Greenwell Ave at Asegra Rd)
Hale Park (Montecito)
* Heath Ranch Park (Carpinteria)
* Lodahl Park (Summerland Lillie Ave at Ortega Ridge)
Oceanview Park (Summerland)
Salt Marsh Nature Park (Carpinteria) 
* Tar Pits Park (Carpinteria)
* Veterans Memorial Park (Summerland next to the Fire Station) 
* Viola Fields (Carpinteria)

Goleta (including Isla Vista)
Brandon Open Space
Camino Corto Open Space
Camino Pescadero Park
Campus Glen
Coronado Butterfly Preserve
Covington Path
Del Playa Open Space
Del Sol Preserve
Gaffney Park
Goleta Slough Ecological Preserve
Greek Park
Isla Vista Park
Koarts Open Space
Kid's Trail
La Goleta Open Space
Little Acorn Park
Los Carneros Lake 
Oro Verde Open Space 
Pardall Gardens
Pelican Park
People's Park
Perfect Park
Rottapel Park
Sea Lookout Park
Sperling (Butterfly) Preserve
Stonebridge Path
Stow Tennis Courts Open Space
Sueño Orchard
Tipi Village
Trigo-Pasado Park
University Village Path
Walter Capps Park 
Window to the Sea Park
Wincester Open Space I

(* means we have not been there to review it)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Girsh Park (Updated)

Girsh Park got some new play equipment, so I am updating my review!

Girsch Park is a large park with baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts and lots of open green space for dog walking. It also has a small play structure over wood chips for 5-12 with 2 slides and climbing areas as well as climbing rocks. It is located in Goleta near Costco: http://girshpark.org/contact-us/directions-to-the-park

Bathrooms are close by.
There is lots of space to run and kick balls.
The new structure is much more toddler friendly.

There are no swings.
Several friends have commented about having the homeless population in this park in particular. 

5-12 Play Structure

Climbing Places


Climbing Rocks

Sunny Fields Park (Solvang)

This clean, fun park is located in Solvang, but is a great outing combined with seeing the miniature ponies or ostriches (and only about 20 minutes beyond the blueberry or strawberry picking). Think the size of Kid's World with lots of themed toys for a variety of ages. It is just off the 246 on Alamo Pintado Road: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sunny+Fields+Park/@34.607481,-120.1232025,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x80e9548e3b2fce01:0x727673076f0312f2

The park is clean and well kept.
The park has bathrooms.
There is a variety of structures, bridges, swings and slides.
There is plenty of parking in the lot.

The park is probably busy when the fields are in use.
There is not a lot of shade here on a hot day. 

Park Overview

Sliding and Monkey Bars

Ship and Old West Structures

Climbing and Bouncing Area
2-5 Structure with Slide

5-12 Structure with Slides

And More Slides

Shaded Sitting Area

Play House!
Baseball Fields

Picnic Areas

Toddler and Chair Swings

Regular, Tire and Chair Swing

Riding Toys

Nice Bathrooms

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lookout Park (Summerland)

This Summerland park overlooks the ocean and is easy to get to. It has a 5-12 structure over rubber mat with 2 slides, 1 climbing spot, a sliding bar and the stepping poles. It also has a spring riding toy, toddler and regular swings, and volleyball court. It is very close to the Summerland exit off the 101: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lookout+Park/@34.4201084,-119.6017809,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xb7041ddc9daa6364

This park stays cool next to the ocean.
This park has bathrooms.
This park is not busy during the week.
The park is well contained (but there is a path down to the beach on the far side).

Parking can be limited on the weekend or during events.
The structure is taller and not the best for the littlest ones.
Because of the ocean air, this park is really wet in the morning.
There are some overnight campers and people present.

5-12 Play Structure (Front)

Toddler Swings and Spring Riding Toy

5-12 Play Structure (Back)

Volleyball Area and Bathrooms

Stepping Poles

Path to the Beach below

Friday, September 4, 2015

Other Goleta Neighborhood Parks

We discovered some other small neighborhood parks on our quest to check out all the locations on this map of parks and open spaces in Goleta and from recommendations from friends

Armstrong Open Space is located off Pacific Oaks Rd in the 7000 block of Armstrong Rd. There is a slide and some swings.

Good Climbing Tree


Swings at Armstrong Open Space
Winchester Open Space II is located at the end of Warwick Place or on Calle Real Rd in the 7000 block . There are some swings.

Swings at Winchester Open Space II

This little park has no name and does not show up on any maps, but our friends call it "Airplane Park" (by street maybe Marymount Park). It is located by a narrow path at either about 7137 Armstrong or 7142 Marymount off Pacific Oaks in Goleta. It has toddler and regular swings as well as an airplane spring toy.
Swings and Spring Toy
This park we found driving by one day looking for University Village Walkway. "Lowell Park" (for lack of a better name) is on Lowell Way just off Hollister Ave in the 7200 block.

Small 5-12 structure (some broken parts)


There is a small playground on Jenna Dr. It has 2 slides, 2 climbing areas and swinging bars.

Park on Jenna Dr.

Trigo Pasado Park in Isla Vista is located on Trigo Rd and Pasado Rd.  It has a great climbing wall.

Climbing Wall at Trigo Pasado Park

Elings Park

Elings Park is a huge combination playground, playing fields and wedding area. One little known fact: it is built on a landfill. There are baseball fields, soccer fields, and a mountain bike area as well as a playground area. It has a 2-5 play structure and 5-12 structure over sand. The 2-5 structure has a slide and 2 climbing areas. The 5-12 structure has 2 slides, a bridge, 2 climbing areas, a sliding bar. It is also a dog friendly park with off leash areas. Directions here.

Baseball/Softball Fields

Soccer Fields

Bike Area

There are bathrooms.
There is a variety of play equipment.
A nearby picnic area is shady.

This park can get crowded, especially when there are games on the fields.
Dog owners often do not obey the code of conduct for the on leash areas, so this is not a great park if your kids are wary of dogs.

2-5 Play Structure (Front)

2-5 Play Structure (Back)

5-12 Play Structure (Front)

5-12 Play Structure (Back)

5-12 Play Structure (Side)

Regular Swings

Shady Rest Area