Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Bike Paths

We are so blessed to have an abundance of bike paths and routes to explore our town. Depending on where you are starting, you may be able to bike with minimal time on shared spaces and just stick to the bike path.

By the beach, you can explore the downtown area on bike or simply stick to the waterfront along the Cabrillo Blvd Trail. From Goleta Beach, you can take the Obern Trail connecting to the Maria Ygnacio trail or to continue on it to Modoc Rd. Or you can explore your own neighborhood in routes provided by the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. 

Renting Bikes in Santa Barbara:

Tourist Biking Sites:

South County Maps

Neighborhood Routes:

Out Most Artistic Bike Ride July 2016

Monday, August 9, 2021

SB Picnic Spots


Santa Barbara has so many beautiful spots. You could picnic in almost any park or beach location and have a great view. One tradition we have is having a picnic with the kids on our anniversary or anniversary of our first date. My kids love asking us questions about the first date/wedding/first kiss and since all those dates fall in the summer, it is a great time for a picnic. I also friend-sourced this one. 

1. The Mission Rose Garden is a classic choice. The view of the Mission and the Spanish architecture around is classic. 

Rose Garden with the Spanish Architecture on display

Rose Garden

2. The Courthouse is one of our favorite spots. Any spot in the block would be good, but we like the grass above the Sunken Gardens. 


Sunken Gardens

3. Alice Keck Park is picturesque with the pond and the gazebo. It is easy to spread a blanket on the grass or find a bench to picnic on.  


Duck Pond

4. Stow House is another of our favorites. The house and lawn create a beautiful spot. When there is music in the summer it is especially fun to linger.

5. You absolutely can't beat the view of Franchesci Park on the Riviera. On a clear day, you can see all the way down to the water.  

Picnic tables

Franchesci View 

6. Chase Palm Park is another great spot with a grassy field for picnic blankets. With the beach across the street, the view is wonderful. 

Chase Palm Park Pond

 What is your favorite spot for a picnic? I would love to hear below or on social media! 

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

UCSB Labyrinth Trail

The labyrinth in the lagoon at UCSB was constructed over 2 months in 2011with decomposed granite and river rocks, but it took 5 years to plan and clear all the hurdles. Campus leaders want to create a space for students to have a "quiet place on campus to be alone just to think and sort things out." Labyrinths have been used in different faith traditions as a form of meditation or prayer. Unlike a maze where there are choices between paths, the labyrinth has one path in and retraces the path back out. Overall, the path and retracing are .6 miles total. (When it reopens, we hope to visit nearby REEF in their visitor hours.)

Why it is a favorite: it is a beautiful location with sea birds flying overhead and the ocean breeze blowing

Stone Labyrinth

Location: Lagoon Island at the UCSB Lagoon

Directions: We have accessed it in two ways: walking from Goleta Beach and from lot 6.
To Goleta Beach, take the 101 to the 217. Exit at Sandspit Rd and turn left. The first right will be Goleta Beach. At the T, turn right and park at the end of the parking lot. Walk on the bike path up toward Campus taking the left hand paths to lead down to Campus Point. At Campus Point, take the path that crosses over the lagoon and head up the steps to Lagoon Island. From there it is a short walk to to the labyrinth. Head toward the right after heading up the hill. 
To Campus Point, take the 101 to the 217 to its end. At the roundabout take the second exit to Lagoon Rd. At the sign indicating authorized cars only, turn left into lot 6. Park in a coastal access space and pay the hourly fee (see below). Take the path down to Campus Point. At Campus Point, take the path that crosses over the lagoon and head up the steps to Lagoon Island. From there it is a short walk to to the labyrinth. Head toward the right after heading up the hill. 

Path to the Labyrinth

Time Spent: 30 to 90 minutes depending on the path you take to get there.

Cost: Free
Entrance to Labyrinth

Hours: Daytime

Parking: Parking at Goleta Beach is free and plentiful except on very busy summer/weekend days. Lot 6 has coastal access for $3 for 1 hour, $5 for 2 hours , $7 for 3 hours.
Lagoon Path

Nearby: Goleta Beach, Goleta Beach Playground, Campus Point, and Depressions Beach 

More info: Directions, Labyrinths around the world, and UCSB News Release  

Kid Quotes: "It was cool, Mom." 11 year old

Steps to Lagoon Island


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Monday, August 2, 2021

Oak Park Wading Pool

The Oak Park Wading Pool is a fun spot for the littles under 8. We recently took one last trip with my girl who will be 8 soon and had a great time. The pool is shallow, one side at one foot and the other 18 inches, with a water spot in the middle of the deeper end. There is always a life guard on duty (two the recent day we were there). Children need to be in a bathing suit and/or swim diaper and must be with a responsible person 18 years or older. Parents line up to enter on the hour and must exit 10 minutes before the hour for cleaning. You can get right back in line if it isn't busy. 

Deeper Side

Why it is a favorite: running under the water spout 

Location: Oak Park near the Junipero St side

Directions: Take the 101 to Mission St. Turn toward the mountains and get back onto the 101 going North. Take the next exit (Pueblo) and continue straight. Turn right onto Junipero St and park in the lot to your left. 

Time Spent: 1 hour

Cost: Free 

Hours: 12-5 daily in summer, closing August 13, 2021. 

Parking: Oak Park has a parking lot on West Junipero St. near Calle Real with limited spaces and there is some street parking.

Shallow Side

Kid Quotes: "Let's go again." 7 year old

Water Spout