Captain’s Log: the two best views of Santa Barbara | Outside


When the urge to take in the breathtaking views, locals in the Santa Barbara area have two great options. We actually have many nice options due to our topography, so when the weather doesn’t allow one of the great options, just get on a road in town or near town, and you will usually find a view worthy of. spend time .

One of the two top view opportunities is to take a drive to Camino Cielo (East or West Camino Cielo) at the top of San Marcos Pass (Highway 154). I recommend packing a lunch as you will want to stay awhile. Remember to bring your trash with you.

There are plenty of spots along the top of the ridge where you can park your car and enjoy the view through your windows, or grab your snack and drinks and head to a cozy gazebo. Then, get comfortable and sit on a rock, or open a lawn chair and start soaking up the panoramic view.

The rugged mountains and the city below will make you wish you had binoculars in your luggage as well as lunch – so bring the binoculars. There are beautiful and secluded areas to admire in the foothills, and a high likelihood of spotting wildlife on the ground or soaring the updrafts along the mountain.

Sooner or later your gaze will rise to admire the combination of beaches, ocean and Channel Islands. On the Santa Barbara Canal, those features you see are boats plying our waters … either hard-working commercial fishermen bringing us the seafood we love, or boaters enjoying a day out on the water. water. Large container ships well out of the channel are evident due to their immense size.

When we have a marine layer, the view from Camino Cielo is particularly inspiring due to the cloud cover covering the water. The peaks of the Channel Islands rise through the clouds like majestic sentries relieving the vast marine layer of low clouds.

The other of the two top drawer views that we luckily have available is enjoyed out on the ocean aboard a boat on a clear day with no marine layer to fog the view. There are various businesses in the Port of Santa Barbara with personal watercraft resources to help you navigate, and any of them will do.

From the ocean, the mountains above Santa Barbara and Goleta are impressive and our coastline is beautiful. Then turn your gaze to the sea and enjoy the view of the islands. On a very clear day you can see each of the canyons on the north side of Santa Cruz Island. If you’re lucky, a school of dolphins or whales will add to the thrill of the day.

In all fairness I have to add a third fabulous viewing opportunity. I recently spent a day driving with my daughter and the highway. 154 offers beautiful views of our hinterland. We stopped at Cachuma Lake, hiked the campgrounds and day-use areas, and then had a really good burger at Hook’d Restaurant at the Lake Marina.

The scenery was beautiful and the friendly service was excellent. And since we had a receipt from the restaurant, we didn’t have to pay the park entrance fee.

– Captain David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is President of SOFTIN Inc., a non-profit organization providing boating opportunities to those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read the previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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