Finding Safe Fun in the Santa Barbara Sun

An Outdoor Activity Guide for All Ages During the Summer of COVID-19

By: Indy Staff | Published June 25, 2020

Over the past couple of decades, the Santa Barbara Independent traditionally published the region’s most extensive Summer Camp guide in the early spring and then our Blue & Green Outdoor Adventure Guide in the early summer. And then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut us all indoors for months and remains a worldwide health threat. Most summer camps were canceled, and the extensive adventures we loved to write about weren’t so easy to plan.

But as Santa Barbara slowly opens for business again, we are all wondering how to salvage the summer, especially for our bewildered and cooped-up kids. We felt that it was a good time to share some of our own insight on outdoor activities that seem safe, and some are so socially distant that you can even do them with friends! 

The following stories are far from revolutionary, as these are all activities we’ve covered extensively before, from sailing past Stearns Wharf and paddleboarding the harbor to car camping at Lake Cachuma and exploring the Channel Islands. But in our forever-changed world, even simple things like roller skating and surf fishing take on a new shine, so we encourage you to get out and have fun in the summer sun. And then go wash your hands.