Santa Barbara is considered as one of the best places for bikers in the United States. It’s located only an hour away from Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast, and is nestled snugly beside the scenic Santa Ynez Mountains. Santa Barbara is treasured for its massive harbor, fairly warm climate, and for the cozy Spanish vibe that it has taken on these past few decades. People who are looking for the best two-wheeled adventures in the US won’t find anything better without going out of the country. If you ever plan on taking your bike down to Santa Barbara, here’s how to make the most out of it:
First Things First, You Don’t Always Have to Bike
Not everyone is fit enough to bike all throughout their vacation, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the splendor of Santa Barbara. There are numerous providers of shuttle services in the place, catering to people who don’t want to exercise their leg power, and for differently abled people. These shuttle services and tours will allow those without bikes to still enjoy the sights, sounds, and taste that Santa Barbara offers.
You Don’t Need to Own a Bike, Either
Maybe your bike is currently broken, or you don’t want to lug around a hunk of steel, or maybe you simply don’t own a bike but want to start riding? You can still bike around Santa Barbara, thanks to an abundance of rentals all around town. Some of these are standalone bike rentals, but many of the hotels provide rental bike services to their guests. That is how closely associated Santa Barbara is to bicycling. If you love pedaling on two wheels, you’ll feel very welcome wherever you go.
Enjoy the Beach Sights and Tastes
No Southern California visit is ever going to be complete without spending some time near a beachfront. There are numerous oceanside trails in Santa Barbara, which makes for ideal bike paths to and fro. They are also dotted with numerous restaurants and wine tasting establishments, so you can pretty much spend the rest of your day biking all around without any need to leave the place. When you get hungry, stop by one of the restaurants (the main specialties are usually seafood, for obvious reason), or when you want to wind down you can partake in some liquor, provided that you are of drinking age.
Get Your Funk On
This is a fairly new addition to the Santa Barbara experience, but there is now an arsty little establishment called the Funk Zone, which is a must see for anyone who is even remotely into arts and crafts as it features art galleries. They also have several wine tasting rooms and craft breweries, so social drinkers are still pretty much the target audience. This is also the place where you’ll find some of the most upscale fine dining establishments.
Of course, no matter how careful you are and how sturdy your bike is, you need to always be ready for problems. In which case, you might want to pass by the Bici Centro in Santa Barbara. This is a neighborhood bike workshop that lets cyclists use their space for repairs and maintenance, for a measly fee. They also have a bike store in case a cyclist needs to purchase some spare parts or tools. The bike shop was recommended to me by my friend and colleague Dr. Sofonio. We’ve cycled together all through different parts of California. He’s a great friend and he has a good practice, in fact, he’s a famous Coachella Valley plastic surgeon, but you’d never hear him say that, lol.
Anyway, in case you’ve had your fill of pedaling and just want to sit down and enjoy a commute, you can easily leave Santa Barbara via the Amtrak train running along the Surfliner route up the California coast. This train allows bikes on board, provided that you pre-book a ticket on their website.