Cruising Through Charming Santa Barbara
Fall is the perfect season to take your bike and cruise around the sunny streets of Santa Barbara. For those who do not have their own bike, don’t panic! Odyssey would like to walk (or ride!) you through the process of finding some wheels around Santa Barbara to rent or buy… and then enjoy! From Spanish and Mediterranean-style architecture to unique boutiques and exquisite restaurants, a joyride through Santa Barbara with a view of the beach makes for an enjoyable and relaxing day while burning some calories. What more could we ask for?!
Riding a bicycle is something that most of us were taught as children, although you may have not ridden in some time. Biking is an activity that contributes to a more sustainable environment, helps burn calories, produces endorphins and overall makes us feel good. Owning a bike in Santa Barbara makes life easier because a lot of the streets consist of bike lanes, and the distance from east to west is only a couple of miles. Plus you don’t have to worry about paying for parking. Bikers flood the streets of Santa Barbara, some rushing on their way to work, or cruising along the beach. We can’t forget students, who all across Santa Barbara County are encouraged to ride their bike to school.
If you don’t have a bike and you still want to cruise around, Santa Barbara Wheel Fun Rentals has your back. They offer a large selection of various bikes such as Taga bikes, Kids bikes, electric bikes, mountain bikes, beach cruisers and much more. Phil Simon is a sales associate at Wheel Fun Rental and has worked there for three summers. Phil explained, “All Santa Barbara residents, veterans, and parties bigger than 15 people receive 20% off on bike rentals. My favorite bike and the most popular bike here at Wheel Fun Rentals are the Taga bikes.” Odyssey is a big fan of renting bikes for cruising around Santa Barbara, and we always take advantage of the local discount when visitors come to town. Free parking, zero traffic, and no polluting of the environment.
State Street is definitely a street to visit and discover the friendly Santa Barbara culture. According to SBBIKE, about 155 people climb onto their bikes in the morning on State Street, with 263 bikers in the evening. That’s a lot of wheels! The street offers bike lanes as well as bike racks everywhere if you decide to stop and have a bite to eat, walk around and shop, or just observe the beautiful city on foot. Of all the places to discover, Santa Barbara courthouse and Mission is a must. The courthouse is definitely a tourist attraction, with its amazing architecture and one of the best views overlooking Santa Barbara. Before you leave the courthouse, check out the historic courtroom that is open to the public on the second floor. It is easy to lock the bikes outside the courthouse and take the elevator to the top terrace to see a 360-degree view of Santa Barbara.
After leaving the courthouse, cruise North up State street for 15 minutes and to see the Old Santa Barbara Mission that was built in 1786 and founded by the Spanish Franciscans. Odyssey staff members say they personally love cruising up to the Mission because it is one of those special places in Santa Barbara that reminds them of their hometowns in Sweden because of rolling hills perfect for picnics and historic architecture. A peaceful green environment where the air feels fresh and people riding around on their bikes. Be sure to stop and embrace the immaculate Spanish architecture-style church, museum, and the peaceful environment.
One of the most fun experiences riding a bike in Santa Barbara is with Bike Moves. Santa Barbara Bike Moves is a monthly event that takes place the first Thursday of every month in downtown Santa Barbara. People from all ages meet at the Plaza de Vera Cruz, that is located off E Cota St and between Anacapa and Santa Barbara St, with their bikes and go for a joyride through State Street and down to the Harbor. Bike Moves mission is to create more awareness towards biking and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. The only rules are; have fun, respect the community, and obey all traffic laws. It is an experience where you are surrounded by people that love biking. One thing that makes this event special is the diversity of people riding. You will see students, couples, children with their parents, seniors, and tourist all gather together to cruise around Santa Barbara.
The perfect end to a day of biking is a Santa Barbara beachside sunset. Cruising south on State Street towards the beach and pier is a downhill ride, so don’t worry, you won’t have to pedal hard. On the way to the beach, you and your bike crew can stop at the harbor, which has plenty of restaurants that are known for their seafood and views. West beach is a beautiful, bright beach full of people surfing, boogie boarding, barbecuing and walking their dogs. After a long day of adventures on a bike, there will be plenty of space to find the perfect spot on the beach to unwind, see the sunset and make memories.