Best Hot Springs Near Santa Barbara
Southern California is well known for it’s amazing beaches, world class golf courses, and of course it’s abundance of natural hot springs. Santa Barbara may not have warm pools within the city, but there are quite a few in nearby that are well worth the drive. Here are a few of our favorite hot springs near Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Hot Springs Map and Details
Hot Springs Canyon
Minutes from Santa Barbara – 15 Minutes
Address: Mountain Drive, Montecito, CA 93108
Hot Springs Canyon is a very short drive from Santa Barbara and one of the best hot springs in Southern California. It’s a beautiful four mile hike through lush vegetation including palm trees, bamboo trees, and even avocado trees before arriving at your destination.
There are several hot springs pools for you to enjoy ranging from 98 – 106 degrees. The pools cascade down the stream with the hottest at the top and cooling down as it continues to flow downward. You will get punched in the nose with the strong sulfur smell so be prepared as you will even catch a whiff a mile out. Make sure you take off any jewelry as sulfur is known to damage silver very quickly.
Along the hike you will also find two springs with the brightest blue color. These are extremely popular by tourists and fill up quickly, but well worth the wait. Hot Springs Canyon is the perfect day trip if you enjoy hiking and relaxing at the same time in Santa Barbara.
Big/Little Caliente Hot Springs
Minutes from Santa Barbara – 30 Minutes
Address: Forest Road 5N16 Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara offers a variety of attractions including a beautiful primitive hot springs. The forest service has done an amazing job at maintaining the area and have put in a few amenities such as a picnic table and changing room for visitors.
There are two pool sections for you to relax in Santa Barbara’s natural mineral waters. The Big Caliente is the larger of the two made out of stone with nice shade trees to help during those hot summer days. This is also where the changing room and picnic tables are located. The Little Caliente is just a little father down the trail and has three cascading pools from hottest (115 degrees) down to the coolest.
Gaviota Hot Springs
Minutes from Santa Barbara – 40 Minutes
Address: Gaviota State Park, Boundary Road, Goleta, CA 93117
Cost: $2 for parking
Roughly a 30 mile drive from Santa Barbara, Gaviota Hot Springs offers some of the most scenic views of California while you enjoy a relaxing soak. It’s about a half mile hike to get to the attraction and nestled directly in the wilderness of trees. This springs has been well known for over 100 years and is still a very popular destination for tourists as well as locals.
There are three different pools for you to choose from, each with strong sulfur smells. There is a very light blue tint to the pools and many say there skin feels baby soft after just a few minutes. The temperatures are a comfortable 96 degrees which gives the feeling of being at a spa.
If you want to make a day trip out of visiting this Santa Barbara hot spring, continue your trek up to Gaviota wind caves.
Santa Barbara and the surround areas are full of things to do, but make sure you put one of these amazing hot springs on your bucket list. Happy soaking!