Our 2021 live walks season is on hold, but see below for self-guided anytime walks!
Walking Wednesdays is a series of free, docent-led local walking tours around Santa Barbara during the Spring and Summer months. COAST organizes these walks to promote safe, fun and educational walking in Santa Barbara, as part of our Santa Barbara Walks program umbrella. Each Walking Wednesday explores a different area and theme.
Walking Wednesdays are regularly on the fourth Wednesday of the month from March thru September, starting at 5:30
Locations vary, and walks last until around 7:00 PM. Past docent leaders include former S.B. Mayor Hal Conklin, former City Planning Director Dave Davis, architects Jeff Shelton and Anthony Grumbine, Hope Ranch Annex resident Autumn Brook, Goleta Historian Fermina Murray, Riviera expert Karen Feeney, Sansum Clinic Nutritionist Gerri French, SB Trust for Historic Preservation Executive Director Anne Peterson, SB Museum of Natural History Curator of Anthropology Dr. John Johnson, UCSB Director of Ecosystem Management Lisa Stratton, and SB Bucket Brigade co-founder and Executive Director, Abe Powell.
We thank all our docents and our generous sponsors for enabling us to continue our popular Walking Wednesdays program:
& Stephen Murdoch
‘Walking Wednesday Any Day’ – On Your Own Time!
While we can’t gather now for our live group walks, we’re pleased to share these self-guided walking tours you can enjoy anytime on your own, with plenty of safe social distancing space! Be sure to bring your face coverings.
To enjoy the warm blooms of Spring, head Downtown and (re)introduce yourself to the enchanting and historic network of meandering ‘hidden’ paseos (car-free pedestrian passages) that circumnavigate State Street and our new Promenade. From our friends at Santa Barbara Car Free, use the map below (click on it for a printable walking tour) to wend your way through all the Downtown paseos, visiting twelve historic and popular sites including De La Guerra Plaza, the Lobero & Arlington Theaters, the Museum of Art, Victoria Court and Paseo Nuevo. You might just spot some things you never noticed before.
Click HERE for the full printable Downtown Paseos self-guided tour with step-by-step directions. The walk starts and ends at Storke Placita, on the way into De La Guerra Plaza. We recommend allowing at least an hour for the full tour, and of course to use caution checking for traffic at all crossings (safe pedestrians are smart pedestrians).
Next, head down to the coast and shoreline with the City of S.B. Parks & Recreation Department’s ‘Explore Your Coast’ – Santa Barbara Coastal Trail Map that highlights 11 interest areas! This self-guided exploration covers over 6 miles of our coastline, from the Arroyo Burro Estuary* to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge. Visit all in a day or take your time and break your exploration up into multiple day’s mini-journeys. To enhance your experience, you can also listen to several Audio Tour Files at the City’s website! And to go more in-depth, you can also watch the City’s ‘Explore Your Coast’ video mini-documentary HERE or click the video image below.
Our first Self-Guided Walk is at the UCSB Campus Lagoon, provided by Lisa Stratton, Director of Ecosystem Management at the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration (CCBER), who led a wonderful tour of the North Campus Open Space last year. This walk is around the Campus Lagoon, home to countless shorebirds and waterfowl, bioswales, vernal marsh & pools and even a labyrinth trail. There are 15 highlight stops along the full walking tour, shown on the tour map. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and bring layers; it can get breezy.
Current Walking Wednesdays Schedule
We regret that our live, docent-led walks cannot be held in the interest of public health and safety amid COVID-19 precautions. We look forward to beginning our live walks season when it’s safe to do so!
*CANCELLED* March 25, 2020 – Another architectural walk of historic proportions with Anthony Grumbine, Principal Architect, Harrison Design, and Chair of Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission.
Diving back into his war chest of historical architecture knowledge, Anthony will help us explore the rich Spanish Colonial nature of our El Pueblo Viejo (Old Town) area of Santa Barbara, taking note of the architectural development of our downtown from a past, present and future lens. We’ll revisit the historic vision and subsequent development of our downtown following the 1925 earthquake, and explore current development discussions and debates happening around the future development and design of Santa Barbara.
A Look Back at Our 2019 Walk Series
March 27 – “Archaeological History Along the Santa Barbara Waterfront,” with John Johnson, Ph.D., Curator of Anthropology, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Archaeological research demonstrates that Chumash Indians inhabited various locations along the Santa Barbara waterfront for many thousands of years. We will visit those places and discuss what was learned from excavations that took place there. We will share what is known regarding Chumash history and traditions associated with particular sites.
Dr. John Johnson has served for 33 years as Curator of Anthropology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He specializes in Chumash cultural history and prehistory.
April 24 – “Santa Barbara’s Waterfront: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” with Dave Davis, former City of S.B. Community Development Director, current Water Commission chair and SB MTD Board Chair.
We’ll stroll west to east along Cabrillo Boulevard from the Harbor to Chase Palm Park. We’ll be chatting about the major changes that have occurred historically to our shoreline and discuss the significant challenges that sea level rise due to climate change will mean for our future.
May 22 – “North Campus Open Space Exploration,” with Lisa Stratton, UCSB Director of Ecosystem Management, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER).
June 26 – “Community Resilience in Montecito,” with Abe Powell, co-founder and Executive Director, SB Bucket Brigade.
A true local hero, Abe Powell will share his experiences forming and leading the Bucket Brigade in their many invaluable efforts helping rebuild the Montecito community, including their most recent and ongoing construction of the N Jameson Lane Pedestrian Path. We can’t wait for this sure-to-be inspiring walk!
July 24 – “Answering Santa Barbara’s Housing Question Using Historic Buildings,” with Anthony Grumbine, Principal Architect, Harrison Design, and Chair of Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission.
A 6 block walk, along which we will see a range of densities of historic buildings and understand the ability for the different historic types to fit into different areas of the city. We’ll see where Anthony takes us this time…
August 28 – “Downtown/Funky Healthy Eats,” with Gerri French, MS, RDN, CDE, Sansum Clinic Diabetes Specialist and Nutritionist.
Nutritionist and Sansum Clinic Diabetes Specialist Gerri French is curating a wonderful stroll thorough Downtown and the Funk Zone with stops at local restaurants, wineries and even an urban farm to learn about how these establishments source and offer locally-grown, organic and/or healthy dishes, wines and produce. Let’s ‘get foodie and a little bit Funky’ together!
September 25 – “Affordable Housing Tour,” with Rob Fredericks, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.
In consideration of the important nexus between affordable housing and sustainable transportation, our final Walking Wednesdays tour of 2019 will take a look at some of the affordable and low-income housing projects provided by the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. Rob Fredericks will lead us on a walk stopping at four City of S.B. projects, beginning at Casas Las Granadas, a County of S.B. People’s Self-Help Housing project for no-vehicle low-income residents.
For more information contact COAST at email@example.com.