It's time to catch up with Christian and Nate! This awesome couple travels around the US with their RV and kiddos by their sides. They also happen to be avid eBikers, and love exploring with their Lectric XP™ 2.0s!
We checked in with them earlier this summer after their visit to Salt Lake City, UT. Recently, they visited beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, and Nate was kind enough to share his experience with us below. Check it out for tips and tricks for how to take on this part of beautiful, coastal California by eBike!
If you’re looking for a great place to ride eBikes, there’s not much that tops California - and I don’t mean Los Angeles! Sure, LA is a fun place to ride, but it also comes with everything that is LA - if you know what I mean. Santa Barbara is one of those places I’ve overlooked my entire life, but on our recent visit there we brought the eBikes along with us, and it was an exceptional experience! Santa Barbara is one of the coolest little coastal cities in California, that has the chill California vibe we were seeking out, without any of the "LA."
The RV park that we stayed at was about 30 minutes from the beach, so we loaded up the car with our Lectric XP™ 2.0 folding eBikes and headed to the coast. We decided to give the Cabrillo Bike Path a go, which is a two-lane path that spans 4.5 miles, from Leadbetter Beach to Butterfly Beach. We parked our vehicle at the Leadbetter West parking lot, which was free for the first 90 minutes and then $4 per hour thereafter. Lucky for us, there were plenty of open parking spaces!
Once we paid for parking and got our eBikes out of the car, we immediately took a detour off our planned trail and headed west one mile past Leadbetter beach. There was a beautiful grassy area with a simple fenced playground, which ended at 1,000 Steps Beach. As the name suggests, there are A LOT of stairs to get to this beach, so be prepared to lock up your eBike and get stepping! There are endless views to take in as you approach the beach, and I promise, it's worth it.
After that small diversion, we hopped back on our eBikes and headed East, toward our originally planned trek. We almost made it past the parking lot when we saw kiteboarders getting massive air, so of course we had to stop and watch for a moment. Seeing the riders dance on top of the waves was incredible to watch.
After convincing my wife that taking up kiteboarding as a new hobby was not her greatest idea, we got back on our eBikes and ventured further East. The second point of interest we encountered was the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Although it was one of the smaller museums I’ve been to, the collection of boating and diving memorabilia was quite impressive - everything from old diving helmets to fresnel lenses from lighthouses. They have a small children’s exhibit, but I wouldn’t recommend a long visit with small children.
After the museum, we decided it was about time to get some food in our stomachs so we rode east past the marina. If you can imagine what it costs to moor a yacht in a private marina in Santa Barbara, you can probably imagine the type of boats we saw. I lived in coastal Florida for a good portion of my life, but these boats were something else!
We rode past a bit more beach area and finally arrived at Pier Santa Barbara/Stearns Wharf. You must pay to park cars here, but eBikes are admitted free of charge! Here, you will find a few souvenir shops and t-shirt shops, as well as restaurants and bars. They allow fishing from the pier as well, and if you forget your tackle gear, they rent everything you’d need at the bait shop.
We decided to dine on the waterfront and had raw oysters and a lobster roll. The only other lobster roll I’ve had was from Bar Harbor, Maine and I must say that Santa Barbara knows their way around a lobster roll. We paid tourist prices, but all-in-all it was a really enjoyable afternoon bite, which included live music and a perfect view of the water!
After our meal, we continued East to Skater’s Point where we stopped and watched skateboarders for a few minutes while we let our food settle. From here, we turned back West to State Street. If you take State Street inland for two blocks, you’ll find MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration, which I strongly recommend. Especially if you have young children! At $14 for children and $18 for adults, I thought it was very reasonable considering how much was offered there. That was definitely the highlight of the day.
After MOXI, we returned to the Cabrillo Bike Path and cruised back towards the car. The Cabrillo trail is moderately trafficked, so it made for a very relaxing ride, not having to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic.
All in all, the day just wasn’t long enough! I can’t wait to return to this area with our eBikes and ride more of the beach. It was such a unique way to explore Coastal California.