One defining reason why Santa Barbara, California’s such a fabulous getaway is the combination of arts-and-culture attractions and incredible natural scenery. A boutique guest room or suite here at Mar Monte Hotel immerses you in that scenic embrace, which encompasses the Pacific Ocean wonderland of the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands inland to the steep-rising Transverse Ranges, which include our city’s spectacular craggy backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Among many special highlights of this Central Coast mosaic are the waterfalls and hot springs tucked away in the canyons and gulches of Santa Barbara’s mountainous hinterland. Here’s a look at just a few of these amazing destinations, very much day-trippable from your pampered accommodations at Mar Monte Hotel!

Seven Falls

Set in the rocky chaparral-clad canyon of Mission Creek within the Los Padres National Forest, Seven Falls ranks among the best-known hiking destinations in the Santa Barbara frontcountry. Here the creek has carved marvelous chutes, pour-offs, and plunge pools into sandstone, producing intricate eroded sculptures and lush ribbons of vegetation.

It’s about a three-mile round-trip hike to reach Seven Falls via Tunnel Road near the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. You’ll follow Jesusita Trail and then trek about a half-mile along the creek—either following the fairly obvious user trail or scrambling and rock-hopping up the creekbed itself—to reach the main section of falls and pools. (Learn more via Visit Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Trails Council.)

San Ysidro Falls

A taller waterfall awaits you up the San Ysidro Trail in the Los Padres National Forest near Montecito. Follow this moderate uphill trail along San Ysidro Creek, passing a number of cascades and smaller falls, to reach San Ysidro Falls, a 40- to 50-foot-tall horsetail rushing down a moss-stained cliff. It’s especially dramatic after recent rainfall. (A more detailed trail description can be found at Visit Santa Barbara.)

Gaviota Hot Springs

A bit more than a half-hour away from Santa Barbara, Gaviota Hot Springs ranks among the highlights of Gaviota State Park. These milky, baby-blue warm pools, stone-lined and nestled in a luxuriant grotto-like oasis, can be reached by an easy half-mile hike from the Gaviota Peak Trailhead. (Get detailed directions from Explore Lompoc.)

Explore Waterfalls, Hot Springs, and Other Natural Wonders of America’s Riviera on a Getaway at Mar Monte Hotel

The above three by no means exhaust the waterfall-hunting and hot-springs-hopping you can do on a Santa Barbara escape at Mar Monte Hotel. From Tangerine Falls near Montecito to Big and Little Caliente Hot Springs in the Los Padres backcountry, there’s more to explore.

Book your getaway at Mar Monte Hotel, set just steps away from the Santa Barbara beachfront, and embrace the adventure of the Central Coast!


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