Santa Barbara is so much more than just a bunch of beautiful beaches and when you’re running or walking through the downtown neighborhoods the course will take you through, we want you to have a deeper knowledge of the community.
On the map below, click on a region that the course touches to learn a bit about them.
You can also visit the following local organizations to get up-to-date info on events and local businesses.
Local’s Tip: Pick-up the Santa Barbara Independent’s “Best of” issue on newstands in October or check it out all online at independent.com.
Encompassing both the West Beach and Lower State neighborhoods, this is your start for the Half Marathon and the SB Independent 5K events! You’ll begin your journey near Pershing Park on Cabrillo Blvd and across from the Santa Barbara Harbor where you can enjoy some of the country’s best seafood, including the world-famous Santa Barbara Sea Urchin. The Harbor is also your launch pad to ocean adventures from kayaking to whale watching and much more!
Also in the neighborhood, is Santa Barbara City College, one of the top-ranked community colleges in the country, as well as a variety of waterfront hotels and restaurants.
Half Marathoners are now heading back past the starting line, past Leadbetter Beach, and up Cliff Drive for miles 6 to 9. While the course itself runs adjacent to the beautiful Shoreline Park and turns around just past La Mesa Park overlooking the ocean, keep traveling past the course itself during race weekend to unlock great restaurants on Cliff Drive.
You’ve conquered Clif Drive and the energy is building toward the downtown finish. Half Marathoners and 5K runners alike will run up Castillo St. and turn onto Haley St. where they’ll be hitting mile 10 and mile 1 respectively. While the course itself touches just a sliver of the Westside region, this is an often overlooked neighborhood offering more great food (do you sense a trend here).
You’re now cresting the gentle incline of Chapala & State Street and will turn into a portion of the Eastside neighborhood as Half Marathoners pass mile 12 and 5K participants mile 2. You’ll make your way around three iconic downtown parks, including Alameda Park which makes up two of them. Aside from hosting the annual Earth Day and Summer Solstice festivals, Alameda Park is also home to Kids World, an old-school wooden fort that will also have adults finding their inner child. Across the street you’ll find Alick Keck Park Memorial Gardens, which is home to 75 different tree and plant species a koi pond; sensory garden with audio posts and interpretive Braille signs among a few items.
But, this is just one aspect of the Eastside. Travel down from the parks and onto Milpas St. and enjoy some of the best Mexican food you’ll find anywhere. While Julia Childs made La Super-Rica Taqueria, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s all downhill from here! You’re back on State Street for the final mile of your race where you’ll enter the HOKA ONE ONE Time to Fly Zone at the beginning of the State Street Promenade. Museums, restaurants, bars, and more; you’ll find it all. We’re not going to pretend that we can out info all the other travel websites, so we encourage you to check out what’s hot from one of the local organizations listed above, especially the Downtown Organization.
You’ve done it! You’ve crossed the finish line and now it’s time to relish your accomplishment. Just a short walk from your finish you’ll turn left on Yanonali and enjoy the Finish Line Festival as well as the numerous establishments in the Funk Zone. But Santa Barbara’s hottest neighborhood isn’t all food, beer and wine. Also enjoy shopping, artists galleries, installations and more.
After your race you can also head down to the waterfront and enjoy the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show along Cabrillo Boulevard which is open on Sunday’s from 10:00am until dusk.
From the Parks and Rec Department…The Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show was established in 1965 by local artists, inspired by the sidewalk art shows of Europe and the prestigious “Jardín del Arte” in Mexico City. Sponsored by the City Parks and Recreation Department since 1966, the show is now the only continuous, non-juried arts festival of original drawings, paintings, graphics, sculpture, crafts and photography in the world. Whatever the size, subject, media and price, all are original art, done by the artists you meet.