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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

As a senior at UCSB with a long-term boyfriend, I have found some of the best dates in Santa Barbara for a significant other or just for a friend! 


Santa Barbara brings the circus to town once a year. I went two years ago, and though it wasn’t packed with people, it was filled with so much fun! I was instantly impressed by how talented the entertainers were. There were many insane performances with fire, juggling, and trapeze for such a small ticket fee. They are coming to town June 7th-the 17th. I recommend checking this out even with your parents. My boyfriend’s family took me and we all had so much fun with the circus food and the action. This occurs on the Earl Warren Showgrounds, only a 15-minute drive from campus. 

SB Fair 

Along with the Circus, there is the Santa Barbara fair coming May 3-May 5th. This is another fun once-a-year event that happens in SB. There are endless rides, games, and yummy food. There are also many farm animals and shows, including a pig race! The tickets start at $10 for admissions and $35 for a carnival wristband. This also takes place at the Earl Warren Showgrounds but is significantly more busy than the circus, so buy your tickets now! 

East Beach Batting Cages and Tacos 

Who doesn’t love tacos? Plus a fun activity! Sign me up! While I haven’t done this myself this is something I must do before I graduate. East Beach Tacos and Batting Cages are close to the beach so you can even do a beach walk after. This is a great opportunity to try something new if you haven’t been to the batting cages. For $3, you can buy one token which allows you 20 pitches. You can also pay per time starting at $32 for half an hour. 

Serving together

There are so many fun ways to get involved in the community, especially through serving the neighborhood together. In my opinion, the two best service ideas in Santa Barbara are fostering a dog for the day and orange picking. You can go to the shelter, fill out one piece of paper, and then foster a dog for a few hours. You can take the dog on a walk or to the beach, which is a super cute and fun date that includes a furry friend. Another idea is orange picking which is seasonal but worth checking out. With orange picking, you can pick oranges for a few hours and take some of them home. This is such a great thing to enjoy an outside activity with someone you care about.


Whether you have played a million times or never tried, pickleball is the perfect date. There are courts close to campus at Kellogg Courts. Since pickleball typically has four people per game, this is a good double date. However, if you want to go with just you and your partner, you can play singles or put your paddles in and play locals. 

Sunset and Charcuterie

Another great idea from campus is a beach walk to Sands or Campus Point during sunset that ends in eating charcuterie. Trader Joe’s has the best supplies with incredible cheese trays and crackers. For crackers, I prefer the organic naan and the fig & olive crackers. For cheese, the party cheese tray is perfect because it comes with slices of Colby Jack, Swiss, Mild Cheddar, and Pepper Jack. You can also bring meats such as prosciutto. Make sure to bring some type of beverage even if it’s just the famous pink lemonade. Trader Joe’s has an amazing variety of flavored bubbly water too! You can bring a big blanket and tray to place all the food out. 


My first date with my boyfriend was at the hot springs hike. This is a perfect date for people who are down for an adventure because it wasn’t the easiest hike to find the springs. However, we did go at night. Pro tip: go during the day, bring water, and bring a bathing suit if you want to go to the Hot Springs. They are pretty hot and have health benefits just for sitting in them. 

SB Zoo

If you and your partner or friend love animals, definitely check out our very own zoo in Downtown SB where over 500 animals call home. It has animals from a Red Panda to a Chinese Alligator. The tickets are $25 each and are next to a bunch of my favorite restaurants such as Flora De Miz, Oku, and Finneys. 

Lizard’s Mouth

Lizard’s Mouth is an incredible lookout view about 20 minutes from campus. You can bring your favorite dinner that you want and watch the sunset. My personal preference is to bring Chick-Fil-A and watch the sunset. The drive up the mountain is rocking and there’s a small walk to the rocks but you can take really cute photos with your significant other or friend!


There are so many golf courses around UCSB but if you want to get into golf Twin Lakes is a perfect starting point. It’s ten minutes from campus and they have a small 9-hole course that costs $20 per person per round. There is also a driving range where you can purchase a bucket of balls to practice your swing. This is my boyfriend’s favorite date! There are also private and group lessons offered on property which is very helpful for beginners!

It’s easy to go on a dinner date or movie, however, Santa Barbara has so much to offer so you can try one of these 10 date ideas and make the most of your time here!

Paris Paz

UCSB '24

I am a senior communications major at the University of California Santa Barbara. I am from Newport Beach, CA. I was a former athlete on the women’s water polo team, and now I am a member in Pi Beta Phi where I held the position of Director of Service and Philanthropy and also Chapter President. I work at a boutique in Montecito. When I am not working or at school I love to go to Corepower and play pickleball. I also love to travel and spend time with friends and family. I am the oldest of 4 kids and all the girls are named after places in Europe.