Things To Do When It’s Cool and Foggy in #SantaBarbara #Carpinteria

It couldn’t last forever! Our sunny, 80-degree days look to be over for the  year. I checked ahead in the extended forecasts for November and December, and overall the temperatures fluctuate a few degrees above or below the average temperatures expected here in late fall and early winter. A few weak storm fronts may come through, with a day of possible showers every 2-3 weeks. Although cooler, lots of sun is still in the forecast. But today and yesterday it is heavily overcast, maybe only reaching the mid-60’s.

People who live here often complain of feeling “blah” during foggy weather, wanting to sleep in and read books rather than getting out and doing something. Hey, maybe that’s a good thing, helping us to appreciate the great weather we often have and giving our bodies some rest, our minds less pressure to go go go. Then again, if you are visiting the area and have a limited time, or if you’ve had enough R&R, there’s plenty to do and places to go.


My favorite outdoor activity in overcast weather is hiking. It gets way too hot on the trails in the blaring sun of summer, and even in winter it can be quite warm. When it’s overcast you don’t get the satisfaction of a big ocean view along the trail, but the mountains take on a magical quality in the fog. The sound of dripping condensation from the trees, and the coolness itself make the hiking experience more intimate, as if you are part of it more than walking through it. The senses seem more alert, especially hearing. You can go long distances without getting dehydrated, or take it real slow and notice things that are easy to miss when you have a goal of reaching a pool or a view point. Recommended: Romero Canyon Trail in Montecito; Rattlesnake Trail, Inspiration Point Trail and Jesusita Trail in Santa Barbara.


Beach walks are great in foggy weather too. Dress in layers, and expect a cool breeze. You’ll see more birds and fewer people than on a sunny day, and like in the mountains, the hush of the foggy weather brings a completely different experience. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hat, because the sun’s glare in fog can be uncomfortable. My favorite beaches in the fog are Hendry’s and Summerland.

Don’t forget the movies! If you are looking for something other than the standard Hollywood fare, try the Riviera Theater or Plaza de Oro, or check UCSB Arts and Lectures online.


Food and Drink: Coffee houses and cozy cafes come alive in cool, foggy weather. The Sojourner, an institution on East Canon Perdido downtown, does more business in cool weather than warm weather. Consistently good, with a varied and welcoming menu, teas and desserts — all with a healthy twist — the Sojourner seems like going home to mom sometimes.

Best of all, if you live here, have friends over. An impromptu dinner party can be just the thing on a foggy day!