The City of Santa Barbara boasts an impressive 360 acres of developed parkland and 1,183 acres of open space parkland. Pocket parks dot our neighborhoods and provide much needed play space for families living in the urban core. But how’s this for a community claim to fame? Santa Barbara is home to the largest privately funded public park in America, Elings Park. Simply stated: this park is a gem. It is divided in two by a parking lot and features Elings Park North and Elings Park South. The North section has sports fields, the Veteran’s Memorial Walk, an amphitheater, picnic areas with BBQs, grass lawns and a large deck surrounded by mature oaks facing the mountains. Elings Park South is significantly less developed and hosts trails for biking, walking, equestrian as well as what is considered the practice hill for paragliding and hang-gliding, all with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. From open space to an RC car track, there really is something for everyone throughout the 230 acres.
Ambling through this expansive open space and recreation area you would never know that this was the site of the City dump until 1965 when it was deemed full and the site was closed. With the generosity of many individual donors and businesses, Elings Park slowly evolved into the outstanding community resource that it is today.
For more information about accessing the park, visit the Elings Park website.