The Douglas Family Preserve pretty much has it all. Perched on a bluff above the Pacific, it’s a popular spot for bikers, walkers, dogs, hang-gliders and kids. It’s an easy walk with trails that criss-cross throughout the preserve and amazing views of the ocean and the Channel Islands in the distance. The various trails cut through coastal oaks, grasslands and pines before opening to the ocean views. It’s also a few miles west of Santa Barbara’s densely packed downtown, and most tourists never discover this spot, making it a favorite among locals.
The story of the preserve is a fascinating one. The area – originally known as the Wilcox property – was slated for development with an upscale neighborhood and luxury hotel planned. That is, until a group of locals raised over $2 million to buy up the land, with a contribution of about $600,000 from actor Michael Douglas, hence the name.