Santa Barbara offers many options for a wet and wild weekend. Consider a boating excursion, a kayak paddle or a land-based adventure at the waterfront.
Hawaiian party cruise
Get into the spirit of aloha on a Hawaiian-themed party cruise on the Condor Express on Friday evening, departing from the Sea Landing at 5:30 p.m. Fast-fingered Troy Fernandez, a native of Oahu, performs on ukulele along with his singing hula girls. Also enjoy complimentary Hawaiian-styled appetizers and free leis for the ladies. More food, drinks and a full bar are available in the Galley Café. I bet there are tiny paper umbrellas in those mai tais. Tickets are $45. (882-0088, http://condorexpress.com/hawaiian-cruise)
Harbor kayak tour
The calm waters of the Santa Barbara Harbor are just perfect for beginners to learn the joys of kayaking. Sea Landing and the Harbor have several outfitters that rent kayaks and give tours and lessons. Captain Jack’s Tours offers two guided outings daily, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It’s fun and easy! There’s a brief lesson, then a tour that encompasses the Harbor, Stearns Wharf and out to the One Mile Buoy. Dolphins, California sea lions and harbor seals may cruise by to say "hello." The cost, which is $50 per person, includes kayak and gear rental. Feeling more adventurous? The Captain’s Coastal Tour continues along East Beach and farther down the coast at $75 per person. (564-1819, www.captainjackstours.com)
The 41-foot ketch Sunset Kidd plies local waters under sail daily in the morning, afternoon and at sunset. This is an intimate sail, not a touristy tour, with at most only 15 passengers. Sit back and relax or dive in to help the crew with the lines and sails. This is a great time of year for the Sunset Cruise, which can be a romantic or family outing. The evening skies reflected against the ocean are unforgettable. Departures are at 7:15 p.m. from the Santa Barbara Harbor; $40 per person. (962-8222, www.sunsetkidd.com)
Also at the Harbor is the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, which offers an engaging view into the local seafaring past. Kids love the working periscope (where you can spy on the surrounding waterfront), two authentic cannons found on the Goleta coast (where they originally came from is still a mystery) and the handmade Chumash tomol (a wooden canoe still used today). Another highlight is the circa 1854 Fresnel lens, which guided ships from the Point Conception Lighthouse for nearly 160 years. It was painstakingly taken apart, cleaned and reassembled before being installed here. Find out about local shipwrecks, ranching life on the remote Channel Islands, Chumash history and much more. The price is right: $8 for adults, $4 for youth aged 6 to 17, and free for kids aged 5 and under. (962-8404, www.sbmm.org)
Quick tip: Lovely coastal landscapes painted by Karen Fedderson are on view at Divine Inspiration Gallery, 1528 State St., through Aug. 25. Paintings and prints are for sale. (962-6444, www.divineinspiration.us)