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Santa Barbara County Courthouse

See the best views of Santa Barbara and enjoy a stunning variety of architectural styles at the city’s historic courthouse.

The Old Courthouse has watched over the growth of the sunny Santa Barbara cityscape for almost 160 years. Pay a visit and see an incredible mixture of paintings, murals and architectural wonders, alongside a panoramic view of the city. 

The courthouse was originally built in 1872 and reconstructed after an earthquake in 1925. Its new exterior was designed in Spanish Colonial Revival fashion with white walls that are visually stunning, and functionally cool in the hot days of summer.

Take a walk around the townhouse to enjoy its visual beauty. Delight in the regal, spectacular façades that surround the iconic courthouse clock tower. Then enter through its heavy doors and explore its rooms, enjoying each distinct style. Look out for such highlights as the intricate ceiling detailing in the shiny paint known as Dutch metal and the tiling on the main staircase. 

Enjoy the rich scent and feel of the Old Courthouse’s walnut chairs and oak tables, with each piece featuring unique detailing. While you discover the hallways and chambers, browse one of Santa Barbara’s most treasured art collections, with paintings including those of the well-known Old West painter of the 19th century, Allan Gilbert Cram.

One of the courthouse’s most significant features is its magnificent mural room. Walk around and take in the sight of atmospheric wall paintings lit up by wrought iron chandeliers. Take a seat on its plush leather pews and soak in the grandeur of this room that is still used for committee meetings today. 

After exploring the chambers, climb the courthouse clock tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the sun-blessed coastal city. For a peaceful moment on your way out, take a walk through the courtyard and its sunken garden.

To learn more about the courthouse processes and its history, join a free guided tour. Tours leave from the mural room every day after noon.  

The Old Courthouse is located in downtown Santa Barbara. Nearby attractions include the historic Granada Theatre. Entry to the courthouse is free but a donation is appreciated.


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Lodging Near Santa Barbara County Courthouse

See all 178 Hotels near Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara $188
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara

202 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara
     
    3.8
    of 5, from 2,185 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0

    Set amid fragrant gardens and graceful palm trees, Hotel Milo Santa Barbara is across from West Beach, between Stearns Wharf and the harbor, and near State Street.

    Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach $252
    Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach

    Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach

    223 Castillo St, Santa Barbara
       
      4.5
      of 5, from 1,229 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, Brisas del Mar, Inn at the Beach, is just a 5-minute walk from Santa Barbara harbor and the beach. It’s a 10-minute stroll to the shops and bars of State Street, the town’s main drag. Santa Barbara Airport is a 15-minute drive away.

      Avania Inn of Santa Barbara
      Avania Inn of Santa Barbara

      Avania Inn of Santa Barbara

      128 Castillo St, Santa Barbara
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 804 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Located in Santa Barbara Beach, this motel is steps from Carriage and Western Art Museum and Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.

        Castillo Inn at the Beach
        Castillo Inn at the Beach

        Castillo Inn at the Beach

        22 Castillo St., Santa Barbara
           
          4.5
          of 5, from 1,788 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Located in Santa Barbara Beach, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Santa Barbara Harbor, Presidio Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Mission Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Museum of Art are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara Downtown
          La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara Downtown

          La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Barbara Downtown

          1601 State St, Santa Barbara
             
            4.2
            of 5, from 873 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Santa Barbara, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Presidio Santa Barbara are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Inn By The Harbor
            Inn By The Harbor

            Inn By The Harbor

            433 W Montecito St, Santa Barbara
               
              4.2
              of 5, from 1,335 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              The hotel is in a quiet downtown neighborhood, a 10-minute walk from the beach and the boutiques and restaurants of State Street. Guests can grab a bike and ride to Stearns Wharf in 6 minutes, or drive a little further out to the historic Old Mission and the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley.

              Best Western Plus Encina Inn & Suites $172
              Best Western Plus Encina Inn & Suites

              Best Western Plus Encina Inn & Suites

              2220 Bath Street, Santa Barbara
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 1,384 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Best Western Plus Encina Inn & Suites is in downtown Santa Barbara, on a quaint street lined with century-old buildings. Guests can drive 5 minutes to Old Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786. Nature lovers enjoy strolling beside the creek in Rocky Nook Park, a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

                The Upham Hotel & Country House
                The Upham Hotel & Country House

                The Upham Hotel & Country House

                1404 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 314 reviews
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, this hotel is within walking distance of Arlington Theater, Granada Theatre, and Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. Also nearby are Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Santa Barbara County Courthouse.