4/5 - Good
Verified travelerOct 17, 2019
Great place to visit. Plenty to do. Lodging and dining options to suit.
Santa Barbara is famous for its expensive hotels, large mansions and trendy boutiques, but it also has beautiful beaches and many museums and festivals dedicated to celebrating the city’s past.
Be sure to visit Santa Barbara’s picture-perfect beaches. Lie on the soft sand and read a book, or grab a board and hit the surf. Conditions are great for beginners, but on the right day there are some good breaks for those of all skill levels.
Marvel at the Franciscan–Spanish architecture of the old Santa Barbara Mission. You’ll find artifacts and documents from old missionaries, a still-operating chapel, and the mission’s impressive and well-kept grounds. For more old architecture, visit the adobe Rafael Gonzalez house or the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Head up the bell tower for great views of the surrounding area. History buffs will also want to check out the Presidio of Santa Barbara, a Spanish fortress from the 1780s.
Learn how modern-day Santa Barbara came about as you wander through the exhibits at the city’s Historical Museum. For a look at the evolution of plant and wildlife in the area and beyond, spend some time at the Museum of Natural History.
Art lovers will enjoy the city’s excellent institutions. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has an extensive collection of European, American and Asian art, and plays host to some world-class exhibitions. For a look at more recent works, wander over to the Contemporary Arts Forum. This gallery is artist-run and funded, and is dedicated to exhibiting the highest-quality work in the region.
To enjoy other local products, organize a tour of the region’s wineries.
Santa Barbara enjoys the sophisticated charm of a much larger city but maintains a quaint, friendly atmosphere. Throw in a fascinating history, loads of cultural activities and excellent beaches, and it’s not hard to see why it attracts visitors from around the world.
Shopping, Beaches and Wineries
Learn more about the local history when you visit Mission Santa Barbara, a well-known historical site in Santa Barbara. Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.
See the best views of Santa Barbara and enjoy a stunning variety of architectural styles at the city’s historic courthouse.
Why not visit the native and exotic animals at Santa Barbara Zoo and see why this is a favorite attraction in Santa Barbara? Wander the beautiful beaches and seaside in the area.
We are a winetasting pass that is partnered with 400 wineries on the West Coast and is good for 365 days from date of purchase THE WINERIES we work with: 400+ winery partners in California, Washington, & Oregon. Regions include Napa Valley, Sonoma &
Join us for a beautiful guided paddle along the Santa Barbara waterfront. Our 2 hour journey begins with paddle instruction, then takes us through the harbor, along beautiful beaches, past sea lions and kelp forests and around the historic pier.
This culinary experience offers an intimate food walking tour of the mid-State Street area of downtown Santa Barbara and gives guests an up close and personal look into the local food scene.
Verified travelerOct 8, 2019
Nice beaches, relaxing
Getting a front row seat to Santa Barbara's aquatic wildlife
Welcoming summer in Central California
Enjoying legendary Spring Break trips as a Baby Boomer