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Santa Barbara

Known for Shopping, Beaches and Wineries

The American Riviera offers historic adobe architecture, plenty of art galleries, wineries and beautiful beaches. 

How do you get to Santa Barbara?

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.

Best neighborhoods to visit in Santa Barbara

Things to do in Santa Barbara

Step back in time and learn more about local history with a stop at Mission Santa Barbara 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.

Tickets & Tours

With rolling coastal mountains to the east and pristine beaches to the west, Santa Barbara is a gem, and its inland wine country is one of the best places in California to sip on fine reds and whites.

Tickets & Tours

Sip and swirl your way through the sun-soaked wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley. With a small group and an expert guide, pop into 4 custom cellars, tasting rooms, and estates for tastings, stopping en route to enjoy a gourmet lunch.

Tickets & Tours

Nibble your way through Santa Barbara's charming center as you explore the flavors and learn about the local culture and history of our beautiful and mostly sunny coastal city. Sample delicious local foods and follow experienced guides that are passionate about food, drinks and all things Santa Barbara.

Tickets & Tours

Dive into the diverse landscape of Southern California's wineries as you escape into the amazing vineyards of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. Sit back on this small-group tour and let your private chauffeur drive you to top boutique wineries in the brilliant landscapes of Santa Barbara.

Tickets & Tours

This tour will take you through the best bike routes, historical highlights, and great viewpoints of Santa Barbara! This bike tour has the potential to show you all if not most of Santa Barbara’s need-to-see spots.

Tickets & Tours

Enjoy a full-day trip by rail to LA from Santa Barbara, avoiding LA's infamous traffic as you skirt along the Western coastline aboard a sleek commuter train. Once in the city, tour LA's famous sites aboard a hop-on hop-off bus, enjoying lunch at the Hard Rock Café.

Visitor guides from our travel experts

Local experts explore every corner of Santa Barbara for you

Whale watching in Santa Barbara

Getting a front row seat to Santa Barbara's aquatic wildlife

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Whale watching in Santa Barbara

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Soaking up Santa Barbara landscape in the fall

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Enjoying autumn in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara: an up–and-coming wine scene

Getting a taste for Santa Barbara Wine Country

Chloe Mulliner
Santa Barbara: an up–and-coming wine scene

Santa Barbara beyond the break

Checking out new trends flooding the American Riviera

Trip Styler
Santa Barbara beyond the break

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