14 best things to do in Santa Barbara - Lonely Planet (2022)

Santa Barbara is a sensory overload in the best possible way. With deep Chumash, Spanish and Mexican roots combined with modern coastal California flare, there is plenty to wow you in the American Riviera.

To make the most of your Santa Barbara adventure, you need to dip your toes in it all – its history, its international culinary masterpieces, its cliff-draped beaches, and if schedules align: its annual city-wide spectacle that will have you roaring, “Viva La Fiesta!” With a wealth of options to choose from, here are the 14 best things to do in Santa Barbara.

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Visit the Mission

Founded in 1786, the stately Old Mission Santa Barbara sits on a 15-acre plot of green goodness between the ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains. Its grounds include a long church, mausoleum, and cemetery. For Mission first-time visitors, its nine-room museum is a good starting place with models of the Mission’s original living quarters and precious artifacts from centuries past.

Get funky in the Funk Zone

In the area near the Amtrak station – between the sea and Highway 101 – this was once one of Santa Barbara’s edgier sites. In the Funk Zone you'll find updated warehouses and graffiti-clad buildings housing some of the town’s best wine tasting rooms, boutique shops and restaurants.Dart is the spot for freshly-roasted coffee, Lark offers a fresh-fish catch and craft cocktails and Shopkeepers masters the modern-clothing-meets-home-goods vibe.

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14 best things to do in Santa Barbara - Lonely Planet (1)

Venture out to wine country

Load your Santa Barbara itinerary up with some vino and you won’t regret it. Named Wine Enthusiast’s global Wine Region of the Year in 2021, there are more than 270 Santa Barbara County wineries producing prized Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and more, each year. Experience it all with a wine tour to the Santa Ynez valley,or on a tasting room tour in the town of Los Olivos. If you haven’t got time to leave town, feast on wine menus at local restaurants or trek the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail.

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Feed a giraffe at Santa Barbara Zoo

Tucked on the eastern edge of Santa Barbara and just north of the water’s edge, you’ll find a 30-acre zoo loaded with unique encounter opportunities. You can toss a fish to a Humboldt penguin, feed San Clemente Island goats and more. For the ultimate experience, book private encounters, which can run $200-plus and include Q&A sessions with the zoo’s staff. The best bargain for all is the giraffe feeding – for $8, a Masai giraffe slurps greens right out of your hand. Between activities, make sure to hop aboard the Zoo Train, which is a hit for kids and adults alike.

Head to the Courthouse’s Clock Tower for the best views in town

If someone told you: “The view from the courthouse was breathtaking,” you’d probably think it’s a joke, or wonder what crime they committed. From the top of the Clock Tower at Santa Barbara County Courthouse, the views are no joke and it’s a crime to miss out on them. The Clock Tower is open from 8am to 5pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on weekends. It’s free to trek the 85-foot tower and panoramic vistas of the courthouse complex, ocean mountain and red tile roof skyline await.

14 best things to do in Santa Barbara - Lonely Planet (2)

Hit the beach (and the water, too)

The Santa Barbara Channel looms along the town’s southern edge and there are plenty of opportunities to explore it. For a beach day, opt for the central East and West beaches which have calmer waters. You can also walk (and drive!) on the adjacent Stearns Wharf. If you decide to take a dip outside of the June to August months, a wetsuit will help with colder water temperatures.

There are plenty of fishing and whale-watching companies that offer boat excursions, some of which will take you on the 3.5-hour trip to the Channel Islands looming off the coast. For spotting dolphins and the prized Blue whale, Condor Express, Captain Jack’s Celebration Cruises and The Double Dolphin are local go-tos.

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Stroll down State Street (and, if you can: Viva La Fiesta!)

State Street is Santa Barbara’s main artery, extending from the water northwest through downtown. Lined with shops, watering holes, restaurants, clubs and more, popular spots include the Paseo Nuevo open-air mall, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Dune Coffee for a perfectly-timed espresso.

If you’re planning a summer visit, make it around Santa Barbara’s biggest annual festival, Old Spanish Days. For a week – typically in early August – the festival locally known as La Fiesta morphs State Street and surrounding areas into an all-out party with folklorico and flamenco dance performances, a parade often with adorable kids’ groups sharing their talents, food vendors and more. Energetically declare to anyone “Viva La Fiesta!” and you’ll get a friendly “Viva La Fiesta” right back.

Have a drink at Joe’s Café

Where Cota and State Streets intersect, you’ll find a Santa Barbara icon. For nearly 100 years, Joe’s Café has been the local spot to schmooze, enjoy a very strong cocktail (two is just right, three could be too many...) and variety of big-plate steaks, seafood and pasta offerings. Adding to its charm, the decor includes photos of local personalities.

14 best things to do in Santa Barbara - Lonely Planet (3)

Learn about the American Riviera’s history

Santa Barbara is loaded with museums, each digging into an aspect of what makes this town – and our world – so spectacular. The best museum bets include the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, which spotlights the area’s natural resources via hands-on activities. You can even learn to raise a boat sail here! Its location, overlooking the Santa Barbara Harbor, is prime, too.

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For kiddos, the MOXI will entertain with STEM-centric maker spaces where they can use 3D printers, video-editing technology and even walk across a glass Sky Deck on the roof. And there is an art museum, historical museum and natural history museumtoo.

Eat McConnell’s ice cream

Perhaps you’ve spotted the white pints with a black lid and cursive McConnell’s at a grocery store near you? Well, the fine ice-cream purveyor got its start in Santa Barbara in 1949. Known for its regionally inspired flavors – like Eureka Lemon & Marionberries or Sea Salt Cream & Cookies – there are now two McConnell’s shops in Santa Barbara, both on State Street. At each location, expect a line out the door and, yes, it will be worth it. With a noticeable creaminess, and flavor names that get you drooling before first taste, this is what ice-cream dreams are made of.

Visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Tucked just north of Route 192 along the quiet and secluded Mission Canyon Road, this is a tranquil spot where locals unwind. For hiking enthusiasts, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden grounds are primed with nearly six miles of paths with – you guessed it – colorful surroundings. In total, there are 78 acres to explore and more than 1000 species of plants to gawk at. Between its redwood, desert and Japanese teahouse sections, you’ll leave with that much more of an appreciation for Santa Barbara’s climate and biodiversity.

14 best things to do in Santa Barbara - Lonely Planet (4)

Shop the Saturday Farmers Market

Savor local strawberries, load up on the ripest of avocados, or perhaps even take a bouquet of flowers home for a special someone? You can buy it all each week at what is known as the Saturday Morning Market. More than 100 vendors line the parking lot where Santa Barbara and Cota Streets intersect, with leisurely shoppers milling about the stalls. Get there early (before 10am) for the best selections.

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Indulge in all the Mexican and Spanish food

There is no shortage of international fare to dabble in here, but Santa Barbara's Spanish and Mexican offerings should be prioritized. Once occupied by Spain and Mexico, the city pays homage to its roots everyday via omnipresent Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and culinary delights mastered through the centuries. A day is best started with a massive chorizo and egg burrito from the unpretentious and 30-year staple, El Sitio. And, for an afternoon treat, hit Funk Zone hotspot Mony’s for $2.25 tacos made of cow tongues, intestines and other intriguing ingredients.

Catch a show at the Santa Barbara Bowl

If you happen to be in Santa Barbara between April and October, head to the hills for a show at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This 4500-seat, open-air amphitheater keeps a full slate year-round, having attracted the likes of Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell and Maroon 5. Get there at least an hour early as it is situated in a residential neighborhood, and you’ll need to climb a hill to its entrance. As for an indoor spot for a show, the historic Granada Theatre has been a State Street mainstay for nearly 100 years. Within its gold-colored confines, you can catch performances by the Santa Barbara Symphony as well as big-name concerts, musicals and lectures.

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Top Choice Sights in Santa Barbara. Old Mission Santa Barbara California's ‘Queen of the Missions’ reigns above the city on a hilltop perch more than a mile north of downtown.. Santa Barbara Zoo Small (so it's perfect for young kids) Santa Barbara Zoo has 146 species covering all creatures great and small, including several not found in many other zoos.. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Take a soul-satisfying jaunt around this 40-acre botanic garden, devoted to California’s native flora.. Santa Barbara Museum of Art This thoughtfully curated, bite-sized art museum displays European and American masters – including Monet, Van Gogh and Degas – along with photography, classical antiquities and Asian artifacts and thought-provoking temporary exhibits.. Arroyo Burro Beach County Park Swim (lifeguards on duty), stroll or just picnic on this gem of a stretch of sand, also known as Hendry's Beach, 5 miles southwest of Santa Barbara.. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History The huge whale skeleton by the entrance whets the appetite for the city's natural history museum.. Shoreline Park For great views across the city, mountains and ocean (with the chance to spot whales in season and dolphins year-round), come to Shoreline Park, southwest of Santa Barbara.. Leadbetter Beach One of Santa Barbara's most popular beaches, always busy with surfers, wind- and kitesurfers, joggers and sunbathers.. El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park Founded in 1782 to defend the mission, this adobe-walled fort built by Chumash laborers was Spain's last military stronghold in Alta California.. The beach is also accessible from Shoreline Park – head west along Shoreline Dr from the park and take a left on Santa Cruz Blvd.. Santa Barbara Maritime Museum On the harborfront, this jam-packed two-story exhibition celebrates Santa Barbara's briny history with nautical artifacts, memorabilia and hands-on exhibits both fun and educational.. Santa Barbara Historical Museum Embracing a romantic cloistered adobe courtyard, this peaceful little museum tells the story of Santa Barbara.

From period local architecture to sun-drenched beaches, from a historic walk to a beautifully scented rose garden, here are the best free things to do inSanta Barbara.. To learn about the rich local marine life, including the whales, buy a ticket for the Sea Center , an aquarium and education center.. Before European colonizers arrived, the Santa Barbara region was inhabited by the Chumash people.. Wander through the halls of the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse for free © Gabriele Maltinti / Shutterstock Coming up on 100 years as the city’s premier landmark, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is an architectural showpiece with expansive gardens right downtown.. Don’t miss displays that include Chumash woven baskets, artifacts from Father Junípero Serra and surviving equipment from the period when the city was a center for early film production before the industry consolidated in Hollywood.. The best months to take time to smell the roses are April to November.. Get to know downtown Santa Barbara on a self-guided walking tour © Mitch Diamond / Getty Images See prime examples of Santa Barbara’s mandated mission-style architecture on the self-guided Red Tile Walking Tour .. Savor Santa Barbara’s vibrant and varied art scene during 1st Thursday , which takes place the first Thursday evening of every month.

It's hard to tire of Santa Barbara 's historic architecture and easy-to-stroll downtown, but the adorable towns, vineyard-filled valleys, and impressive state and national parks that literally surround the city shouldn't be missed.. Leave plenty of time in your itinerary to explore Santa Barbara and its immediate surrounds, but also save some time for a couple of day trips in the region.. Just visible on the horizon off Santa Barbara, this seemingly remote national park is part of an eight-island chain of offshore islands that stretch along a swath of the Southern California coast.. How to get to Channel Islands National Park: Anacapa and Santa Cruz , the park’s most popular islands, are an hour’s boat ride from Ventura Harbor, about 30 miles by car southeast of Santa Barbara.. Amber-colored hills striated with grapevines and shaded by oaks, two-lane roads wending through endless beauty, and wineries aplenty offering tastings , it’s easy to pile on the praise about Santa Barbara's wine country.. More than 100 local wineries make choices seem daunting, so simplify life and focus on the Santa Ynez Valley ’s small towns, which include Los Olivos, Buellton, Santa Ynez, and Ballard.. How to get to Santa Barbara Wine Country: From Santa Barbara, you can drive to Wine Country in less than an hour via rural Hwy 154.. Leave the upscale hubbub of Santa Barbara behind and in barely half an hour, you can enjoy a wild stretch of the Pacific coast, including an excellent beach and a soaring landmark of California history.. How to get to Gaviota: The state beach and trestle are a straight-shot 33 miles by car due west of Santa Barbara on Hwy 101.. How to get to Ojai: Ojai is a 34-mile drive from Santa Barbara by car.. How to get to Solvang: Solvang is 35 miles from Santa Barbara, and the drive time is around 45 minutes.. Take an early morning train to one of LA’s top sights, LA Union Station , and then spend a few hours exploring Downtown LA , which is all easily reached by foot from the station.. A morning departure from Santa Barbara will get you into LA’s lovely and historic Union Station in under 3 hours, just in time for lunch.

The Golden State has mastered boutique camping, from falling asleep to the sounds of the forest while peering at star-studded evening skies in a yurt to watching an outdoor movie from a vintage Airstream or soaking in beach sunsets from a treehouse.. As you enjoy the energy of the desert in Joshua Tree, you can also enjoy fine linens on a queen-size bed, a pool and other luxurious amenities / courtesy photo Joshua Tree ’s arid, mystical hills of spiny plants, wild cactus gardens and peculiar stacked rocks are something to behold.. Communal dinners are a nightly thing at Caravan Outpost, with its 10 vintage Airstream trailers / Courtesy of Caravan Outpost Ojai An hour from Santa Barbara , on the edge of Los Padres National Forest , is a little town named Ojai (the Chumash word for moon), where you’ll find 10 sleek Airstreams from different decades.. The Lago Lomita Vineyard tree house comes with sunset views of Monterey Bay / Courtesy of Lago Lomita Vineyards Forget the dusty treehouses you explored as a kid: climbing the ladders at Lago Lomita Vineyards is all about adventure plus ultimate comfort.. The luxury yurt situation at El Capitan Canyon / Courtesy of El Capitan Canyon If it weren’t for the canvas-covered lattice walls, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a hotel rather than an “adventure yurt” at the El Capitan Canyon .. The redwood trees soar above the luxuriously appointed tents at Mendocino Grove camping / Courtesy of Mendocino Grove Classic safari-style tents on wooden platforms sit surrounded by grand firs and sea air at Mendocino Grove , an adults-only camping compound with comfy beds, down comforters and leather butterfly chairs to relax in.. The simple tents set up for the San Diego Zoo’s “roar and snore” experience let you get up close to roaming giraffes, gazelles and other fauna / Courtesy of San Diego Zoo San Diego Zoo ’s “roar and snore” experience is set in its 1800-acre safari range, populated by “freely” roaming animals.. While the tents themselves are quite basic – they come with only a mattress, and you have to bring your own sleeping bags – there’s surely nothing quite as extravagant as gazing upon a real-life giraffe from the comfort of your own tent.

The coastal city is home to about 100,000 residents and is located approximately 140 kilometers northwest of downtown Los Angeles .. Below are 15 things to do in and around Santa Barbara, California .. There’s also a historic Native American dam built in the early years of the 19th century across Mission Creek.. Santa Barbara Certified Farmers MarketThere’s really no better way to meet locals and get informed when visiting a new area than by spending a few hours at a local farmers market.. Santa Barbara Orchid EstateApparently, the mild weather along the Pacific coast in Santa Barbara is conducive to growing a variety of orchid species, because the area is home to one of the country’s most renowned orchid estates.. The estate is comprised of nearly five acres and is open to visitors throughout the year.. The wharf is also home to a bustling fish market, a maritime museum, and some of the best seafood restaurants in the area.. It’s an excellent place for an afternoon walk or happy hour with friends, and water taxi tours are available as well.. Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural HistoryLike many of Santa Barbara’s premier attractions, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has a story that stretches well back into the early 20th century when the area was much more rural than it is now.. There’s also a nature trail that follows Mission Creek, from which it’s common to see a variety of wildlife species.. It was designed to resemble a European outdoor market.. Santa Barbara Museum Of ArtLocated on State Street in the downtown area, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art was founded more than 70 years ago.

For a small-town, Santa Barbara also features an impressive medley of museums, including an excellent natural history museum, a maritime museum, and sea center.. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Santa Barbara is also one of the most fun for families with kids.. The top thing to do here for kids up to about 12 years of age is the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center .. Address: 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California. Whale breaching off Santa Barbara. At the end of your adventure, you can top off your fun with an ice-cream on Stearns Wharf.. Hanging out on this beach on a beautiful day is one of the best free things to do in Santa Barbara with kids.. Are you visiting the museum in the summer?. Address: Corner of Micheltorena and Garden Streets, Santa Barbara, California. Santa Barbara Harbor. If you walk north along the trail, you'll end up at Carpinteria State Beach , a great place to visit for a cool dip.. 11 Best Beach Resorts in Santa Barbara, CA. 14 Top-Rated Hiking Trails in Santa Barbara, CA. 12 Best Beaches in Santa Barbara, CA. 7 Top Things to Do in Channel Islands National Park, CA

You will also find several restaurants in the area.. It’s one of the best places to visit in Santa Barbara if you want to learn the history of this city.. Once you visit El Presidio , you will see why it’s easily is one of the most popular things to do in Santa Barbara!. As a vegan, I loved visiting Santa Barbara restaurants that can easily rival vegan eateries in places like Los Angeles and San Diego.. It is a perfect place to enjoy outdoor fun and explore one of the best beaches in Santa Barbara.. Part of the garden is designated as Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark, and also offers guided tours.. Located in the upscale Montecito, Butterfly Beach is one of the most popular places to visit in Santa Barbara.. If you want to get away from the city but don’t want to drive too far, take a trail to Inspiration Point, one of the best hikes in Santa Barbara.. There are many cool day trips from Santa Barbara thanks to its location along California’s Central Coast.. But you still need a car to get around and see some of the best beaches near Santa Barbara and take day trips. From walking around downtown to visiting historic landmarks like mission Santa Barbara, to hitting the trails, you don’t have to break your bank to afford a trip to to Santa Barbara

While you're visiting, take advantage of this glorious setting to get out in nature: explore some of Santa Barbara's scenic hiking trails , stroll along the palm-lined waterfront, go whale watching, and bask on the beautiful beaches.. Its museums cover everything from natural history to the sea, and Mission Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful of all California's missions.. In 1925, a major earthquake destroyed much of Santa Barbara, and it was rebuilt in Spanish Colonial Revival style, inspired by Mission Santa Barbara.. This iconic Santa Barbara pier sits at the bottom of State Street, in the heart of the waterfront tourist area, and a stroll along here to snap some photos is one of the best free things to do in Santa Barbara.. Some of Santa Barbara's best beach resorts and some excellent Santa Barbara restaurants overlook the shoreline on either side of the wharf.. Santa Barbara beaches are among the best beaches in Southern California .. The superb Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the top things to do in Santa Barbara with kids.. Today, the museum encompasses two campuses: The Mission Canyon campus, nestled in beautiful oak woodland along Mission Creek, and the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, which offers a window into the underwater world of the Santa Barbara Channel.. Exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art | Photo Copyright: Brian Hastings. Insider's Tip: Admission to the Santa Barbara Art Museum, as well as other Santa Barbara downtown art galleries, is free on the first Thursday of every month.. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden | Photo Copyright: Karen Hastings. Here, you'll be near the shops and restaurants along State Street and other attractions, like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

Previous Mission Santa Barbara The late 18th-century Previous Mission Santa Barbara gave extra than simply its identity to town.. Santa Barbara Museum of Artwork State Road’s Santa Barbara Museum of Artwork only recently started a large five-year renovation and enlargement mission, which has significantly lower down on the works on show.. Go to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse For an additional architectural gem in Santa Barbara, go to the County Courthouse, which is lauded as one of many USA’s most lovelyauthorities buildings.. Different good choicesfor teenagers are the Nationwide Maritime Museum within the harbor, the Santa Barbara Museum of PureHistorical past, and the Santa Barbara Zoo.. Go to the Santa Barbara Museum of Artwork There is a selection of small galleries all through Santa Barbara, however for the largestassortment head to the Santa Barbara Museum of Artwork, which has over 27,000 items in its everlastingassortment, that includessuperbartwork from throughout the globe.

It’s been called America’s Riviera because it’s as gorgeous and temperate as that famous stretch of European coast, except with the added value of movie stars (Brad Pitt and Oprah have homes there).. And things to do in Santa Barbara range from the expected (long beach walks and poolside naps) to the novel (strolling a whole neighborhood devoted to wine tasting).. The town’s rolling mountains have long enticed visitors, as have the miles of gently sloping beaches.. Hideaway Santa Barbara. And hey, where else are you welcomed with a glass of champagne?. Old Mission Santa Barbara. BoatHouse Hendry's Beach. You can’t visit Santa Barbara without basking in the town’s famous afternoon pink glow on the mountains and the equally blush-toned sunset over the Pacific.. Merci Montecito. There’s great shopping.. Wendy Foster’s mini fashion empire comprises boutiques in nearby Montecito and Los Olivos as well as a couple here in Santa Barbara.. Try to find a more delicious ice cream than McConnell’s signature flavor, Santa Barbara Strawberry.

Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : Tourists and locals alike love Butterfly Beach for its breathtaking views and walkable shores.. If you only have time for one beach, this is it.. Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : The 1st Thursday art walk is the perfect way to begin a classic Santa Barbara night out.. Enjoy a tour of local galleries.. Geneva's expert tip : No advance reservation is necessary, but the garden's maximum capacity is often reached on weekends.. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. It is also home to the area's only planetarium.. Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : This museum is fun and educational for all ages.. More than 500 animals are showcased on 30 lushly planted acres overlooking the beach.. Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : Animals!. Geneva's expert tip : For now, the Santa Barbara Zoo is open to all but requires reservations.. Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : The Santa Barbara Museum of Art just completed a stunning six-year renovation.. No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a stop at the Santa Barbara Harbor.. Recommended for Best Attractions & Activities because : Known as the "Queen of the Missions," this historic building offers tours, has an ocean view and is fronted by the prettiest rose garden!

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum celebrates the history of the Santa Barbara community, dating back to the Chumash up through modern day through compelling programs and vibrant exhibits, all conveniently situated in the historic heart of downtown Santa Barbara.. You are reading "20 Best Free & Affordable Attractions in Santa Barbara, CA Year Round" Back to Top Things to do near me today, beaches with kids, romantic parks, unique places to visit in USA right now, hotels, tourist attractions: Sarasota , From Boston , OR , NC , From Houston , NJ , GA. Nestled within a thriving cultural and performing arts district in the downtown area of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Public Market is one of the leading dining destinations in the city for both visitors and locals, as well as a place for a diverse group of merchants.. You are reading "20 Best Free & Affordable Attractions in Santa Barbara, CA Year Round this Weekend with Friends" Back to Top or More places to see near me today, what to do, weekend trips. Nearest romantic getaways today at night, places near me, best small beach town, local restaurants, outside, things to do with kids near me, staycation, beaches, resorts near me, how do I plan: Cincinnati , MD , OR Beaches , HI , Indoor Amusement Parks , Things to Do in Gatlinburg , WI , Orlando , Texas Beaches. You are reading "20 Best Free & Affordable Attractions in Santa Barbara, CA Year Round" Back to Top or More tourism, attractions for couples, food, things to see near me today. 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What to do near my location, wedding venues near me: For Couples , Chandler , Ventura , NH , Venice Beach , GA day trips , Hudson , Juneau , Bellevue , Rochester , Berkshires , Glamping , OH Day Trips , Riverside , Mobile Beaches , Cheap , FL day trips , SC , WA. "20 Best Free & Affordable Attractions in Santa Barbara, CA Year Round" Back to Top or Romantic Getaways , Wedding Ideas close to me this weekend, honeymoon, anniversary Ideas, fun places near me. Cool places to go near me: Honeymoon , Black Sand Beaches , Memorial Day , Laguna Beach , NY BeachesSecluded , Texas Caves , Raleigh , Columbia , Romantic GACharlottesville , Bend , Tallahassee , Cape May , TX resortsMindfulnessKennebunkport , TX day trips. El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park is surrounded by the bustling city of Santa Barbara and is where the last remaining of the military outposts constructed by the Spanish along the Alta California coast.. 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Places to eat near me, coffee shops, flea, farmers market, hotel, where to stay, sandy beach by car: Things to Do in Louisville , Best Places to visit in the Bay Area , Best Aquariums , TX Glamping , NY , FL , CO. The Self-Guided Red Tile Walking Tour is a pleasant stroll through downtown Santa Barbara that introduces visitors to some of the most interesting historic landmarks in the city through around twelve blocks, starting with the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.. Sites visitors can see on the Self-Guided Red Tile Walking Tour include Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Public Library, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Hill-Carrillo Adobe, Casa De la Guerra, Presidio Avenue, and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.. Old Mission Santa Barbara , Photo: James Sakaguchi/stock.adobe.com Santa Barbara Historical Museum , Photo: Santa Barbara Historical Museum The Santa Barbara Public Market , Photo: The Santa Barbara Public Market Santa Barbara Carriage and Western Arts Museum , Photo: Olgierd Kajak/stock.adobe.com Old Spanish Days Fiesta , Photo: santiago silver/stock.adobe.com Potbellied & Miniature Pig Rescue & Sanctuary , Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com Coronado Butterfly Preserve , Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com Fernald Mansion , Photo: Fernald Mansion Alameda Park , Photo: Rochelle/stock.adobe.com Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park , Photo: Jose/stock.adobe.com Stearns Wharf , Photo: cherylvb/stock.adobe.com Sunday Arts & Crafts Show , Photo: irottlaender/stock.adobe.com El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park , Photo: Georg Lehnerer/stock.adobe.com Andree Clark Bird Refuge , Photo: angeldibilio/stock.adobe.com Shoreline Park , Photo: Lux Blue/stock.adobe.com The Santa Barbara Public Library , Photo: The Santa Barbara Public Library American Riviera Franceschi Park , Photo: American Riviera Franceschi Park Self Guided Red Tile Walking Tour , Photo: filipefrazao/stock.adobe.com Santa Claus Beach , Photo: Viacheslav Sidorov/stock.adobe.com Santa Barbara County Courthouse , Photo: Carlos Santa Maria/stock.adobe.com Cover Photo: Lux Blue/stock.adobe.com

In today’s guide, learn all about all the best things to do in Santa Barbara, as well as essential information about Santa Barbara: how to get here, the best time to visit, and what to expect from your visit.. The coastline of Santa Barbara is indeed magical, but the many parks and outdoor playgrounds scattered throughout the city, offering a great experience for kids and kids at heart.. More parks in Santa Barbara:. It’s no wonder this courthouse has been called the most beautiful public building in the country.. Santa Barbara County Courthouse Address: 1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 931011 | 805-882-4520 Hours: Visitors booth: Mon–Fri 8:30am–4:30pm, Sat–Sun 10am–4:30pm; Free tours: Mon–Fri 10:30am and 2pm; Sat–Sun 2pm Website: Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Toma Restaurant & Bar Address: 324 W Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 | 805-962-0777 Hours: Dinner: Sun–Thu 5pm–9pm, Fri–Sat 5pm–10pm Website: Toma Restaurant & Bar. Arroyo Burro Beach , better known to locals as Hendry’s Beach (see the previous item on the Boathouse Restaurant), is a scenic, pet-friendly beach that is a favorite of locals.. It’s all thanks to policies that support walking within the city, effective information dissemination, and the design of the city.

Santa Barbara Surfing Museum. With its long stretch of coastline and almost year round blue skies, it should come as no surprise that surfing is a popular pastime in Santa Barbara.. Historic surfing memorabilia at the Santa Barbara Surfing Museum (Photo: Martin Chalifour photos via Flickr). Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. Located in the infamous Santa Barbara funk zone, DV8 Cellars is a winery that was designed to be different.. Created by Marc Simon, former member of the glam rock band The Wild Side, and his wife Dominique, the boutique winery aims to recreate wines from France’s Rhone Valley, right here on the west coast of America.. Opened in 1916, the Natural History Museum is the oldest museum in Santa Barbara.. Colourful orchid plants at the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate (Photo: Amanda via Flickr). A great place to sample some of the locally made wine is at the family owned Whitcraft Winery, which has a tasting room open to the public from Friday to Monday each week.. Now, twenty years on, and run by the second generation of Whitcrafts, this boutique winery has grown into a local favourite for wine tasting.. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. One of southern California’s finest art museums, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art attracts visitors from far and wide thanks to its nationally recognised collections and special exhibitions of international importance.. Highlights of the museum’s remarkable permanent collection include antiquities; 19th-century French, British, and American art; 20th-century and contemporary European, North American and Latin American art; Asian art; photography; and works on paper.. A painting displayed at Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Photo: Santa Barbara Museum of Art). The gallery first opened in Seattle in 2005 before opening its Santa Barbara outpost in 2010.

Santa Barbara is one of my favorite places to visit in the U.S. It’s an absolutely stunning California coastal town with jaw-dropping sunsets, gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history.. Our Audi Q7 rental at Pismo State Beach on our way up the Pacific Coast Highway The Santa Barbara Trolley on a stop at the Mission The tour only lasts about 90 minutes but you can hop on and off all day if you’d like for $25 for adults.. Photo by Jay Sinclair/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Santa Barbara offers many beautiful beaches whether you want to just kick back and relax, take a stroll or splash in the surf.. Leadbetter Beach near Santa Barbara Harbor Goleta Beach Park in nearby Goleta Arroyo Burro Beach. By far one of the coolest things I’ve ever done is kayaking through sea caves at Channel Islands National Park just off the coast of Santa Barbara.. The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen — from the Santa Barbara harbor and marina One of the highlights of Santa Barbara is Stearns Wharf and the harbor area, which is at the end of its charming downtown.. Credit Visit Santa Barbara Brought from Australia in 1877, you’ll find it not far from the harbor and wharf area, though somehow it’s easily missed if you don’t know to look for it!. Photo By Cecilia Rosell, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Located in the Mission Canyon area of Santa Barbara, the beautiful Santa Barbara Botanic Garden spans 78 acres , which are filled with California native plants.. Photo by Ciro Coelho Right in downtown Santa Barbara is an amazing underground salt cave , which offers a variety of spa experiences, including hot salt stone massages, salt scrubs and more.. Awesome view from this hike near Santa Barbara With its canyons, ocean and vast plant and floral life everywhere, Santa Barbara is a great destination to take a hike whether you want high-up coastal views, a rugged canyon hike or a romp through wildflowers.. Photo by Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara You’ll also find a planetarium, 17 acres of forest along Mission Creek and 74-foot-long blue whale skeleton, known as “Chad,” shown above.. Paseo Nuevo, Credit: Jay Sinclair Even though I’m not a shopper, one of my favorite things to do in Santa Barbara is to wander among its vast “ paseos ,” which are arcades that run off of its main thoroughfare of State Street.. Photo by Jay Sinclair/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara Just outside of Santa Barbara, about a 45-minute drive, is the Santa Ynez Valley full of many small towns, most of which boast wineries.

Courtesy of Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Spartanburg has several outstanding theaters.. The queen of cultural venues is the 3,244-seat Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium , christened the Showplace of the South when it was built in 1951.. Courtesy of Spartanburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Spartanburg has fostered its fair share of big-name musicians in a variety of styles, and you can learn all about them along the Spartanburg Music Trail .. The Spartanburg Music Trail website offers online stories, samples, and side trips and brochures can be found at Hub City Bookshop .. For the best views of the city, head to the top of the AC Hotel Spartanburg , with four terraces offering 360-degree views of the city and amzing food to match the view.. Throughout the year, downtown Spartanburg hosts all kinds of festivals, including live music on Thursdays (April-August), Jazz on the Square on Fridays (April-October), and an ArtWalk every third Thursday.. There’s also the AC Hotel Spartanburg on Main Street, which holds lectures and other educational events relating to the museum-quality Black Mountain College artworks decorating the lobby walls.. If you’ve ever wondered how the Germans put together one of the sleekest cars on Earth, the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg —the only BMW factory in the USA—offers one- and two-hour tours.. Walnut Grove Plantation in Roebuck, about 5 miles south of town, delves into the history of the free and enslaved people who lived in South Carolina’s backcountry, along with the history of the Scots-Irish immigrants who settled here.. Nicknamed Hub City for its historic confluence of railroad tracks, Spartanburg's old mills and brick buildings are being transformed into buzzy restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and shops.

An American-style hot spot in the heart of the Funk Zone of Santa Barbara, Sevens has scrumptious classics like its back-to-basics mac & cheese and upgrades to your favorites like truffle fries.. Offering the ultimate in effortlessly chic California dining experiences, the top-notch chefs at Finch & Fork personally source Santa Barbara County ingredients to bring you fresh, simple, local food.. Founded in 1786, Mission Santa Barbara is a great place to start exploring and learning about Santa Barbara’s Spanish roots.. Out of all the beautiful beaches around Santa Barbara, Butterfly Beach is one of my top picks.. From fresh seafood to microbrew beer, from fair-trade coffee to artisanal ice cream, the Santa Barbara Public Market is a foodie’s dream come true.

Santa Barbara History Location and Layout Beaches and Parks in Santa Barbara East Beach West Beach Sunset Butterfly Beach: Best Summer Experience Alameda Park: kids attractions near me Parma Park Rattlesnake Canyon. Architecture and Museum Tours Santa Barbara Presidio Santa Barbara Historical Museum Mission Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Staying Safe from COVID-19 in Santa Barbara. Tucked along a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains , Santa Barbara’s refreshing climate and lovely beachfronts have earned it the moniker as America’s Riviera.. Butterfly beach a narrow strip located east of East Beach past the Santa Barbara Cemetery Association.. If you desire a bit of space to spread out, Parma Park on Standwood Drive is Santa Barbara’s largest city park.. Beaches and parks aren’t the only way to enjoy the outdoors in sunny Santa Barbara.. Santa Barbara’s other great historic treasure is the Spanish-era church known as Mission Santa Barbara .. Finally, it’s only again a short drive to reach Santa Barbara Botanic Garden , a sprawling natural reserve set on some 78 acres and featuring over 5 miles of attractive walking paths, a Japanese tea garden, and lovely exhibits of wildflower arrangements.

The city of Santa Barbara, California lies less than 100 miles north of Los Angeles on the American Riviera, a breathtakingly beautiful part of the Pacific Coast.. Outdoor activities near many Santa Barbara vacation rentals include cycling, kayaking, horseback riding, and whale watching.. Located on Stearns Wharf on the waterfront, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center is the perfect place for the whole family to discover the wonders of local marine life.. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is in a large, beautiful white building in the midst of the downtown area.. Santa Barbara Glassblowing Studio is located at Santa Barbara Art Glass near Stearns Wharf.. Tour the ocean waters in the Santa Barbara Channel and off the Channel Islands, and observe gray whales, blue whales, and humpback whales on their annual migrations.. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum, located in the downtown historic district, offers a unique look at Santa Barbara’s fascinating past.. The Paddle Sports Center, conveniently situated on the Santa Barbara waterfront, rents kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and related equipment so you can explore the lovely coastal waters.. You can also take a guided kayak tour of Santa Barbara Harbor and the waterfront area.. The amazing Santa Barbara Maritime Museum lies on the waterfront in Santa Barbara Harbor.. Santa Barbara is a bike-friendly city, and Wheel Fun Rentals offers a self-guided bicycle tour itinerary that allows you to explore most of its major attractions while you peddle along in the warm sunshine.. Santa Barbara Helicopter Tours offers flights over the city, the waterfront, the downtown area, and the mission.


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