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Santa Barbara
Travel Guide

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

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.

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
4 out of 5
633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA
The price is CA $332 per night from Apr 11 to Apr 12

Located in East Beach, this beach hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Santa Barbara Zoo and within 3 mi (5 km) of Presidio Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County Courthouse. ...

4.1/5Very Good! (999 reviews)

"We loved the patio and how large the room was:)"…"

Reviewed on Apr. 10, 2021

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Wine Valley Inn
Wine Valley Inn
3 out of 5
1564 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA
The price is CA $162 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19

Situated in Solvang, this spa hotel is steps from Solvang Brewing Company and Solvang Festival Theater. Wildling Museum and Hans Christian Andersen Park are ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,389 reviews)

"None"…"

Reviewed on Apr. 10, 2021

Wine Valley Inn
Chumash Casino Resort
Chumash Casino Resort
4 out of 5
3400 East Highway 246, Santa Ynez, CA
The price is CA $137 per night from Apr 14 to Apr 15

Situated in Santa Ynez, this spa resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Janeway-Parks Carriage House and Chumash Casino. Gainey ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,692 reviews)

"Great casino resort with new, clean and spacious rooms! The only drawback was the walkway between the parking garage and hotel was closed so we had to go through the casino in order to get to the hotel lobby. Could have parked in front with valet service, but not comfortable during Covid times. Location ..."…"

Reviewed on Apr. 10, 2021

Chumash Casino Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
2 out of 5
3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, CA

Located in Santa Barbara, this family-friendly cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Los Padres National Forest, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Rancho San Marcos Golf Course ...

4.4/5Excellent! (57 reviews)

"It was perfect to spend time with my two boys some bonding time"…"

Reviewed on Nov. 21, 2019

Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
Cozy Vintage Trailer Wine Country Retreat
Cozy Vintage Trailer Wine Country Retreat
Santa Ynez, CA
The price is CA $119 per night from Apr 11 to Apr 12

Situated in the mountains, this vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Janeway-Parks Carriage House and Chumash ...

5/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Birthday Stay

"Nikki was great in communication from time of placing the reservation until the end. Great location, beautiful residence..owls, chickens, toads; great noises of nature"…"

Reviewed on Apr. 5, 2021

Cozy Vintage Trailer Wine Country Retreat
Summerland Guest Cottage just steps to downtown and the beach!  Pet Friendly
Summerland Guest Cottage just steps to downtown and the beach! Pet Friendly
Summerland, CA
The price is CA $251 per night from Apr 13 to Apr 14

This family-friendly Summerland apartment building is located by the sea, within a 10-minute walk of Lookout Park and Summerland Beach. Montecito Village Shopping ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (87 reviews)
Amazing!

"My sisters and I stayed at this guest house and there was plenty of room for us 3. It was in a cute neighborhood that had a farmers market one block away on Sundays! The room it self was fully stocked with food, drinks, blankets, towels, and there was even an extra charger that came in handy because ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 29, 2021

Summerland Guest Cottage just steps to downtown and the beach! Pet Friendly
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top things to do in Santa Barbara

Reviews of Santa Barbara

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
46
5 - Excellent 63.013698630136986%
4 - Good
26
4 - Good 35.61643835616438%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.36986301369863%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 22, 2020

Beautiful! We toured around and the views are breathtaking.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 3, 2020

Loved samta barbara

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 26, 2020

Wonderful climate. Beautiful beach and ocean setting plus the wharves were filled with great eateries. All the history in the city was very interesting.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 24, 2020

I love this city. Might be one of my favorite in California.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Nov 13, 2019

What a great city with fabulous people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Sep 21, 2019

Very pretty clean city

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