Santa BarbaraUnited States of America

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Visit Santa Barbara

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.

Top Hotels in Santa Barbara

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Chumash Casino Resort
Chumash Casino Resort
4 out of 5
3400 East Highway 246, Santa Ynez, CA
CA $142
per night
Feb 2 - Feb 3

Situated in Santa Ynez, this spa resort is within 2 miles (3 km) of Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Janeway-Parks Carriage House, Gainey Vineyard and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,561 reviews)

"The personal service, free valet parking, the nice attendant that helped us find our room explained how the key worked in the elevator and our room, offered to get ice and more bottled water for us. Very impressed!"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 17, 2020

Chumash Casino Resort
Hotel Corque
Hotel Corque
4 out of 5
400 Alisal Rd., Solvang, CA
CA $128
per night
Feb 2 - Feb 3

Situated in Solvang, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum and Solvang Festival Theater. Hans Christian Andersen Museum and ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (2,952 reviews)

"Gorgeous hotel will visit again for sure. Beautiful rooms clean friendly staff"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 20, 2020

Hotel Corque
Sideways Inn
Sideways Inn
3 out of 5
114 E Highway 246, Buellton, CA
CA $112
per night
Jan 26 - Jan 27

Situated in Buellton, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Mendenhall's Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Petroliana and OstrichLand USA. Hans Christian Andersen Park ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,803 reviews)

"Excellent, super clean, love the room decoration, modern and classy!!👌"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 20, 2020

Sideways Inn

Popular things to do in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County Courthouse
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Santa Barbara County Courthouse

4.5/5(12 reviews)

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

Top activities in Santa Barbara

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

CA $52

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 &

Kayaking Santa Barbara's Waterfront
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Kayaking Santa Barbara's Waterfront

CA $71

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.

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Food & Photography Tour
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Santa Barbara Funk Zone Food & Photography Tour

CA $141

Set out on foot with a smartphone camera in hand for a tastebud-driven exploration of Santa Barbara's lively and artistic Funk Zone. Snap photos of colorful dishes, stylish restaurant decor, and beachfront landmarks, and discover some of Santa Barbara's best cuisine with a passionate local as your guide.

Reviews of Santa Barbara

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
40
5 - Excellent 59.701492537313435%
4 - Good
26
4 - Good 38.80597014925373%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 1.492537313432836%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 13, 2019

What a great city with fabulous people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 21, 2019

Very pretty clean city

5/5 - Excellent

JC

Aug 25, 2019

Pretty nice town and beautiful beaches

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 17, 2019

Lovely beach, great restaurant options, everything we needed was close.

5/5 - Excellent

PieroT

Aug 10, 2019

A place worth visiting.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 1, 2019

Incredible place

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Santa Barbara

Whale watching in Santa Barbara
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Whale watching in Santa Barbara

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

Get stoked about the Santa Barbara Solstice
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Get stoked about the Santa Barbara Solstice

Welcoming summer in Central California

Spring Break for Baby Boomers
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Spring Break for Baby Boomers

Enjoying legendary Spring Break trips as a Baby Boomer

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