Things To Do In Santa Barbara
A SECRET SEASCAPE IN THE ROLLING HILLSIDE ~ SANTA BARBARA, CA
Sunsets on the beach. Eclectic cuisine on the streets. Salty freshness in the air…and a community with a definitive flair. Santa Barbara is coastal California’s hidden gem, as offbeat as it is off the beaten path. It’s no wonder this is such a popular place to escape. Because every single spot of it is uniquely wonderful.
Santa Barbara is so diverse, your most difficult vacation decision just might occur before you even get here. It reads almost like a class picture. There are homes for the outgoing. Spots for the shy. Areas for the athletic. Communities for the cool and clever (and okay, the rich and famous). Only in Santa Barbara can you proudly call each one...your neighbor.
What To Do
GET OUTSIDE ~ OR FIND A QUIET PLACE TO HIDE
With sunshine at your back virtually year round, Santa Barbara always welcomes your family to join in on an al fresco activity or two. But on those rare rainy days or if you just want to get away, museums and daytrips are certainly always at your fingertips.
COASTAL HIKES AND BEACHES
To spend the day relaxing on a pristine beach with the whole family, head to Carpinteria. If you want to let your dog run wild off its leash, Arroyo Burro Beach has you covered. Or if you're looking for plenty of beachside sports and activities, plan a stop at the downtown beaches. For more details, have a look at our in-depth guide to the best beaches in Santa Barbara. If you want to see the landscape on the move, there are dozens of coastal hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous.
A MYRIAD OF MUSEUMS
Santa Barbara has its share of museums to choose from.
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO THE WINE COUNTRY
For locals and visitors alike, heading to the nearby wine country is a favorite thing to do on a sunny Santa Barbara Day. To get there, you can either drive yourself, hire a private tour, or use the new Uber Wine service, in which the driver waits while you head into wine tastings for as long as you like. For a complete look at Santa Barbara wine country, check out our comprehensive guide.
Insider tip: There's an old stagecoach stop called the Cold Spring Tavern on Stagecoach Road off Highway 154. Stop in here for a drink or a bite to eat for an authentic Western experience.
A DAY TRIP OR TWO
Climb aboard a trolley tour or horse’s back and take in the unique sites of Santa Barbara. You can also expand your horizons by bringing the kids to Disneyland or just the adults up to Wine Country.
There are plenty of day trips in the Santa Barbara area. Disneyland is always a family favorite, the Channel Islands offer spectacular scenery, hiking, sea kayaking, and cave exploring, and for history buffs, the Hearst Castle makes for a wonderful day out.
Check out our comprehensive list of the 5 best day trips from Santa Barbara to learn more.
THE SOUND OF FORE
There’s no shortage of world-class, championship courses in these parts. Around 6 public ones to be exact. And they’re popular for a reason, so make those tee times early.
AND SHOPPING GALORE
No two stores are the same around town. From nationally known names to diamond-in-the-rough specialty shops, Santa Barbara spans the full spectrum.
Where To Eat
WHERE FINE DINING ~ IS PAR FOR THE COURSE
What you currently craving? Chances are, Santa Barbara has you covered. Here are just a few of our suggestions:
A time-honored restaurant that holds onto their classic, upscale setting of steak, wine and the fine way to dine. Learn More.
Enjoy the mouth party or calming views of the marina at this seaside spot. Learn More.
Near the waterfront of Santa Barbara, enjoy the romantic vibes that comes with a good Italian restaurant. Learn More.
Grab and go or take your sweet time to dine, this elegant setting has everything to start your day off right. Learn More.
The true Santa Barbara wine country cuisine, head to Bouchon, where you'll be treated to meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients and unrivaled customer service. Their fish comes straight from the Santa Barbara channel, and its produce is locally sourced from nearby country farms. Their wines are then meticulously selected by experts to pair with your food, with spectacular results. This must-try restaurant is only open from 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, so make your reservations soon.
THE DAILY GRIND
Choose your own coffee adventure and start your day off right with a good breakfast (or lunch). Learn More.
Join the fashion-forward crowd who drown out week-day worries with hand-crafted cocktails and savory food. Learn More.
A famous Italian place where you’ll find locals, superstars and an exquisite, dining experience. Learn More.
SANTA BARBARA FISH HOUSE
One of the locals' favorite happy hour spots, the Fish House features fresh fish and amazing views of the Pacific horizon. Find a spot by the outdoor fire pit and sit back with a drink to round out a perfect day in Santa Barbara. See the menu and learn more information here.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Maximize Your Knowledge Of The Area ~ To Maximize The Enjoyment Of Your Stay
Still Have Questions?
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