Things To Do In Santa Barbara

A SECRET SEASCAPE IN THE ROLLING HILLSIDE ~ SANTA BARBARA, CA

THE AREA

A QUIETER SIDE OF CALIFORNIA ~ THAT IS CERTAIN TO SOOTHE THE SOUL

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.

THE NEIGHBORHOODS

OUTWARDLY TRENDY YET CONSCIOUSLY INTROVERTED ~ A PLACE OF PERFECT BALANCE

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.

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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.

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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. 

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A MYRIAD OF MUSEUMS

Santa Barbara has its share of museums to choose from.

  • The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has displays on animal life, paleontology, and Native American cultures from the region.
  • At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, you'll find works dating from the ancient times all the way up to contemporary masterpieces from all corners of the globe.
  • A newcomer to the scene, the children's museum MOXI has been garnering rave reviews from locals. While it may be for children, moms and dads will certainly find it plenty interesting, too.
  • It may not be a museum, but the Santa Barbara Courthouse is one of the best tours in Santa Barbara. From the top of the clock tower you can see the beautiful courthouse grounds, the famous red tile roofs, the ocean, and the Ynez Mountains in the distance.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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LUCKY'S STEAKHOUSE

A time-honored restaurant that holds onto their classic, upscale setting of steak, wine and the fine way to dine. Learn More.

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BROPHY BRO'S

Enjoy the mouth party or calming views of the marina at this seaside spot. Learn More.

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TOMA'S RESTAURANT

Near the waterfront of Santa Barbara, enjoy the romantic vibes that comes with a good Italian restaurant. Learn More.

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JEANNINE'S BAKERY

Grab and go or take your sweet time to dine, this elegant setting has everything to start your day off right. Learn More.

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Bouchon

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.

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THE DAILY GRIND

Choose your own coffee adventure and start your day off right with a good breakfast (or lunch). Learn More.

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THE LARK

Join the fashion-forward crowd who drown out week-day worries with hand-crafted cocktails and savory food. Learn More.

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TRATTORIA MOLLI

A famous Italian place where you’ll find locals, superstars and an exquisite, dining experience. Learn More.

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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

  • Concerned about location? Worry not, most of InvitedHome’s properties are within a two-mile radius of downtown or Montecito.
  • Feel free to pack lightly, as the temperature is pretty much comfortable year round. Just pack a couple light sweaters and your latest evening wear should you want to hit the town.
  • Santa Barbara has its own airport, but many choose the lovely (and relatively quick drive) from other area airports.
  • Sidewalks are everywhere, but even the most enthusiastic explorer will need a car for convenience. It will help to research what’s in your immediate area before you come.
  • While Santa Barbara spans far and wide, nothing is more than a 30-minute drive. And with the exception of maybe on the street downtown, there’s always a place to park.

Still Have Questions?

We have answers. Please don’t hesitate to contact a live InvitedHome vacation consultant via call or chat and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need. We’re always here to help.

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