Santa Barbara Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Santa Barbara; our list of the best things to see, including Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
  • The best place in Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art

    1130 State St
    A remarkably well-provisioned museum considering the size of the town, Santa Barbara's main art museum features a strong collection of Roman antiquities, as well as an impressive lineup of classical European and modern art. Frequently rotated exhibitions are among the strongest in California. Adults: $9; suggested donation on Sunday.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

    Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

    2559 Puesta Del Sol
    This large, well-presented museum is - literally - a hidden treasure. Highlights in the eleven exhibit halls include regional natural history, a life-size Blue Whale skeleton, and a rare skeleton of a pony-sized "pygmy mammoth." $10 for adults; free on the last Sunday of every month except September.
    Riviera eat nearby
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

    Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

    1212 Mission Canyon Rd
    9AM-5PM Nov-Feb, 9AM-6PM Mar-Oct. $8 adults, $6 seniors/teens/military with id, $4 children 2-12, under 2 free. Located on 65 acres in the foothills just above the city, the Garden features exquisite exhibits of California native plants displayed in beautiful landscaped settings. Walk along a meadow, through a canyon and redwood forest, across a historic dam, and along ridge tops that offer sweeping views of the Channel Islands. Established in 1926 as an educational and scientific institution, it is the oldest botanic garden in California dedicated to the study, conservation, and display of native flora.
    Riviera restaurants nearby
  • Santa Barbara Historical Museum

    Santa Barbara Historical Museum

    136 E De la Guerra St
    Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Free.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Santa Barbara Zoo

    Santa Barbara Zoo

    500 Ninos Dr
    Every day, 10AM-5PM, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and some private events. Small but well-represented with over 600 animals, the zoo has provided entertainment for all ages since 1963 and is the largest zoo between Los Angeles and San Francisco (unless you count the Monterey Aquarium). Adults 13-59: $14. Children 2-13 and Seniors 60+: $10. Children under 2: Free.
    Eastside eat nearby
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival

    Santa Barbara International Film Festival

    Held annually towards the end of January/beginning of February
    [22] Held annually towards the end of January/beginning of February, the film festival welcomes some of the biggest names in Hollywood with awards ceremonies and world premier screenings.
    Downtown restaurants nearby
  • Wine Tours

    Wine Tours

    Daily wine tasting excursions depart from most area hotels
    The Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle (888) 8-WINERY, [19] offers a flexible day aboard deluxe shuttles. Cloud Climbers Jeep Tours offer a wine tour in open air jeeps [20]. Sustainable Vine (805)698-3911. [21] focuses on the producers employing sustainable practices.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Mission Santa Barbara

    Mission Santa Barbara

    2201 Laguna St
    , (from downtown State St., turn east onto Mission St. and follow signs pointing toward the Mission), (805) 682-4149, [9]. Self-guided tours daily 9AM-4:30PM. Known as "The Queen of the Missions," Santa Barbara's "Old Mission" is a superb example of California's Franciscan Spanish architecture. The tenth California Mission to be constructed, Mission Santa Barbara today is both a scenic wonder and a fine anthropological study of original native culture in the surrounding area. Well worth a visit, note the adjacent pottery kiln and tanning vat ruins. Adults $5.
    Downtown eat nearby
  • The Italian Pottery Outlet

    The Italian Pottery Outlet

    929 State St
    A family owned business, it has been in this location for more than 15 years. It carries the largest collection of Italian pottery in the west and at discounted prices.
  • Presidio of Santa Barbara

    Presidio of Santa Barbara

    123 East Canon Perdido St
    Every day except major holidays, 10:30AM-4:30PM. A military fortress founded in 1782, only parts of which remain. Some parts are gradually being rebuilt. Adults $5, seniors (62+) $4, children 16 & under free.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Karpeles Museum

    21 West Anapamu St
    (half a block from State St), (805) 962-5322, [15]. W-Su, noon-4PM. The Karpeles Library is the world's largest private holding of important original manuscripts & documents. Among the items on permanent display in the museum is an original Stone copy of the Declaration of Independence, a replica of the globe used by Columbus (sans the Western Hemisphere), handwritten scores by a dozen leading composers, and the computer guidance system used on the first Apollo lander flight to the moon. Free.
    Downtown eat nearby
  • Sanguis

    8 Ashley Avenue
    Santa Barbara Winery
    Eastside restaurants nearby
  • Beaches

    along the waterfront
    Santa Barbara's most popular beach, East Beach, is a pristine stretch of blindingly white sand framed by postcard quality palm trees, surrounding hills and nearby harbor. For less crowded beachcombing, try nearby Leadbetter Beach, or further up the road, isolated Arroyo Burro (known to locals as Hendry's Beach,) where dog lovers bring their pets to frolic in a no-leashes-needed surfside dog park. Hendry's Beach is also home to a nudist beach, where one can often see a frolicking nude man pass by. Even more isolated is Butterfly Beach, tucked away in a cove beneath the high-toned Biltmore Hotel in Montecito.
    Eastside food nearby
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse

    1100 Anacapa St
    M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa-Su 10AM-4:30PM. Guided tours, M-Sa 2pm and M, Tu, F 10:30am. Built in 1929 and the grandest building in the town. A working courthouse, this Spanish-Moorish castle has frescoes, murals and Tunisian tilework. The El Mirador Bell Tower provides great views of the city and the bay. The grounds contain a collection of palms and specimen trees from more than 25 countries and a printed guide to the plants is available. Free.
    Downtown eat nearby
  • Stearns Wharf

    end of State Street along the Waterfront
    This picturesque 1872 wharf - the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco - has lots of history. Badly damaged several times by fire, it has been repeatedly rebuilt and today features more than a dozen shops and restaurants, and one of the best views in California from the end of its pier. You may see brown pelicans at the end of the wharf. It was once owned by Hollywood legend James Cagney. Free.
    Eastside restaurants nearby
  • Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery

    217 State Street, downtown
    Tu, Th 11AM-4:30PM with extended summer hours. Free. Features original Reagan Ranch artifacts matched with state-of-the-art, interactive, multimedia exhibits that highlight the history of Ronald Reagan’s quarter-century at Rancho del Cielo and the accomplishments of his presidency. Over six hours of dynamic multimedia exhibits provide access to exclusive speeches, interviews, radio addresses, and original video presentations. The centerpiece is a 28-foot-long interactive “timeline” that gives users the ability to explore the “Western White House” during the 1980s.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Golf

    Santa Barbara has numerous private and public golf courses located in and around the city
    Hidden Oaks, Twin Lakes, and Ocean Meadows are nine-hole courses that provide budget prices for a round of golf. For those wishing to play 18 holes without spending a lot, the Santa Barbara Golf Club, located at 3500 McCaw, provides reasonably priced rounds. For those wishing to spend more, Sandpiper Golf Course, located north of Goleta on Hollister, or Rancho San Marcos, located about 15 miles up the 154, provide a world class golf experience.
    Downtown eat nearby
  • Brophy Bros.

    Brophy Bros.

    119 Harbor Way
    Purveyors of Fresh Seafood
  • Romanti-Ezer


    701 Chapala Street
    "Wierd Name - Delicious Food" [sic] A great walk-up Mexican restaurant with outdoor and limited indoor seating, in-the-know locals look for options with the mole sauce.
  • See's Candies - Paseo Nuevo

    See's Candies - Paseo Nuevo

    205 Paseo Nuevo
    Welcome to the official See's Candies Facebook page!
  • Cajun Kitchen

    901 Chapala St
    , 1924-A De la Vina St. Very popular breakfast and lunch place. The best breakfast in town. Delicious sausages. Good price.
  • Pascucci

    729 State St
    , Santa Barbara's best affordable Italian food.
  • Super Cuca's Taquería

    2030 Cliff Dr
    Micheltorena St., Big burritos, vegetarian recommended even for those die-hard carnivores.
  • Chuck's of Hawaii

    3888 State St
    , 113 Harbor Way, (805) 564-1200, A great cut of beef. Try anything with artichokes.
    Upper State
  • The James Joyce

    513 State Street
      Open 10AM-2AM daily. Yes, it's an Irish pub, or "A Traditional Irish Bar." Free peanuts, a fireplace and dixieland jazz bands on the weekend. Guinness flows freely.
  • Panino

    834 Santa Barbara St
    , Good variety of sandwiches.
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Santa Barbara uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.