Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara is one of California’s most charming cities, with spectacular Spanish-style architecture and a spectacular palm-lined waterfront, all backed by mountains glowing pink in the late afternoon light. In 1925, a major earthquake destroyed much of the city, and it was rebuilt in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, resulting in the beautiful architecture you see today.
Many of Santa Barbara’s tourist attractions are in close proximity to each other, making it an easy city to find, and you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly adventures. Other popular things to do include exploring the spectacular Mission Santa Barbara and the city’s excellent museums, coming face-to-face with wild animals at the zoo, shopping in the palm-lined mall along State Street, watching humpback whales leap from the ocean, and some beautiful Exploring hiking trails. The city also hosts a busy line-up of festivals throughout the year. Favorites include the Old Spanish Days (Fiesta) in June and the Summer Solstice Parade in June.
1 Best Places to visit in Santa Barbara Mission
Called the “Queen of the Mission” for its scenic beauty and picturesque setting, Mission Santa Barbara is the city’s most iconic landmark, and its style has strongly influenced the city’s architecture. Best Places to visit in Santa Barbara Mission is the only California mission to remain with Franciscans since it was founded in 1786, and a community of Franciscan friars still reside here today.
The current church was completed in 1820 and was rebuilt by Chumash Indians, led by Father Antonio Ripoli, after an earthquake destroyed the original chapel and surrounding buildings in 1812. Highlights include the Roman temple facade, twin towers (which are unique among missions), and colonial-era art and sculptures. Today, the mission serves as a parish church – an uplifting place to attend a service.
Also within the complex is a museum with art pieces from the colonial period and many interesting artifacts. Particularly worth seeing is the beautiful La Huerta Historic Garden, with Mission-era plants such as citrus, grapes, pomegranates, and prickly pears, and the cemetery, where many prominent early Spaniards as well as 4,000 Chumash Indians found their final resting place. Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara You can tour the campus on your own or join a periodic tour scheduled over certain days.
After visiting the mission, take a stroll down the street and explore the ruins of the old Mission Aqueduct, built by Chumash Indians in 1806, and if you have time, stop by the fragrant Mission Rose Garden, for a picnic on a sunny day. Is a beautiful place.
Address: 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, California
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2 Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Stearns Wharf
At the bottom of State Street, in downtown Santa Barbara, Stearns Wharf offers breathtaking views of the harbor and beaches backed by the Santa Ynez Mountains. It was built in 1872 and, at the time, was the longest deep water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Today, this tourist magnet is home to specialty shops; Restaurant; and the Sea Center, one of two sites of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
This is a great place to hang out with an ice cream or have a seafood lunch with ocean views. Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Stearns Wharf You can also go to the bait and tackle shop and have a line cast from the end of the pier (look for the harbor seals). If you have kids, a fun way to get here is by lil’ broken water taxi from Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Harbor.
A great way to explore the area around Stearns Wharf is to rent a bike from one of the nearby rental shops and pedal along the beachfront bike paths that trace the beach near the pier entrance. If you want to stay closer to this buzzing tourist hub, some of Santa Barbara’s best beach resorts overlook the shoreline on either side of the pier.
3 Historic Places to visit in Santa Barbara County Courthouse
After an earthquake in 1929 destroyed much of the city in 1925, this National (and State) Historic Landmark is one of the city’s architectural jewels. This city building occupies a full city block and is an example of the Spanish-Colonial Revival style. As you wander the tiled corridors, pay attention to the hand-painted ceilings; ornate tilework, some of which is from Tunisia and Spain; and iron chandeliers. Another highlight is the Mural Room, which tells the story of Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara’s history. Free docent-guided tours are available at scheduled times.
Surrounding the Courthouse is a beautiful sunny garden, with palms and plants from more than 25 different countries, where concerts, community events and weddings are often held. Historic Places to visit in Santa Barbara County Courthouse For beautiful views overlooking the ocean on the city’s red-tiled roofs, take the lift to the top of the 85-foot El Mirador clock tower, a popular spot for marriage proposals.
Address: 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California
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4 Kid Attractions in Santa Barbara Zoo
Over 30 acres, the Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Zoo has a beautiful setting on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its large, open spaces and lush gardens of palms and native plants impart the feel of a botanical garden, making it a lovely place to visit. For such a small zoo, you’ll find an impressive variety of animals.
Highlights include lions, snow leopards, Asian elephants, California condors, and the Western Lowland gorilla exhibit. Kid Attractions in Santa Barbara Zoo The zoo also offers fun interactive experiences such as barnyards and giraffe feeding stations. If you want a quick overview of the exhibits, hop on the Zoo Train, which travels around the exhibits and offers beautiful views along the way. Fun family events include booze at the zoo and sleepover safaris.
Address: 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, California
5 Unique Places to visit in Santa Barbara Editor’s Pick Whale Watching Tours
Few things are as exhilarating as watching a humpback whale breach from the ocean, and in Santa Barbara, you can join a whale-watching cruise for a front row seat to all the action. More than 27 species of whales and dolphins swim the waters of the Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Channel, making it one of the best places in the country to see marine mammals in the wild.
From May to November, humpback and blue whales feed here, and gray whales migrate along the Santa Barbara coast on their northern and southern migrations. Unique Places to visit in Santa Barbara Editor’s Pick Whale Watching Tours Even if you don’t spot whales, you can usually spot other wildlife like dolphins, sea lions, and even orcas. Select Cruises also offer a whale-watch guarantee, allowing you to try it again for free on another day during the season if you miss a look.
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6 Best places to visit in Santa Barbara Museum of Art
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of art for such a small town, with more than 27,000 works spanning 5,000 years. The museum is particularly noted for its collection of Claude Monet paintings, classical antiquity, American and European artworks of the 19th and 20th centuries, contemporary American painting, Asian art, and photography.
As you enter, note the Portrait of Mexico Today, a 1932 mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, the only intact specimen in the United States. Best places to visit in Santa Barbara Museum of Art The museum also hosts great traveling exhibitions with great interactive displays and features a children’s gallery. The building also houses a museum store, cafe, and an extensive library.
Address: 1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, California
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7 Tourist spots in Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center
For more than a century, this excellent museum has featured fascinating exhibits on the natural history of the area. Today, the museum comprises two campuses: the Mission Canyon campus, nestled in beautiful oak woodland along Mission Creek, and the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf, which provides a window into the underwater world of the Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Channel.
One of the first things you’ll see is a life-size 72-foot blue whale skeleton at the Mission Valley campus entrance, a great display to see before going on a whale watching trip. Other popular performances here include performances on the Chumash Indians; mammal hall; Gladwin Planetarium, with interactive exhibits on space exploration; and beautiful woodland nature trails along the bay. Tourist spots in Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center Special exhibitions complement the permanent collection. During the summer, don’t miss the butterflies alive! Perform for up-close views of these winged beauties.
The Sea Center, with beautiful views over the water, is also wonderful for families with kids. Here, you can touch a baby shark, feel the texture of a sea anemone tentacle, catch a hermit crab, and see exotic-like jellyfish. Other interactive exhibits include catching a crabpot, studying animal behavior, and examining microscopic marine life.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Address: 2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, California
Address: 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California
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8 Unique things to do in Santa Barabara Moxie, Wolf Museum of Exploration
Ever wanted to create sound effects for a Hollywood movie or step inside a giant guitar? In Moxie, you can do all this and more. In an elegant Spanish Colonial-style building with whimsical ocean-themed accents, this brand new science and technology museum opened two blocks from the Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara waterfront in early 2017. Engaging hands-on indoor and outdoor exhibits on three floors are divided into themes such as Light, Speed, Interactive Media, Fantastic Force and Sky Garden.
You can watch how 3D printers create objects in the Innovation Workshop, build a race car and test it out on a museum track, or take a selfie and create a customized mosaic to share with your friends. use it. Unique things to do in Santa Barabara Moxie, Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation Top your visit with spectacular views over Santa Barbara from the rooftop deck, where you can look through a series of different areas in the lookout tower. Summer camps, after-school classes, and adult theme nights all add to the fun.
Address: 125 State Street, Santa Barbara, California
9 Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Lotusland
In the upper reaches of Montecito, about ten minutes from downtown Santa Barbara, Lotusland has been called one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Three different owners contributed to this astonishing botanical collection, but it was last, and most prolific, the famed Polish opera singer Madame Ganna Wolska, who transformed it into the theatrical performance it is today in more than four decades. lie on the property, where she lived until her passing in 1984.
Madame Valska was one of the first garden designers to use large gardens for dramatic emphasis. Entire gardens of sculpted agaves, contorted cactus, slender euphorbia, and spiky cycads give a dramatic quality, and the garden’s namesake lotus flower grows in the former swimming pool.
Highlights are the Blue Gardens; Palm Garden; Japanese Garden; and the Theater Garden, with a collection of ancient stone figures from France. Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Lotusland Don’t miss the prized specimens of Madame, three extremely rare and giant cycads that are now extinct in the wild. Two-hour guided tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday from mid-February to mid-November. Advance reservations are required.
Address: 695 Ashley Road, Santa Barbara, California
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10 Cheap Things to do in Santa Barbara Paseo Nuevo and State Street Shopping
Santa Barbara is a paradise for shoppers, and the hub of all the action is Center Street downtown. Here, you’ll find Spanish-style Paseo Nuevo, a beautiful outdoor shopping mall punctuated by potted palms and fountains.
Nordstrom anchors the mall, and there are a host of paved walkways between luxurious boutiques, big-name chain stores, and cafe lines. Pacino Nuevo is especially beautiful when it is decorated for the holidays. Cheap Things to do in Santa Barbara Paseo Nuevo and State Street Shopping Even if you don’t buy anything. It’s still fun to walk around here.
From Peso Nuevo, you can also stroll along State Street and browse other specialty shops, antique shops, and boutiques. Cafes and restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks here and there are great people-watching spots. On Tuesday afternoons, State Street is host to the popular Santa Barbara Farmers Market, with fresh, locally grown produce.
Address: 651 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, California
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11 Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Harbor
At the port, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum pays tribute to the city’s rich maritime history. The museum includes fascinating exhibits on surfing, Channel Islands Ranch, Chumash Indians, fishing. And living equipment, military history, model ships, ancient equipment, and historical photographs.
Changing exhibits complement the collection, and the Munger Theater shows maritime related films and documentaries. Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Harbor This ocean-themed museum is especially fun for kids, featuring scavenger hunts, a working periscope, and other interactive exhibits. Photographers can snap some beautiful pictures of the harbor and city from the top-floor viewing deck.
The Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Harbor is a lovely place to take a stroll after exploring the museum, surroundings. And you can stroll along the breakwaters and look for harbor seals. A few doors down from the museum, Brophy Brothers is a longtime favorite Santa Barbara restaurant, serving up fresh seafood, with amazing views of sailboats scuttling into the harbor.
Address: 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California
12 El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Site
A striking piece of history in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara. El Presidio de Santa Barbara is a fortified military settlement (Presidio) founded by the Spaniards in 1782. Two of the fort’s original adobe buildings still stand—the El Cuartel and the Canado Adobe. Tours begin in the visitor center with exhibits on the history of the Presidio and a brief orientation.
From here, you can take a self-guided tour of the renovated chapel, the Comandonia. The Padre Quarter, as well as the rooms that were housed in the lieutenant of the Presidio. A two-story observation tower; and a beautiful heritage garden, with plants of the era. Such as prickly pear and grapefruit. Behind the north wing are the archaeological sites of the 1940s Whitaker Plantation and the Presidio Outer Defense Wall.
Address: 123 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, California
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13 Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Set on 78 acres of natural woodland with beautiful views of the mountains and ocean. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden showcases more than 1,000 types of native California plants and trees. More than 5.5 miles of paths wind their way through woodland, where highlights include a historic Mission Dam. And Aqueduct, built in 1807 to dump water into the Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Mission; a redwood grove; wildflower grass. And a lovely Japanese teahouse and tea garden. Popular Places to visit in Santa Barbara Botanic Garden A portion of the garden has been designated a Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark. And you can take a guided tour or walk your way through. Afterwards, stop by the museum gift shop and nursery, where you can buy their California native plants.
Address: 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, California
14 Best places to visit in Santa Barbara El Paseo
The city of El Paseo feels like a small Spanish village in the heart of Santa Barbara. Steeped in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, this evocative complex of shops, restaurants. And Galleries was built around the historic Casa de la Guerra Adobe in 1920.
Today, the adobe is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and you can visit the small museum here. The adobe was built by the commander in El Presidio de Santa Barbara, José de la Guerra, between 189 and 1828. Best places to visit in Santa Barbara El Paseo. The commander and his wife raised their family here and over the years. It became the social, political and cultural center of Santa Barbara . It remains a classic example of an opulent, Spanish-Mexican style home during the period. Guided tours are available with advance reservation.
El Paseo is also one of the venues for annual Old Spanish Days Festival events. And the patio is a lovely place for lunch. Note that the main entrance is at the 800 block on State Street.
Address: 15 East de la Guerra Street, Santa Barbara, California
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Where to Stay in Santa Barbara for Sightseeing
If you’re visiting Santa Barbara for the first time, downtown makes a great base near the shops and restaurants along State Street. Other attractions, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. And the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, are within walking distance of this main strip. A and the ocean end of State Street at Cabrillo Boulevard is a tourist hotspot, with a beach bike path, Stearns Wharf, and beautiful blue waters. scenes of. Here are some highly rate hotels in these convenient locations:
Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Luxury Hotels:
The boutique Spanish Garden Inn, with free parking, comfortable rooms, and a heated outdoor pool. Which is located in a secluded downtown location, a 10-minute walk from State Street’s best shopping and dining. Another upscale downtown hideaway is the Simpson House Inn. This elegant Victorian property with well-appointed guest rooms and charming cottages nestles behind hedges amidst acres of English gardens.
In a prime location, across the street from Stearns Wharf and West Beach. The Harbor View Inn is a more affordable luxury option with well-appointed rooms. Some with ocean views as well as an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, and spa. Those looking for beachfront luxury away from the downtown buzz will appreciate The Biltmore. The Four Seasons Resort in the exclusive neighborhood of Montecito, a ten-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara.
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At the homey Harbor House Inn, a short stroll from West Beach. The harbor each studio is unique, while the surrounding Mediterranean-style Brisas del Mar. Inn in the Beach is great for longer stays too Thanks to its suites with fully equipped kitchenettes, just a short walk from the beach. And from State Street. The Spanish Revival style Holiday Inn Express gets top marks for its convenient location.
Tourist Attractions in Santa Barbara Budget Hotels:
Within walking distance of Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor, the Castillo Inn in the Beach offers excellent value. Part hotel and part hostel. The Wayfair is another popular budget option in Santa Barbara’s trendy funk zone, with a communal kitchen and outdoor pool. For those who prefer chain hotels, La Quinta Inn & Suites sits smack bang on State Street. A 16-minute walk from the popular Spanish-style outdoor shopping mall, Paseo Nuevo.