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Best Places To Visit In Santa Barbara, California

Below is our list of best places to visit & things to do in Santa Barbara, California

best places to go in Santa Barbara

Arroyo Burro Beach Park

Arroyo Burro Beach Park, Santa Barbara, California

Arroyo Burro Beach Park, Santa Barbara, California / Doc Searls / Flickr

Visit Arroyo Burro Beach Park and participate in a range of water-based activities!

It is one of the most kid-friendly beaches in Santa Barbara.

Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer months, there are many picnic tables, and the beach restaurant is excellent.

Cliffs and parks surround this section of the coastline.

Arroyo Burro County State Beach’s “Hendry’s Beach,” just north of the Douglas Family Preserve, is a favorite Los Angeles tourist attraction.

The first six acres were bought for a garden in 1947, and the park has a lengthy history.

Bird gazing and horseback riding on the park’s various walkways are two more fun things to do nearby.

At the southern end of Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara, the Arroyo Burro Beach Park is a county park.

A Santa Barbara county beach is fully dog-friendly, so bring along your canine companions!

Address: 2981 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA

Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, California

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, California / Konrad Summers / Flickr

Is it time to go outside and breathe some fresh air? The Santa Botanic Garden is a beautiful place to visit.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a must-see for nature enthusiasts.

More than 1,000 species of rare or indigenous animals may be found in the 78 acres of beautiful greenery.

Native California plants are the focus of the Garden’s exhibits, shown in their natural setting.

The pine-scented woodland is home to more than 5.5 kilometers of pathways.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is one of the state’s most famous botanical destinations because of its emphasis on native plants.

California poppies and a rainbow of wildflowers bloom in the wildflower meadow in the spring.

Blakesley Library, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Herbarium, and Garden Shop & Garden Growers Retail Nursery are a few other on-site services.

There is peace and tranquility in nature at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Address: Santa Barbara, California, 1212 Mission Canyon Road

Cold Spring Tavern

Cold Spring Tavern Santa Barbara California

At Cold Spring Tavern, weekends are great!

If you’re in Santa Barbara or passing through on your way to the Santa Ynez wine region, don’t miss this eatery.

Great meals, fresh beer, and friendly service await you at this historic stagecoach stop about 15 minutes outside Santa Barbara.

As a stagecoach stop and way station linking Santa Barbara, California, to other adjacent and distant areas, it was first built in 1886.

In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, a Western saloon serves American fare, including wild game and local wine.

Despite its obscurity, Santa Barbara’s history has been protected.

A well-known trailhead for hikers just outside Santa Barbara.

It’s possible to appreciate the Old West’s natural ambiance since time appears to have stood still here.

The tavern is the place to be if you’re looking for a place to relax with a drink or a bite to eat.

Address: 5995 Stagecoach Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, United States

County Courthouse

County Courthouse Santa Barbara California

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a must-see for tourists to Santa Barbara, a historical gem and monument.

The National Historic Landmark was finished in 1929 after being erected in the aftermath of the 1925 earthquake.

Learn about the area’s history in the stunning mural chamber, or take a stroll outside the courthouse to see an underground garden containing flora from over 25 nations.

It’s one of the region’s most remarkable Colonial and Spanish Revival architecture specimens.

The gorgeous white edifice is adorned with a red-tiled roof and extensive gardens with palm palms and other greenery.

This building has a lot to offer: an underground garden, a grand entryway, and an arched observation gallery.

From the clock tower of Santa Barbara, you’ll be able to take in some of the best views of the city in the world.

One city block in Santa Barbara’s downtown is devoted to this striking example of Spanish-Colonial Revival architecture.

Address: 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

East Beach


East-Beach-Santa-Barbara-California / Travolution360 / Flickr

It’s time to shake things up a bit. Visit the East Beach!

There are three main beaches in Santa Barbara. However, East Beach is the least busy.

With its position, it is less probable that you will find yourself crammed with other sunbathers.

East Beach is a worldwide renowned tourist attraction for volleyball lovers because of the annual contests.

The Gym and the Cabrillo Bathhouse are both located in East Beach.

The Cabrillo Boulevard cycling and pedestrian path runs across a giant sand area east of Stearns Wharf, ringed by highly tall palm trees.

Near East Beach, you’ll find this gigantic rainbow sculpture. Instagrammers will likely be seen hopping, walking, and dancing their way over it.

The tiled stairs of the Paseo Nuevo retail mall are another photogenic spot.

It’s even better than East Beach is located near other popular sites in Santa Barbara!

Check out the chromatic gate if you’re looking for the perfect Instagram.

It would be best if you visited East Beach, one of the sand beaches in Santa Barbara.

Address: Santa Barbara, California 93108-2880, United States, 1400 E Cabrillo Boulevard

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara, California

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara, California /Thank You / Flickr

As a well-known historical landmark in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Presidio is a popular tourist destination.

This fortified military settlement, created in 1782 by Spaniards, has a rich history.

The Presidio was designated a California historic property in 1958 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, making it a California landmark site.

Two adobe structures are left in the fort: El Cuartel and Caedo Adobe.

Visitors may learn about the Presidio’s history starting at the Presidio’s tourist center.

A historic garden has a wide range of plants indigenous to the area.

Casa del Herrero (the Blacksmith’s House) may be found in Santa Barbara.

Spanish Revival architecture is at its finest in this building.

Visits to the house, workshop, and gardens in the early twentieth century provide insight into life in Santa Barbara.

A tour of El Presidio is available for anyone who wants to learn more about the building’s history on their own.

Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93101, United States, 123 E Canon Perdido St

Funk Zone

Funk Zone Santa Barbara California

The Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, California, is the place to go if you want a good time.

Originally an industrial region, this hipster hotspot has become a thriving hub of art, culture, and creativity.

Santa Barbara’s Mural District is adorned with murals, and it’s a terrific place to come at night for alcoholic drinks, art shows, and more.

Visit three separate local cafés, a microbrewery, two wineries, and a distillery in the city’s artistic Funk Zone for some delicious food and drink.

You’ll learn how to shoot high-quality food photos with any camera as you eat and drink, from a smartphone to a professional digital SLR.

This downtown neighborhood’s lively atmosphere is created by restored factories and buildings covered in graffiti and modern art.

It’s a great location to wind down after a long day.

In search of a unique present or a vintage find? One of their boutiques is sure to have what you’re looking for.

Address: Yanonali Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101, USA

Knapp’s Castle

Knapp's Castlem, Santa Barbara, California

Knapp’s Castlem, Santa Barbara, California / Damian Gadal / Flickr

Make the one-mile round trek to Knapp’s Castle for spectacular vistas and a short distance.

These are the remains of a home built by Union Carbide Chemicals founder George Knapp in 1918.

In 1945, a forest fire leveled the house, which hasn’t been restored since.

Many of the mansion’s most luxurious rooms, including the organ chamber, observatory, and numerous bedrooms, were destroyed in the fire.

As a result of the fire, the home was reduced to its stone skeleton.

As a result, the home has been listed as a historic landmark in Santa Barbara. It can’t be developed or renovated while it’s privately owned.

There is an intense desire among photographers to capture haunting and melancholy photographs of this magnificent mansion.

Viewing the ruins is free and open to the public.

The National Forest Adventure Pass may be required to park a car at the trailhead.

Get out and explore Knapp’s Castle while you can.

Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93105, United States

Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum Santa Barbara California

Visiting the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum while in the Golden State is a must!

The Santa Barbara Channel offers a unique opportunity to learn about the last 13,000 years of human history via various family-friendly activities, exhibits, programs, and lectures.

The organization’s exhibitions, relics, and even events are part of its mission statement to preserve the fascinating and varied history of the Santa Barbara coast.

In the Santa Barbara Harbor, it was discovered.

Children and adults of all ages may learn about the history of maritime exploration at the Museum.

Exceptional educational opportunities can aid in developing critical interpersonal and problem-solving talents amongst young people.

You may take a guided tour if you want to learn more about the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Eight thousand square feet is the museum’s total floor space.

A scavenger hunt, a working periscope, and other interactive displays make this sea-themed Museum appealing to youngsters.

The observation deck on the top floor may capture spectacular views of the harbor and city.

Visiting this Museum with the whole family is an excellent idea now! Because of this, don’t hesitate to go out and discover Santa Barbara.

Address: Santa Barbara, California, 113 Harbor Way

Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Moreton Bay Fig Tree Santa Barbara California

Keep an eye out for this gorgeous scenery! Fig Tree in Moreton Bay, Queensland, is a must-see attraction.

Free admission to the Moreton Bay Fig Tree in Santa Barbara is one of the city’s less well-known attractions.

It is the largest of its sort in California and the United States.

There are no Moreton Bay fig trees in Santa Barbara. However, there are Ficus macrophylla trees in Australia.

Afterward, the seed was sown, resulting in the gigantic and towering natural wonder we now know.

Near the historic Amtrak station, you’ll find this massive fig tree.

The daughter of a ship’s crew member visited Santa Barbara in 1876 and brought seedlings of the Australian Moreton Bay palm with her.

You could be tempted to climb its many arms, which twist up and sideways from the main structure.

One of the highlights of a visit to Santa Barbara is a chance to see something truly unique.

Address: Chapala Street and Montecito Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History Santa Barbara California

This one-of-a-kind museum is a great place to visit on a rainy day in Santa Barbara.

A kid-sized grotto and an outdoor playground make the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History perfect for little visitors.

A walk through the campus’ Mission Revival buildings, scattered around a forest creek, is recommended for adults.

Near encounters with marine species from the Santa Barbara Channel may be had at Stearns Wharf’s highly interactive regional aquarium.

There are several mission-style structures situated in an oak grove for the displays.

Displays of marine life, marine fossils, birds, and animals are among the exhibits, which include a 74-foot whale skeleton.

You could doubt your eyesight when you see this wonderful gem.

Visit the Sea Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to discover more about the fascinating world under the waves.

Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA 2559 Puesta Del Sol

Old Mission

Old Mission Santa Barbara, California

Old Mission Santa Barbara, California / David Merrett / Flickr

Old Mission Santa Barbara is a must-see for anybody in the area!

The 1786 Old Mission Santa Barbara is a stunning and stately structure.

Because it is California’s sole remaining Franciscan Mission, this sight is a must-see when in the Golden State.

Tours of the Museum, church, gardens, and cemetery can be taken on your own.

The history and relics of the Mission can be learned on one of the Mission’s guided tours, which are offered once daily.

To celebrate the Feast of St. Barbara, Padre Fermn Lasuén dedicated his ninth Alta California mission to the Friars Minor on December 4, 1786.

Visit the gift shop while you’re there as well.

With the mountains in the background, the Mission’s candy-colored pink and white exterior is regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of its kind in California.

If you’re looking for things to do in Santa Barbara and are interested in history, this could be worth your time.

Address: 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

Orchid Estate

Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, California

Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, California / Morgan Hartt / Flickr

The orchid will live on!

One hundred years is the maximum lifespan of an orchid! Take a stroll through the Orchid Estate of Santa Barbara and see the orchid’s wonderfully made petals.

There are 5 acres of land in the Orchid Estate of Santa Barbara.

Founded in 1957, Paul Gripp, his wife, and their two children today run and control the business.

Today, Paul Gripp and his family, which includes Alice and Parry Gripp, two of the world’s most well-known orchid collectors and propagators, run and own it.

Their specialty is heat-tolerant orchids, which are ideal for growing in hot climates.

The estate’s expertise is temperature-resistant orchids.

You could think you’ve stumbled into a dream world at this must-see California attraction, open to the public.

Hundreds of different orchid kinds are available for purchase while you’re here.

Gripp and his children are happy to share their knowledge of orchid cultivation through exhibits and seminars.

Take a look at these beautiful orchids in Santa Barbara if you can.

Address: 1250 Orchid Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93111, USA

Paseo Nuevo

Paseo Nuevo , Santa , Barbara

Paseo Nuevo , Santa , Barbara / La Citta Vita / Flickr

Is shopping something you like doing? Then head to Santa Barbara’s Paseo Nuevo.

In addition to chain stores, boutiques, and cafés, this outdoor retail center is encircled by fountains and potted plants.

This is especially true when the Santa Barbara retail area is dressed out for the holidays with glistening lights and decorations.

With potted palms and fountains, this is a wonderful outdoor mall.

Great shops, big-name brands, and outdoor cafés line the pathways. The mall is incredibly charming during Christmastime when lights cover it.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t buy anything, just walking around is a pleasure.

From Paseo Nuevo, you may go along State Street to find a variety of specialized shops, antique shops, and boutiques.

There are many cafes and restaurants along the streets here, allowing for great people-watching opportunities.

It is a wonderful place to start if you’re a shopaholic looking for things to do in the Santa Barbara region.

Address: 651 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, California 93101, USA

Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park Santa Barbara California

If you’re looking for the finest of both worlds, Shoreline Park has it.

Santa Barbara’s coastline may be seen in all its glory, while the lively city can be glimpsed.

Santa Ynez Mountains are clearly seen in the distance.

A wide range of entertaining activities is available to you while you’re here.

If you spot a passing whale, the attraction is complimentary for all visitors.

This popular seaside bluff park’s 14.6 acres are playgrounds, picnic tables, barbecues, walkways, and comfortable seats.

It’s a dog-friendly park, and there are walking trails for those who like to go for a jog.

Some stairs go down to the beach, where children may search for critters in the tidal pools.

If you’re interested in seeing dolphins, the park is a terrific place to go (and whales if you look through the binoculars).

Address: Shoreline Drive and Santa Rosa Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA

Salt Cave

Salt Cave Santa Barbara California

A trip to the Salt Cave will make you feel amazing!

A visit to the Salt Cave of Santa Barbara, which is not one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions, is definitely worth the effort.

The cave may be reserved for a particular time and day.

The firm has offered massage and face therapies using pink Himalayan salt since 2012 in crystal cavern chambers.

Engineered the world’s largest artificial salt cave in the United States of America.

Santa Barbara can maintain a consistent temperature and humidity year-round with two salt caves, one of which is North America’s biggest salt cave.

The air in each cave is sanitized and mineral-rich to remove any contamination.

Stop by the gift store for a selection of salt scrubs, bath soaks, and other bath & body goods.

Relax in the zero-gravity seats in the salt cave while listening to soothing music for an unforgettable spa experience. Make a date to come and bring your friends!

Address: 740 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California

Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California / Damian Gadal / Flickr

Spectacular sunsets await you at Stearns Wharf!

In addition to beautiful views of the waterfront, Stearns Wharf also provides access to the beach.

You can get fresher, cheaper, and more exciting seafood directly from the boats.

Before it was named after its builder, John P. Stearns, it ran as a passenger and freight train for over two decades.

In operation since 1872, Stearns Wharf in San Francisco is the oldest wooden pier in the state of California.

It is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara and is home to more than a dozen businesses, an educational center, and a fish market.

Also, Stearns Wharf serves as a starting point for whale-watching and other water excursions out of the area.

Take a stroll around the shoreline to check out the shops. For clam chowder or other seafood dishes, visit the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company.

You may also obtain great shots of the cityscapes and the mountainsides dotted with skyscrapers from the pier. It’s a beautiful setting for photos! Stearns Wharf is a must-see.

Address: 217 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, California 93101, USA

The Lobero Theatre

The Lobero Theatre Santa Barbara California

For those who enjoy the genre and are nearby, why not spend a night at this theater’s excellent music and various experiences?

Santa Barbara, California’s Lobero Theater is a must-see for everyone who enjoys live theater!

Founded in 1872, the theater had a significant renovation in 1923.

It is one of Santa Barbara’s most remarkable architectural accomplishments, if not the most remarkable.

The Theater District in downtown Santa Barbara is just a few blocks away from this location.

Despite its old-world elegance, technical improvements have made it possible to provide a wide range of high-quality performing arts experiences, from music to ballet, in a single venue.

It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Santa Barbara and California’s oldest continuously functioning theater.

The Lobero dedicates a significant portion of its space to hosting jazz performances.

Since its founding, Lobero has hosted jazz superstars including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock.

See one of the most beautiful and star-studded venues in California at this theater!

Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA 33 E Canon Perdido St

Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation

Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, Santa Barbara California

Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, Santa Barbara, California / Nick Amoscato / Flickr

Have you ever fantasized about generating sound effects for a Hollywood film or getting inside a gigantic guitar?? At MOXI, you can do anything you want to!

Two blocks from the Santa Barbara shoreline, this science and technology museum is set in a beautiful Spanish Colonial-style edifice with odd sea-themed decorations.

There is a new tourist attraction in Santa Barbara, California, the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation (MOXI).

Over 17,000 square feet of exhibit space may be found at this museum, which opened in 2017.

Visitors of all ages may enjoy a wide variety of instructive and entertaining activities at the museum.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) focuses on the three-story Museum’s exhibitions.

The Innovation Workshop is another place where you may work on your ideas and see how they work before releasing them to the public.

The Sky Gallery, located atop the building, is also open to the public.

Discover beautiful mountain scenery, enormous telescopes for stargazing, and thrilling water features.

Address: 125 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

Santa Babara Zoo

Santa Barbara Zoo, California

Santa Barbara Zoo, California / Marc Levin / Flickr

You’ll have a terrific day at the Santa Barbara Zoo with kids in tow!

A rich coffee and tea merchant formerly owned the land now home to this unusual zoo.

There are roughly 150 different species of animals, birds, reptiles, and insects in the Santa Barbara Zoo, which despite its modest size, is rather impressive.

Many different species can be seen in their native habitats.

It has the sense of a botanical garden because of its vast open areas and lush gardens of palms and native flora.

It is also widely regarded as one of the best little parks in the country, making it a popular choice for families visiting Santa Barbara.

If you’ve never seen an emu, a wallaby, or even a kangaroo up close and personal, this is your chance.

A trip to this part of California wouldn’t be complete without a stop at this must-see attraction.

Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA 500 Ninos Dr