Santa Barbara

Calm seaside city outside the bustle of Los Angeles.

Explore Santa Barbara's Spanish heritage at historic sites, local dining scenes, and outdoor activities against a scenic mountain backdrop.

4.7
out of 5

Santa Barbara delivers a unique blend of Spanish-influenced architecture, a mild Mediterranean climate, and a vibrant food and wine scene. With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a dramatic backdrop and beaches that stretch along the Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara presents a picturesque setting for outdoor activities.

Historical Landmarks of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara's charm is deeply rooted in its history, with the Mission Santa Barbara serving as a cornerstone. Founded in 1786, this mission is an essential visit for those interested in the early beginnings of the city and the preservation of Spanish colonial architecture. Additionally, the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park offers insight into the military and residential life of Spanish and Mexican periods, with well-preserved buildings and informative exhibits.

Local Cuisine and Dining Experiences

The city's location along the coast has a significant influence on its dining offerings, with seafood playing a key role. Brophy Bros. is a popular spot for fresh catches and harbor views. For those seeking farm-to-table experiences, The Lark Santa Barbara offers dishes that highlight local produce. Wine enthusiasts must explore the Urban Wine Trail where they can taste locally produced wines at various downtown venues.

Traditions and Cultural Events

Santa Barbara is home to a variety of cultural events that draw in locals and visitors alike. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is an annual event that showcases a wide range of films and attracts a global audience. For a taste of local tradition, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebrates the city's cultural heritage with parades, music, and dance.

Main Attractions and Landmarks

State Street Corridor

The heart of Santa Barbara's social scene, State Street, is lined with an array of shops, theatres, and restaurants. Exploring this lively area provides an opportunity to dive into the city's modern-day attractions while enjoying its laid-back vibe.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Visitors looking for panoramic views should not miss the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Climb up to the clock tower for a bird's eye view of downtown, the mountains, and the ocean. The Spanish-Moorish architectural details throughout are equally impressive.

Cost and Safety Considerations

Santa Barbara is known to be a safe destination for travelers. While prices can be higher due to its popularity, options such as public beaches and hiking trails offer free ways to enjoy what the city has to offer. Accommodation choices range widely, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels.

Outdoor Activities and Natural Landscapes

Beaches and Parks

East Beach is perfect for those looking to relax on the sand or take part in beach volleyball. Venture out to Los Padres National Forest for hiking or to Channel Islands National Park for kayaking and wildlife observation. These natural spots provide a breath of fresh air and a break from city life.

Average temperatures during the day in Santa Barbara.

What people say about Santa Barbara

4.7
People
4
Food
5
Spaces
5
Value
3
Safety
4

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