Things to do in Santa Barbara

THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Santa Barbara

Things to Do in Santa Barbara


Book these experiences for a close-up look at Santa Barbara.


Top Attractions in Santa Barbara

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.
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From quick jaunts to full-day outings.





*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travellers are saying

  • wkbtraveler
    Jackson, MS134 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We read the negative review of security team before coming and read the Information on how to prepare for your visit. So we did as it said and left all bags on our bus and items that were not welcome at a TSA checkpoint. We were a group of 29 senior adults and found the security team to be very friendly and courteous, as we sought to be comply with the requirements on their website and trip advisor. We had a retired judge with our group and when we got back on the bus, she shared how important security is in our courthouses in the U.S. today, because of attacks on judges and others involved in cases. AS ALWAYS, WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR LAWMEN AND SECURITY WORKERS EVERYWHERE AND UNDERSTAND THEY HAVE VERY DIFFICULT BUT IMPORTANT JOB. THANK YOU GENTLEMEN FOR YOUR COURTESY AND PROTECTION!
    You made our visit to this beautiful courthouse safe and fun.
    Written March 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ATraversLeMonde_2011
    Sparks, NV30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical treasure. Must see if you're going to be in Santa Barbara. Garden could be better kept - but that may be a seasonal issue (visited in March 2024). Cemetery was off limits during visit. Overall, very spiritual and serene. Expect to LEARN a lot, as opposed to seeing a lot. Well worth the visit.
    Written March 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • pldj m
    188 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not too big, but organized well. Parking is $11, $25/adult. Lots of animals, even has penguins. Next to the ocean, nice view.
    Written February 25, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Susanah A
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Botanic Gardens are a great place to leisurely walk through the grounds. February was probably not the best time to see flowers, but they had a few that were blooming.
    They have many trails besides the main trail, that you can hike, which is what we did. We had a fun time and enjoyed the scenery.
    Written February 29, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mallory T
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This place is a hoot! Totally unexpected. Loved the huge fireplace, and the atmosphere is so cool! We were on a wine tour with a local guide who brought us here for one last stop on our tour. It took the cake!
    Written February 21, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ATraversLeMonde_2011
    Sparks, NV30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    State Street is awesome but could be even better. Must go if you are in Santa Barbara. You have to do all of State Street to appreciate it. Some sections are mostly restaurants... with ok shopping, while other sections are replete with shops and other attractions.
    Written March 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kaitlyn Y
    Goleta, CA8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A cool walk or trip to the beach. You can also have a barbecue here or party. There is also the shoreline restaurant next to here.
    Written July 29, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ATraversLeMonde_2011
    Sparks, NV30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a "must visit" in Santa Barbara. Small but interesting and worth the trip. Great food, decent shopping (they need more shopping).
    Written March 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MOG808
    Maui, HI800 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Independent bookstores are a dwindling breed. It was so exciting to see Chaucer’s still going strong for so many years, as we moved from the area over 20 years ago. There are many local books available, a large young reader section, as well as many stacks of fiction and nonfiction books. We hope that Chaucer’s will be serving Santa Barbara for many years to come.
    Written May 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robin B
    Phoenix, AZ1,477 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We went on this tour not knowing anything about George Fox Steedman (the owner) or George Smith (the architect). Sally was our docent and was extremely knowledgeable about the home and both Georges. Our tour lasted close to two hours and included all the family rooms on the first and second floors, and the servant areas on the first floor. We then moved outside to enjoy the beautiful gardens and George’s workshop. This was a five-star tour. The home is in a neighborhood. Don’t show up early. There is a small parking lot, but because of neighborhood restrictions, the gate isn’t opened up until 10-15 minutes before your tour time and there is nowhere on the grounds to hang out until the tour begins.
    Written November 6, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kaitlyn Y
    Goleta, CA8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I loved all the exhibits. They have a really cool library. They also have dinosaur animatronics. Amazing for kids. It is amazing when the butterflies come, because they have a huge area filled with all types of live butterflies and plants.
    Written July 29, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Edsalldw
    Ellsworth, ME343 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The view alone is worth the visit
    The Airfirce one used by Nixon through Bush 43 was worth the visit
    The history was accurate too bad some are so filled with Democratic lies that they can’t enjoy the excitement and energy of the best president since Eisenhower. Kind of like nit enjoying Camelot while it existed
    They should have a section on his humor. Would be good to have such leader now. .
    They do have some stuff showing it but as with space it is both scattered around but also has his own section The picture stiff at the marine one and airforce one is disorganized
    As we were there with two teens I think they should make a special effort to take interest in the teens and suggest what they might like to hear!see
    Written May 4, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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