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Best of Santa Barbara

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Found this guide helpful

We spent two months in Santa Barbara this past winter. My guide has our favorite attractions, restaurants, and things to do.

Good for
  • Friends
  • Couples
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Like a Local

16 Places

1 City Tip

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Map

16 Places

Segway of Santa Barbara

Segway Tours

Toma Restaurant and Bar

Restaurants

The Lark

Restaurants

State & Fig

Restaurants

Santa Barbara Scenic Drive

Scenic Drives

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Observation Decks & Towers, Government Buildings

Arroyo Burro County Beach Park

Beaches, Parks

State Street Underpass

Historic Walking Areas, Scenic Drives, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Stearns Wharf

Piers & Boardwalks

Cielito Restaurant

Restaurants

Los Agaves

Restaurants

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Art Museums

Cabrillo Bike Path

Hiking Trails

Reagan Ranch Center

Speciality Museums

Barb D's City Tips

  • The city is very walkable. If you don't want to walk, take a bus from Stearns Wharf up State Street. There are many parking lots downtown so feel free to drive there.
  • Segway of Santa Barbara
    Segway Tours
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    This was a wonderful way to tour a large area of Santa Barbara "on foot". I recommend the historical tour. We went from the shore to the mission. Our favorite thing that we did in Santa Barbara.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 90 Tours in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A delightful experience for our family of five. 03/12/2018
    • Super Fun. 03/12/2018
    • Segway of Santa Barbara
    Phone:
    +1 805-963-7672
    Price range:
    US$85 - US$85
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Toma Restaurant and Bar
    Restaurants (Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    This was our favorite restaurant at Santa Barbara. My companion is an Italian food snob and this is his favorite Italian restaurant. Great food!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • The lasagna is the best I've ever had!!
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful! 11/12/2018
    • Outstanding food, wine, and service 06/12/2018
    • Toma Restaurant and Bar
    Address:
    324 W Cabrillo Blvd
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3855
    Phone:
    +1 805-962-0777
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Thu - Sat
    5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • The Lark
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    A very unique restaurant with the food being served family style. The food was excellent and unique.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • It is very noisy so, if the weather permits, sit outside.
    From the community
    Ranked #43 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • YUM! 11/12/2018
    • what a pleasant find! 26/11/2018
    • The Lark
    Address:
    131 Anacapa St
    Suite A
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-1860
    Phone:
    +1 805-284-0370
    Price range:
    US$20 - US$50
    Hours:
    Sun
    5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Tue - Thu
    5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • State & Fig
    Restaurants (American)
    Barb D Says:

    For some reason, this place has not been found by many. Great prices and great food!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Get the fig burger and the brussels sprouts appetizer.
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    • Best Clam Chowder in town! 24/10/2018
    • Sit outside in the Arcada! 15/10/2018
    • State & Fig
    Address:
    1114 State St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2717
    Phone:
    +1 805-965-1730
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Wed - Sat
    5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
    Sat - Sun
    10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Santa Barbara Scenic Drive
    Scenic Drives
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Another great way to see the sights of Santa Barbara in your car.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go to the visitors' center first to get the typed instructions. There are signs along the route but they aren't always noticeable.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    • Quick get away 11/12/2018
    • Take a break! 15/10/2018
    • Santa Barbara Scenic Drive
    Address:
    92260
    Santa Barbara, CA
  • Old Mission Santa Barbara
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    As missions go, this is one of the more upscale. It is very large and they provide a wonderful self-guided tour.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • We stopped here as part of the scenic tour.
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely Historic Mission Must See 13/12/2018
    • Very nice 08/12/2018
    • Old Mission Santa Barbara
    Address:
    2201 Laguna St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3611
    Phone:
    +1 805-682-4713
    Other:
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse
    Observation Decks & Towers, Government Buildings
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Beautiful architecture and lots of tile work inside. Be sure to go up the elevator to the tour to get an amazing scenic view of all of Santa Barbara.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Strikingly Beautiful! 11/12/2018
    • Outstanding building, inside and out. 07/12/2018
    • Santa Barbara County Courthouse
    Address:
    1100 Anacapa St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2099
    Phone:
    +1 805-962-6464
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Arroyo Burro County Beach Park
    Beaches, Parks
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Beautiful beach and a great place to see the sunset.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Family
    Tips
    • You can see this as part of the scenic tour.
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Simply Out 11/12/2018
    • Would be a nice beach without the black bags and dog excrement! 26/09/2018
    • Arroyo Burro County Beach Park
    Address:
    2981 Cliff Dr
    Santa Barbara, CA 93109-1024
    Phone:
    (805) 884-0459
    Other:
  • State Street Underpass
    Historic Walking Areas, Scenic Drives, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    A walk up State Street (or a bike ride in the bike lane) gives you the full flavor of Santa Barbara. There are many stores, a mall, and many places to eat.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not as good as we imagined 19/11/2018
    • Lots of shopping 12/11/2018
    • State Street Underpass
    Address:
    State Street
    Highway 101
    Santa Barbara, CA 93117
    Phone:
    +1 805-962-1311
    Other:
  • Moreton Bay Fig Tree
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Biggest fig tree in North America. It's a quick stop (near the Amtrak Station) and worth seeing.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Fig tree of awesome proportions! 27/11/2018
    • Historical, Huge Tree Not So Far From Main Sights 25/11/2018
    • Moreton Bay Fig Tree
    Address:
    Montecito and Chapala Streets
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Other:
  • Stearns Wharf
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Take a stroll up the wharf. There are several restaurants there and some shops. I loved going to the end and looking at the harbor, mountains and beach.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Family
    • Couples
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Large wooden pier in the beautiful Santa Barbara bay 12/12/2018
    • Great location for Sunset pictures! 11/12/2018
    • Stearns Wharf
    Address:
    219 Stearns Wharf
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3581
    Phone:
    +1 805-962-6210
    Other:
  • Cielito Restaurant
    Restaurants (Mexican, Latin, Spanish)
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    This is an upscale Mexican restaurant. Unique food and very quiet.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Wedding rehearsal dinner 23/02/2017
    • Fantastic place 15/10/2016
    • Cielito Restaurant
    Address:
    1114 State St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2717
    Phone:
    +1 805-965-4770
    Price range:
    US$3 - US$30
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Mon - Fri
    11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Tue - Thu
    4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Fri
    4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Sat
    11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Los Agaves
    Restaurants (Mexican, Latin)
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Excellent Mexican restaurant. They don't take reservations so go early.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • There is only street parking so you might have to park a few blocks away and walk.
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 464 restaurants in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great food 03/12/2018
    • Deli style ordering, but one entree got forgotten 24/11/2018
    • Los Agaves
    Address:
    600 N Milpas St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93103-3027
    Phone:
    805-564-2626
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Sat - Sun
    9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    A very nice art museum for a community the size of Santa Barbara.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This is on State Street so could be included in your walk up State.
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice Museum but Being Renovated so Few Rooms Open 25/11/2018
    • Great collections 06/11/2018
    • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
    Address:
    1130 State St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2746
    Phone:
    +1 805-963-4364
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Thu
    11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sun
    11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Cabrillo Bike Path
    Hiking Trails
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    We loved the biking available in Santa Barbara. This was our first bike ride and the trail that led to many other longer rides.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Stay away on Sunday when they're having the arts and crafts show. It's crazy then if you're on wheels.
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Gorgeous ocean view cycling 14/12/2018
    • Great Bike Path to View Beautiful Santa Barbara 01/12/2018
    • Cabrillo Bike Path
  • Reagan Ranch Center
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Barb D Says:

    Whether you're a Reagan fan or not, this is quite an interesting place.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Free tour but they're only open 11-4 on Monday-Thursday.
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 156 things to do in Santa Barbara
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Interesting hodgepodge of President Reagan's personal belongings. 07/12/2018
    • Fans of President Reagan Must Visit 06/11/2018
    • Reagan Ranch Center
    Address:
    217 State St
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3833
    Phone:
    +1 805-957-1980
    Hours:
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Other:
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