SANTA BARBARA GUIDE
Things to Do
The Santa Barbara area offers endless outdoor fun for those who love to explore. For thrill seekers, the Santa Barbara Adventure Company is the place to start. This adventure outfitter offers tours and gear for nearly every active pursuit, including surfing, kiteboarding, scuba diving, rock climbing, hang-gliding, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Santa Barbara Mission Park
Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786 and still a practicing Catholic Church. It was the tenth California mission founded by the Spanish Franciscans. Its extensive water works, built by Indian labor, are preserved in the park. The larger reservoir, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city’s water system.
Santa Ynez, featured in the movies Sideways, is Santa Barbara's wine country. With world-class wines, uncrowded tasting rooms, this spectacularly beautiful wine valley is a great way to spend the afternoon. Read more on the Santa Ynez Winery Association website. For local tastings, stop by the Santa Barbara Funk Zone district. Be sure to check out the eclectic galleries scattered around the Funk Zone!
Shopping in Santa Barbara
Cobblestone walkways, red-tile roofs, flowing fountains and an abundance of flora and fauna overwhelm the downtown landscape, making shopping in Santa Barbara a pleasure. Santa Barbara offers an incredible selection of handmade artisans and international retailers, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and art galleries. Head downtown for State Street's selection of department stores and major retailers. For high-end boutiques, take a quick car ride to Montecito's upper and lower village where you'll find some of the most beautifully curated shops in the area.
Surrounded by rolling hills and country roads, Solvang is a quaint Danish village featuring cobblestone courtyards, windmills, brick sidewalks, and thatched rooftops. Enjoy strolling among more than 350 charming shops, bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants. santa barbara sterns wharf
Savor the sensory experiences of California's oldest working wharf. Enjoy tasty snacks and souvenir shopping among the wharf's many merchants. Board a boat for a whale tour, or simply take in the panoramic views of the Santa Barbara coastline and hillsides.
Whale Watching Cruises
Spy a gentle giant on a whale watching tour. The waters off Santa Barbara are a seasonal home to more than 30 different species of whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions. The summer season offers a great opportunity to view blue or humpback whales as they feed off our coastline. Winter and spring bring migrating California gray whales as they head north to Alaska through the local waters. Condor Cruises is one of the largest tour providers. Captain Don's offers unique pirate-themed tours.
FOOD & DRINK
Santa Barbara is one of the best places to visit for casual bites and ambient restaurants. Between Habit Burgers famous $4 burger to Lucky's world renowned steak, there truly is something for everyone. Here's a few of our favorite local eateries for lunch and dinner. We are happy to make a reservation for you, please let us know at the front desk.
- If classic local eats is what you're looking for, visit Joe's Cafe, situated in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street.
- For great Italian food, Via Vai, and Tre Lune are both great options. Situated in nearby Montecito.
- If you're craving a really nice steak, Lucky's Steakhouse in Montecito has one of the best in the city.
- Not far from Lucky's is The Honor Bar, another great spot for dinner (also open for lunch!)
- For seafood, The fish Enterprise and The Fish House are Santa Barbara staples.
- For Mexican food, Cava is one of our favorites.
- Located in the Funk Zone, The Lark is a fabulous place for dinner and drinks with friends or a date.
- If you're celebrating a special occasion, Plow and Angel restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch is a great place to enjoy wonderful food in a stunning setting.