The Santa Barbara area offers endless outdoor fun for those who like to go, go, go. 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.
Some of the finest antique shops in the area are steps away in Summerland.
Visit the Summerland Antique Collective.
Santa Barbara area beaches face southwest and are notorious for their endless sunshine and powder soft sand. Explore the dunes, play sand volleyball, fly a kite, or go tidepooling, swimming, hiking or fishing. Check out this great beach comparison chart.
Wheel Fun Rentals in Santa Barbara offers bicycles and multi-person bike carts. Vespas and electric carts also available. Best of all, there are three convenient locations. Call 805-966-2282 or check out their website.
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden features exquisite native plants and flowers over beautifully designed landscapes. The gardens are dedicated to research, education and the conservation of native California plants. The gardens offers guided tours and have a fantastic retail nursery and gift shop.
Historic Santa Barbara Courthouse
Comprised of four buildings for a total of 150,000 square feet, the striking Santa Barbara Courthouse was built in 1926 and has been thrilling visitors with its powerful presence ever since. Still a working courthouse, the majestic building is the home of local government and a place of civic pride and celebration. Docents lead free daily tours, which start at 2 pm in the stunning mural room.
From the Hans Christian Anderson Museum in Solvang to the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History, to the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, this area offers countless cultural destinations. Santa Barbara alone features the Carriage and Western Art Museum, a history museum, a maritime museum, an art museum, and a museum of natural history!
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 Wineries
Featured in the movies Sideways, the Santa Barbara wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley has come into its own. With world-class wines, uncrowded tasting rooms, and sophistication without pretension, this spectacularly beautiful wine valley is a great way to spend the afternoon. Read more on the Santa Ynez Winery Association website.
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 national and international retailers, one-of-a-kind boutiques, art galleries, trendy hot spots and outlets.
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.
Whale Watching Cruises
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.
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.