Santa Barbara, CA

Travel Guide
Santa Barbara showing theater scenes, night scenes and signage

The American Riviera offers historic adobe architecture, plenty of art galleries, wineries and beautiful beaches. 

Santa Barbara is famous for its expensive hotels, large mansions and trendy boutiques, but it also has beautiful beaches and many museums and festivals dedicated to celebrating the city’s past.

Be sure to visit Santa Barbara’s picture-perfect beaches. Lie on the soft sand and read a book, or grab a board and hit the surf. Conditions are great for beginners, but on the right day there are some good breaks for those of all skill levels.

Marvel at the Franciscan–Spanish architecture of the old Santa Barbara Mission. You’ll find artifacts and documents from old missionaries, a still-operating chapel, and the mission’s impressive and well-kept grounds. For more old architecture, visit the adobe Rafael Gonzalez house or the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Head up the bell tower for great views of the surrounding area. History buffs will also want to check out the Presidio of Santa Barbara, a Spanish fortress from the 1780s.

Learn how modern-day Santa Barbara came about as you wander through the exhibits at the city’s Historical Museum. For a look at the evolution of plant and wildlife in the area and beyond, spend some time at the Museum of Natural History.

Art lovers will enjoy the city’s excellent institutions. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has an extensive collection of European, American and Asian art, and plays host to some world-class exhibitions. For a look at more recent works, wander over to the Contemporary Arts Forum. This gallery is artist-run and funded, and is dedicated to exhibiting the highest-quality work in the region.

To enjoy other local products, organize a tour of the region’s wineries.

Santa Barbara enjoys the sophisticated charm of a much larger city but maintains a quaint, friendly atmosphere. Throw in a fascinating history, loads of cultural activities and excellent beaches, and it’s not hard to see why it attracts visitors from around the world.

Where to stay in Santa Barbara

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
3.5 out of 5
202 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA
Fully refundable
The price is NT$4,909 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Located in Santa Barbara Beach, this beach hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Santa Barbara ...
4/5Very Good! (965 reviews)
"Great location. Comfortable room, but floor was a little "dusty". Staff was super nice. When we needed extra towels, etc, they brought them right away. Loved the tables outside, and enjoyed the fire pits in the evenings. We'd stay there again."

Reviewed on 2021/9/13

Hotel Milo Santa Barbara
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
4 out of 5
633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NT$7,620 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Located in East Beach, this spa hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Santa Barbara Zoo and within 3 mi (5 km) of Presidio Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County Courthouse. ...
4/5Very Good! (1,109 reviews)
"Love the location."

Reviewed on 2021/9/16

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hyatt Place Santa Barbara
Hyatt Place Santa Barbara
3.5 out of 5
4111 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA
The price is NT$5,629 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from La Cumbre Plaza and within 6 mi (10 km) of Mission Santa Barbara and Arroyo Burro Beach. Santa ...
4/5Very Good! (436 reviews)
"The room was very nice and clean. Although I appreciate they allow dogs, there isn’t anywhere on the property to take the dogs to do their business. The beach is about 10-15 minute drive with a lot of seaweed and tar. Also, no microwave in the room. They said I could use the one in the kitchen but ..."

Reviewed on 2021/9/12

Hyatt Place Santa Barbara
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
2 out of 5
3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, CA
The price is NT$4,904 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Located in Santa Barbara, this family-friendly cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Los Padres National Forest, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Rancho San Marcos Golf Course ...
4.3/5Excellent! (59 reviews)
Not what was expected
"At check-in, we were told that the restaurant on-site opened at 4pm. However, we found out that the restaurant had been closed since March. There was no horseback riding due to it having rained the day prior. We were not allowed to pet or feed the horses without staff present, and although there ..."

Reviewed on 2021/1/25

Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
427 Santa Barbara (1655-159032) - Studio Hotel Room
427 Santa Barbara (1655-159032) - Studio Hotel Room
3 out of 5
427 Corona Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA
Located in East Beach, this cabin is within a 10-minute walk of East Beach and Santa Barbara Zoo. Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Bowl are also within 3 mi (5 ...
427 Santa Barbara (1655-159032) - Studio Hotel Room
Corona Del Mar - 5 Br Home
Corona Del Mar - 5 Br Home
4 out of 5
431 Corona Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA
Located in East Beach, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of East Beach and Santa Barbara Zoo. Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Bowl are also within ...
Corona Del Mar - 5 Br Home
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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