For a taste of the refined California lifestyle filled with sprawling desert mountains, golden sand beaches, excellent wine, and fresh caught seafood, there’s no better place to spend your time than in our elegant coastal city of Santa Barbara. Often referred to as The American Rivera, the Golden State aesthetic meets Mediterranean style, with blanched white buildings and red-tiled roofs that pay homage to Santa Barbara’s Spanish colonial heritage. Our lovely city is host to a plethora of beautiful sights, and below we’ve created a friendly guide to help jumpstart your sight-seeing with some of our most scenic Santa Barbara sights!

Shop and Dine with Sweeping Views at Stern’s Wharf

With origins dating back to 1872, this seaside gem holds the title for California’s oldest operating wooden wharf, and is host to boutique shops, casual and fine dining restaurants, as well as the departure point for Celebration Cruise Tours. Shop for nautically inspired souvenirs and gifts at Old Wharf Trading Company, dine at The Harbor Restaurant for fresh seafood, and get a scoop at The Great Pacific Ice Cream Company. When you’re done exploring Santa Barbara sights, stop by to indulge in a glass of wine at Conway Family Wines Deep Sea Tasting room for panoramic views of the harbor and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Stern’s Wharf is just southeast of downtown at 217 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Take a Catamaran to the Channel Islands

If you’re standing on the shores in Santa Barbara, you might spy some low-lying islands in the distance. The Channel Island National Park is often referred to as “the Galapagos Islands of North America”, and its five volcanic rock islands are home to crystal clear, tropical-like waters, an abundance of wildlife such as sea lions and brown pelicans, as well as a variety of other marine life and seabirds. Island Packers runs daily tours from nearby Ventura Harbor, and once you’re there you can explore it up close and personal with a guided kayak journey exploring sea caves from Channel Islands Adventure Company on Santa Cruz Island. You can find Island Packers just south of Santa Barbara at 1691 Spinnaker Dr #105B, Ventura, CA 93001.

Explore Santa Barbara Sights at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

This 78-acre museum is open year-round and showcases a variety of over 1,000 native Californian plants through five miles of trails that are accessible to hikers of all skill levels. This diverse landscape can take you from tranquil Redwood groves to a cactus filled desert all in one journey and features several scenic stops such as the historic 1807 Mission Dam, a Japanese Teahouse, and fantastic views of the San Ynez Mountains. You can locate the garden at 1212 Mission Canyon Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

These are just a few of the scenic spots our lovely costal city has to offer. To come visit us and see them all, contact one of our reservation specialists to start planning your Santa Barbara vacation today!