Visitors coming to Santa Barbara for either the first or tenth time can expect wonderful outdoor activities throughout the city. Santa Barbara is a gorgeous locale and will have plenty for you to see and do no matter what time of year you come to visit. Since Santa Barbara is located right on the coast, you can expect a rain cloud or two during extended stays in the city. If that happens while you are visiting, simply enjoy a variety of indoor activities to help you pass the time until the clouds let up. Here are some of our favorite rainy day activities in Santa Barbara:
Visit a Local Landmark
Santa Barbara is home to some incredible local landmarks that are designed with the beautiful Spanish colonial design that the city is known for. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is the city’s top tourist attraction and for good reason. This beautiful building features a bright white exterior and crimson red roof tile that is a sight to see. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is surrounded by a beautiful garden that is often used for weddings and other special events. While you may not be able to tour the gardens on a rainy day you can easily head inside for a self-guided tour. Take in a rich history of Santa Barbara and see the infamous Mural Room with giant murals painted around the room. Make sure to call the Santa Barbara Court House at 805-962-6464 before you venture to make sure the courthouse is open for visitors that day.
Another great landmark you have to check out is the Old Mission Santa Barbara. Similar to the courthouse, this historical building features a lovely architectural design and surrounding gardens. The interior of the building is open for exploration making it ideal for a rainy day. The twin bells have been held up perfectly so you can see everything the way it was meant to be.
Visit the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Just because it is raining outside does not mean you need to avoid the water completely. Instead, venture over to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum located at the Santa Barbara Harbor. This local museum features incredible exhibits that feature educational programs and amazing artifacts. The Maritime Museum focuses on the harbor’s rich history with the Navy and many ships that found their way here. The Munger Theatre located at the museum shows detailed films in high definition to help you learn even more. The space and number of incredible exhibits can help you easily spend two hours at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
Catch a Show at Granada Theatre
A little rain never stopped live theatre productions from going forward. You can enjoy a variety of live performances found exclusively in Santa Barbara at the Granada Theater. This historic theatre has been a mainstay for decades and continues to thrill audiences with amazing shows. Performances vary throughout the year with traveling acts finding their way at the theatre. Call 805-899-3000 to see which performances will be showing during your stay in Santa Barbara. Granada Theatre also partners with The Good Lion, a local cocktail bar, for a weekly music series every Thursday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Come check out the live music with a handcrafted cocktail in hand!
Stop by Santa Barbara Winery
If the rain is light you can easily make your way just out of town to explore one of the many wineries the region is known for. Santa Barbara features its own “Napa Valley” with a string of wineries located a short drive away. One of our favorites is Santa Barbara Winery that features an indoor tasting room where you can try out their award-winning wines. They feature all of your favorite types including pinot noirs, chardonnays, merlots, and much more. The sommeliers on hand will help you find the wine that is perfect for you. While winery tours may be restricted for rainy days you can easily have fun with friends as you relax indoors. Don’t forget to grab a bottle (or a few) to take back to your vacation rental!
Get Hands on at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center
Santa Barbara features its own aquarium where you can get hands-on with incredible underwater critters. Take the kids over to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center for educational programming, unique exhibits, and hands-on experiences with rays, sharks, and much more. This indoor aquarium will have your children raving about all of the fun and excitement during their stop-through.
Plan Out Your Activities in Santa Barbara
As you can see, there is still so much to see and do when you vacation to Santa Barbara and see the occasional rainy day. Our vacation rentals will keep you comfortable throughout your stay with luxury amenities and prime locations for all of these activities in Santa Barbara.