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.
Do you know what makes a vacation in Santa Barbara even better than you ever imagined it could be? The opportunity to walk the aisles of a local farmers’ market, breathing in the fresh ocean air as you pick and choose from an amazing cornucopia of fresh produce, home-baked treats, and various specialty gifts for the family who didn’t get to accompany you on your trip to paradise; your vacation just exploded into next level awesomeness! Farmers’ markets allow you take a step back into time and experience the simpler moments that really make you appreciate the joys of fresh and during your Santa Barbara vacation. Keep reading to know the best Santa Barbara farmers’ markets and how you can kill a few hours of vacation time while helping your family stay healthy!
Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market, Santa Barbara & Cota Streets
Saturday mornings from 8:30AM until 1:00PM is where the magic happens around here; our Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market takes over the streets! Offering every fruit and vegetable imaginable, supplied by farms all over the region, and a tasty selection of locally harvested seafood as well, its one of our favorite ways to spend a lazy Saturday morning.
Folded Hills Farmstead, 2323 Old Coast Highway, Goleta
Goleta is another of the idyllic farming towns you can find in the Santa Barbara region. Located only 13 minutes away from your Paradise Retreats vacation home, Folded Hills Farmstead offers a farm stand on weekends in the spring and summer. Featuring fruits and veggies they grow right there and homemade goodies that taste so much better than store bought, it’s also an opportunity for your children to meet the farmer and his menagerie of animals.
Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market, 300 E Matilija Street, Ojai
The Sunday drives our parents forced us to go on as children were episodes of torture to us. Today, the Sunday drive isn’t just a wonderful and relaxing experience; it also means we are heading to the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market, located just over 45 minutes away from Santa Barbara. Open from 9AM until 1:00 PM every Sunday and featuring flowers, fresh produce, free range eggs and so much more, it seems as if closing time comes far too soon, but we eagerly await the next Sunday’s adventures!
Contact Us Today!
Paradise is only a phone call or email away—Paradise Retreats, that is! Your Santa Barbara vacation will exceed your expectations when you reserve one of our luxury villas, perfect for enjoying the fruits of your farmers’ market explorations!
Santa Barbara is normally depicted as a beautiful coastal area with sunshine and sandy beaches, but believe it or not, every once in a while, there are Santa Barbara rain clouds. These clouds force us to seek alternate plans from lounging on the beach. But much of what makes this area great is the multitude of other outdoor activities not requiring sunshine. Here are a few ideas for fun on those less than perfect beach days.
Go to the Beach
Even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy the beach. Grab an umbrella, raincoat, and some boots and head down to the water’s edge. There is plenty to do at the beach even when the sun is not shining. As long as it’s not raining hard, take a walk, hunt for shells, play Frisbee, or make sandcastles. For your safety, stay out of the water, but otherwise enjoy your time in the sand!
Hang Out with Painters Like Monet
If you rather spend the day out and about, go downtown to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. This renown museum features works by Dali, Monet, and Rousseau among more modern masters. You won’t find better company anywhere. Take a look at some of the most influential works of art available at this amazing museum.
Grab Some Quality Craft Beer
Probably the best activity on this list—in our humble opinion, anyway! Head to The Press Room and enjoy a frothy pint in this cozy, local bar, or pull up a stool at the James Joyce and enjoy a drink while watching the world pass by on busy State St and shell a few peanuts; they have barrels of them there to kick up your feet.
Eat Like a Local Even in the Santa Barbara Rain
The locals do this every other day of the week, so why should a Santa Barbara rainy day be any different? If you’ve just left the James Joyce, make a sharp right turn and head directly into Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop for a hearty taste of England. Joe’s Cafe and the Dutch Garden Restaurant are two other solid choices for delicious, heaping servings of warm comfort food. There are so many restaurants in the Santa Barbara area that are amazing; these are just a few to get you started.