Everywhere you look in Santa Barbara there is some history to take in. Santa Barbara celebrates its heritage with a variety of attractions that focus on history and art native to the region. Take a look at these Santa Barbara attractions for a historical journey!
El Pueblo Viejo District
When visiting Santa Barbara, you have to check out the downtown neighborhood, the El Pueblo Viejo District. This historic area features building designs and artwork that is evocative of the city’s heritage. Expect to find red tile roofs and beautiful ironwork. El Pueblo Viejo District is home to many of the city’s historic attractions, making it easy to stop at a few all in one day. Also, don’t forget to check out the many unique shops and restaurants while you’re in the neighborhood!
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
One of the more popular and historic buildings in Santa Barbara is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. This historic landmark was erected in 1929 and still functions as the county’s courthouse to this day. The building was designed in the Spanish-Colonial style for which Santa Barbara is known and boasts a red tile roof, elegant gardens, and a four-faced clock tower. As you tour the facility you will notice beautiful hand-painted murals that come to life. Even with the courthouse still operating, it is open for free daily tours. Drop-in tours are welcome Monday through Friday during the week from 8:00 AM to 5:00PM and on weekends from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. You will be provided with views of the incredible architecture and also a historical view into the county’s history.
One of the most exciting way to dive into the rich history of Santa Barbara is to explore the historic theatres in town. The Arlington Theatre has been open for nearly 100 years and first opened up as a movie palace. This historic theatre continues to host award winning plays, dance productions, independent films, and unique comedy productions every year. You can also catch the Santa Barbara International Film Festival here every February. Another historic theater to see in town is the Granada Theater found in the downtown neighborhood. You can catch ballet and symphony productions that feature national and international tours. There are several more historical theaters in town such as The New Vic and Riviera Theatre that offer a look into the history of the performing arts found in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Historic Museum
One of the best ways to understand the history of Santa Barbara is by visiting the Santa Barbara Historic Museum. This historic attraction is found in the El Pueblo Viejo District and is one of the oldest institutions in the city. The Santa Barbara Historic Museum shares its extensive collection of artifacts, paintings, textiles, and decorative arts to its visitors. Each exhibit focuses on over 500 years of history found in the area with Mexican, American, and Spanish influences to be seen. The signature exhibit of the museum is The Story of Santa Barbara. This exhibit focuses on how the region evolved from the home of the Chumash people to the capital of the performing arts. You can also see the onsite historic pueblo buildings that date back to 1817 and 1836. The Sala Gallery features artwork that rotates every few months to offer a fresh selection to view. The Santa Barbara Historic Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sundays from noon to 5:00 PM; admission is only $7 for adults and free for children under 18 years of age.
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Santa Barbara also has a vital history with the Santa Barbara Harbor. Come see how the local community connects with the sea by visiting the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. This interactive museum features an array of exhibits including preserved artifacts, films, and pieces of art. Many of the exhibits are hands on letting your family understand the importance of the shore including its kelp forest and how to sail. The multimedia Munger Theater showcases a variety of films that further enhance the experience. Last but certainly not least, visitors will want to make sure to step out onto the harbor. You will be treated to panoramic views of the harbor and the local murals on display. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is open Thursday through Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
More History to Explore in Santa Barbara
As you can see, there are plenty of historical attractions to visit during your stay in Santa Barbara. Enjoy your stay by reserving one of our exclusive vacation rentals in the city. You will be close to all of these wonderful attractions while enjoying luxurious amenities.
Vacation is a great moment to relax, unwind, and restore the mind and body after a year dedicated to hard work. With fall just around the corner, many travelers are considering destinations that bring the best of outdoor beauty and fun to life. When you’re hoping for the best of the best that comes complete with a side of California style, there’s no place better to venture this fall than Santa Barbara. Here are just a few of the many options available to enjoy during your Santa Barbara getaway:
Take a Fall Foliage Hike
It’s easy to get swept up in the idea that California is an exclusively sunny and summer-oriented destination. Fortunately, those that set their travel sights on scenic Santa Barbara in the fall will find that the color changes that apply to much of the continental U.S. in the autumn also apply to this delightful destination. For those that are excited to get out and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, there are plenty of options for savoring the sight of changing leaves when you focus on the surrounding Los Padres National Forest. Enjoying a maze of trails that vary according to length and difficulty, those with a passion for hiking can customize their fall foliage adventure through the wilderness according to preference and ability. Cottonwood and Sycamore trees that line many of these routes are known for bursting into color by late October and early November, making for a very memorable trek that’s worth carrying your camera for. Inspiration Point, in particular, is a great choice for those that enjoy the idea of a reward in the form of sweeping views of Santa Barbara from above.
Bike Your Way to Fall Fun
Mild temperatures and fewer crowds make fall a fantastic time to plan a getaway to Santa Barbara and an even better time to make sure that biking is on your list of must-do activities. As the pathways clear out of visitors, an opportunity opens up to ride some of the more popular routes and enjoy the views and fun with ease. One of these exciting options is the Cabrillo Bike Path that leads to Butterfly Beach. Offering up 4.5 miles of paved pathway to explore, the Cabrillo Bike Path is packed in the summer but provides more space to make for a leisurely afternoon of peddling through town during the fall. Ocean views are yours for the savoring along the way with the added reward of time spent at the beach when you reach the end of the road. Take pictures, enjoy great company, and indulge in time outdoors when you bike this path during your autumn escape.
Sail in Santa Barbara Style
Getting out on the water is a highlight of most trips to Santa Barbara and a fall getaway this direction is no exception to the rule. Those that can’t get enough of time spent savoring the waves will find that renting a boat or signing up for a private sailing lesson might just be the best part of the voyage. Consider partnering with the team at the Santa Barbara Sailing Center when you’re in the market to focus your autumn fun on the water. Located at the Santa Barbara Harbor just next to the launch ramp, this company is a premier provider of all things water-based fun and provides options for on-the-water instruction as well as a lineup of rentals for those more inclined towards independent adventures. From sailboats and powerboats to kayaks and paddleboards, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to enjoying a customized day enjoying the water and taking in the shoreline view from a one of a kind vantage point.
Picnic at the Mission Rose Garden
There’s nothing better than satisfying your taste buds in an open-air setting that’s as colorful and captivating as it is welcoming. Those looking to incorporate a fun outdoor picnic to their autumn Santa Barbara adventure will want to make their way to the Mission Rose Garden at least once while they’re in town. Home to over 1,500 varieties of roses, this garden is an icon of beauty within the city and a great place to settle down and admire the view while savoring some great flavors too. Sitting across from the Santa Barbara Mission, the Rose Garden offers up a space where it’s possible to indulge in tranquility while still remaining close to the heart of the city’s pulse.
Plan a Downtown Architecture Walking Tour
Santa Barbara is known and loved for its impressive Spanish-influenced architecture, but there’s no reason to book a tour during your fall getaway when you can plan one yourself through downtown. Beginning at City Hall, make your way towards the La Placita buildings dating back to the 19th century before continuing on to admire the Lobero Theater rooted in 1924 as well as the Santa Barbara recreation center dating back to 1912.
Book Your Stay Today
There’s no reason to wait when you’re ready to enjoy your fall getaway to Santa Barbara. Contact Paradise Retreats to learn more about our many area vacation rentals and to start planning your incredible adventure!
There are so many things to love about Santa Barbara, but getting outside should be the first on everyone’s list! Between the beautiful weather and incredible scenery, time in this town is best spent enjoying it. The community is well aware of the blessings of this location and has created countless amazing parks to celebrate it. The following are the most beautiful Santa Barbara parks.
Arroyo Burro Beach County Park
This is the place to be in Santa Barbara, as it offers sandy beaches, grassy fields, and towering bluffs with the best views. Here, you will find six acres of pristine coast perfect for picnics, surfing, and just relaxing on the beach. You can find BBQ grills, picnic tables, restrooms, hiking trails, and places for food and drink. You can even bring your furry friends here! Find it just off of Cliff Drive near Hope Ranch.
Hale Park is a little slice of paradise amidst the neighborhoods of Santa Barbara. The beach is always a great place to go, but this place provides a nice change of scenery from that every once in a while. You will find open spaces as well as awesome little trails through endless oak trees. Come for a shady hike or a shady picnic and enjoy the beauty of this one-of-a-kind place. Find it at the intersection of Camino Viejo Rd and El Rancho Rd.
Upon entering Parma Park, you will feel as if you are not in a city, but an incredible wilderness. At over 200 acres, this is the largest park in Santa Barbara, and it offers a bit of everything—from oak woodlands to creeks and canyons. You can find secluded areas as well as spots offering amazing views of the city. Find it on Stanwood Dr. about a half of a mile east of the center of the city.
The Most Beautiful Homes near Santa Barbara Parks
When you are not out and about enjoying the amazing things that Santa Barbara has to offer, you can ensure that you have a beautiful home to relax in. The best way to find one of the amazing homes that the town offers is through the services of Paradise Retreats. We pride ourselves on providing the most beautiful, luxurious, and convenient homes in the Santa Barbara area. You are sure to be pleased by breathtaking architecture, gourmet kitchens, well-appointed living rooms, and amazing views of this beautiful area. Contact us today to find the Santa Barbara vacation home of your dreams and to learn more about Santa Barbara parks!
So now that you have landed on Santa Barbara as your vacation destination of a lifetime, you could buy one of many of the Santa Barbara Guides written about our fair city, go to all the places listed between its pages, and end up having the exact same vacation that thousands of other vacationers have experienced. Alternatively, you could color outside the lines and experience our town in a way that is both daring and unique. It’s your vacation, and there really aren’t any rules, but if you choose to the latter option, we at Paradise Retreats can help you with our own guide to this list of hidden gems you just won’t find in any run of the mill Santa Barbara Guides.
Have a Drink Where Stagecoaches Used to Stop
The Cold Spring Tavern, located at 5995 Stagecoach Road, was built as a stagecoach stop in 1886 and has been an integral part of the San Marcos Pass experience ever since. Today, the history of this determined structure that has survived bankruptcy, forest fires, and many other tragedies throughout its existence is apparent in the buildings that surround it. You can order a cold beverage, a tasty steak, and soak in the atmosphere during your visit to the past!
Enjoy a Scoop or Three of Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
The Santa Barbara Guidebooks are good, but do they know that some of the best ice cream in the state can be found at McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream? Offering rotating seasonal flavors and a giant selection of ones that never change, our happy place can be found at one of the tables. Just don’t ask us to choose a favorite taste; every visit we find something new to fall in love with!
Mission Santa Barbara IS in the Santa Barbara Guide
But some of the interesting stories behind the venerable structure probably haven’t made the cut! Located at 2201 Laguna Street, it is the only mission constructed with two identical towers. Our favorite story, however, is knowing that Juana Maria, the woman who inspired the beloved book, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, is buried in the cemetery on its grounds.
Explore Santa Barbara in Your Paradise Retreats Escape
The sunset is guaranteed to take your breath away, no matter how many times you see it, and although there are plenty of places to see it throughout town, none will compare to your own patio! Our homes are designed for your comfort while retaining that unique California style that wows, and when you stay with us, you really are staying in paradise! Give us a call today to book one of our Santa Barbara or Santa Ynez Valley vacation rentals!
Even if you have never been to Santa Barbara, you still probably know all about the wonderful things there are to do here in paradise. From hiking trails to surfing the swells to fine art, fine dining, and community theater, our oceanside town is an exciting and vibrant place to visit. And as if that weren’t enough, when you combine the standard activities with some of the following special events, your California vacation promises to be one that you will never forget. Here’s a list of some of our favorite upcoming Santa Barbara Attractions that should not be missed!
Nam June Paik: TV Clock
This ongoing video art show is scheduled to end soon, so if the art of Nam June Paik interests you, you should be sure to visit soon. Held every day except Mondays until October 14, this innovative show will make you stop and think. Found at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, ticket prices range from free to $10, making this show a treat that fits into any vacation budget.
USPA President’s Club Final, September 23
September is a big month for Santa Barbara attractions and the US Polo Association President’s Club Final is a big deal! Starting at 2:30PM at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, the ball drops at 3:00PM and the fun continues late into the night. Ticket prices start at $12 for General Admission and can skyrocket up to $500; an afterparty held in the main clubhouse allows the opportunity to let your hair down and dance like there’s no tomorrow.
Santa Barbara’s Vintner’s Celebration of Harvest Weekend, October 12 – 14
Held at the Old Mission Santa Ines, this fall celebration offers it all: food, wine, entertainment, wine, the I Love Lucy look-alike contest, more wine, and of course, the infamous grape stomp to help make more wine. Vacationing in wine country has never been so great!
Cancer: The Urgency of Now, November 2
Isn’t it great when you can do something fun and do a good deed at the same time? This benefit show, with the proceeds going towards the fight against cancer, features the piano stylings of David Bowie’s pianist, Mike Garson. It is a two-hour celebration held at the Lobero Theater. Ticket prices begin at $45 and top out at $200; this worthy benefit may just end up being the highlight of your entire vacation.
Choose Paradise and Enjoy More Santa Barbara Attractions These Time of the Year!
Paradise Retreats offers a vacation experience that you’ll never forget through our stylish houses that still maintain a sense of home, luxury amenities, and the chance for more family bonding experiences. Reserve yours today!
Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful destinations along the entire coast of California. As such, it receives countless visitors throughout the year, especially during the summer. But the great thing about Santa Barbara is there is not a single bad time of year to visit. As fall in Santa Barbara comes around, the city does not enjoy its highest tourism boom, but this is perhaps the best time of year to visit. Here are a few reasons why.
You can always count on the weather in Santa Barbara. It is consistently sunny with highs ranging from the high 60s to low 70s. These averages, paired with cool ocean breezes, make this city an absolute paradise throughout the whole year, including the fall.
A Wine Country Bursting with Color
The Santa Barbara area is home to one of the most vibrant wine-countries in the country in the Santa Ynez Mountains just to the northwest of the city. While the beaches and city streets of Santa Barbara seem to be in a perpetual state of summer, a short trip to the vineyards and wineries shows endless sycamore, cottonwood, and liquidambar trees bursting with the beautiful colors of autumn, which set the stage to enjoy some of the most sought-after wines in the country.
Great Waves During Fall in Santa Barbara
While the crowds flock to Santa Barbara during the summer, the same cannot be said for the best waves. The positioning of the area on the coast results in the best point-breaks remaining dormant during the summer and spring. However, during the fall in Santa Barbara, this area becomes a surfer’s dream, as massive swells consistently roll in. El Capitan State Beach is one of the best places to take advantage of this.
Santa Barbara Brew Festival and More
This is a celebration of beer, food, and music Santa Barbara style, which means it is taking place right by the ocean! On October 7th, 2017, you can enjoy unique pours from countless local breweries, along with upbeat musical performances. But there is so much more where this festival came from in Santa Barbara, as the city will be home to countless celebrations of culture, food, music, and just about everything else you can imagine before the fall is over.
It is amazing that you can enjoy all of the amazing benefits of a Santa Barbara fall with a small fraction of the crowds that you would see during the summer. This means quieter beaches, less crowded waters for swimming and surfing, ease in getting into wine tastings and restaurants, and so much more!
There certainly is no wrong time to visit Santa Barbara, but the fall is very likely the best time to visit this beautiful city and surrounding area. If you are looking to plan a vacation for the fall, make it a Santa Barbara vacation—one that you will never forget!
Santa Barbara and its surrounding area is a paradise for wine enthusiasts. While you can find some of the most unique wines in the country in this area, it is really the diversity of the winery experience here that makes it such a great place to explore wine through taste, sight, and smell. You can find trendy wineries and tasting rooms within the hustle and bustle of the city, or you can take to the countryside and enjoy rolling hills speckled with vineyards and wineries. What makes the area so special is the Santa Ynez Mountains and the valleys that they create. It is the only region along the West Coast that creates a valley running from east to west, which creates the best conditions for making wine that you will find anywhere. Here are some of the best wineries around Santa Barbara that you should put on your list to visit during your next trip.
The Foxen Vineyard is located in the beautiful town of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley, just northwest of Santa Barbara. Besides the immense natural beauty of the town, the wonderful wines of the Foxen Vineyard are the toast of the town. Across two tasting rooms, visitors from all over the world can enjoy some of the most unique and celebrated wines in the state. The different tasting rooms feature different types of wine, so you are able to cater your experience to your tastes.
This is an amazing option for wine tastings right in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. Every step of the winemaking process for the wines here is done by hand, giving each bottle a very unique and distinct flavor, which is a delight to the more seasoned wine tasters out there. The tedious nature of wine production here results in a very small yearly yield, so a tasting here is truly a special experience.
This wonderful vineyard and winery is also situated among the rolling hills of Los Olivos. While the wine is amazing, what sets this place apart is the incredible beauty of the property. Upon visiting, you will find that these amazing wines taste that much better when enjoyed at the sunny courtyard overlooking some of the most exquisite countryside that you will find throughout all of California.
Visit These Wineries Around Santa Barbara
With over 100 wineries around Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara is a paradise for those who love wine. This list does not even begin to scratch the surface of all the wine tasting wonders that await you in Santa Barbara. Regardless of where you choose to have your wine tasting adventure, you can be sure that it will be one to remember.
Santa Barbara is one of the best vacation destinations in the country and provides numerous things to do both in Santa Barbara and in the surrounding area. Santa Barbara and the surrounding area have a deep history that creates really interesting attractions. Whether you are looking to grab a drink or see a show, there are plenty of Santa Barbara night activities for the night owl on vacation.
Santa Barbara Brewing Company
The Santa Barbara Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in the Santa Barbara area and provides you with everything you could want and more out of an amazing bar. The brewing company lies just a few blocks from Stearns Wharf and features not only craft beer options, but also amazing food options as well. This brewpub uses their brewing spirit to create incredible and unique craft beers and uses some of these beers to create even better food. The Santa Barbara Brewing Company has a collegiate feel, but more reminiscent of the days where you hung out in perfect little bars and attempted to become a beer snob. There are seven beers on tap year round and several different rotating beers with guest taps for trying new favorites.
When you enter Café Zaytoon, you are welcomed to a hidden oasis in the center of Santa Barbara. This amazing café is the best place where you can experience fresh and tasty Lebanese cuisine at any time of day. Café Zaytoon has an amazing garden you can enjoy with your special guests that is complete with the sounds of the waterfall, the glow of little lights and the warmth of a fire. The best part of this Santa Barbara night activity is definitely the atmosphere. A great attraction to visit on vacation is somewhere that you can escape the stresses of life and be transported to another world; the garden at Zaytoon does just this. You will experience the exotic tastes of their menu, hear interesting and new music on their patio, and be transported to another far off time and place.
Rori’s Artisanal Creamery
One thing you need on vacation is a great dessert. After you have walked around the beautiful area and seen Santa Barbara, drive down to Rori’s and pull up a chair for some delicious artisanal ice cream. Try any one of their rotating flavors and experience ice cream bliss.
Great Homes to Return To After These Santa Barbara Night Activities
These three attractions are great for families, couples, singles and groups of people who love to experience Santa Barbara. Try one of these on your next vacation.
When you arrive at your rental property, you’ll be excited by all the equipment in your kitchen. But, what to use it on? The best place to get inspiration for meals is a local farmer’s market. There’s many Santa Barbara farmers markets to choose from, and they’ll provide the perfect additions to your table and more. If you’re looking to save money on ingredients and add local flavor to your food, a farmer’s market is one of the best Santa Barbara CA things to do!
What is It?
Farmers markets are where local farmers sell their fresh produce and wares. Here, you can get food grown locally and freshly harvested. Artisans also often set up shop here, bringing handcrafted goods that offer everything from centerpieces to souvenirs. The products change with the seasons, so you never know what you’ll find!
Why Go to Santa Barbara’s Farmers Markets?
There’s a lot to be said for fresh food. Only the best restaurants can afford to bring out the best of these ingredients, so if you want the greatest dishes without sacrificing money, you need to track them down yourself at a farmer’s market! Don’t compromise with ready-to-eat meals that use corn syrup or food coloring to mask their lost quality. Use fresh ingredients and your meal will be better-tasting and better for you!
Where and When?
If you’re interested in the classic feeling of a downtown farmer’s market, this will be one of your favorite Santa Barbara CA things to do. Head to downtown Santa Barbara on Saturday or Tuesday; the market’s open from 8:30am to 1pm on Saturday, and 4pm to 7:30pm (summer hours) on Tuesday.
The Goleta Farmer’s Market in the Camino Real Marketplace happens on Sundays from 10am to 2pm, and on Thursday from 3pm to 6pm.
Carpinteria also hosts a farmer’s market on Thursdays from 3pm to 6:30pm (summer hours).
If you’re taking a daytrip to Solvang, consider going on Wednesday, when their farmer’s market is open from 2:30pm to 6:30pm (summer hours) at Copenhagen Drive and 1st Street.
Finally, check out Montecito’s farmer’s market for a weekend’s worth of groceries on Fridays, open from 8am to 11:15am in the morning.
As a bonus, thanks to California’s spectacular climate, farmer’s markets are open year-round! Markets typically close a little earlier in winter, however.
Paradise Retreats: Providing for the Perfect Provisions
What use is a farmer’s market if you’re staying at a hotel? Stay with Paradise Retreats and you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen, so you can enjoy top-quality food in your top-quality vacation rental. The kitchens are just one of the many perks of our properties—call us at 1-805-275-1851 or click here to view our properties!
Are you staying in one of our Santa Barbara vacation rentals? If so, you’ll find a variety of amazing attractions and things to do throughout the city, though few are as fun-filled as Stearns Wharf! The longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara is home to a variety of attractions, shops, restaurants, and more – so much, in fact, that it can be hard to choose what to do in a limited time frame! Fortunately, we’re here to help you find what you need. Read on to see the top five reasons to visit Stearns Wharf!
There’s no doubt that vacation is time to splurge a little (or a lot)! And if you’re not sure when you’ll have the chance to pick up souvenirs, stop by Stearns Wharf and get all the goodies you need in one place! Devil and the Deep Blue Sea offers toys and other gifts for kids, while Coastal Treasures and Nature’s Own Gallery offer accessories and jewelry. And if you’re just not sure what you want, Old Wharf Trading Company features an eclectic selection of merchandise.
There’s nothing like the sight of the sea to fire up an appetite! Thankfully, the restaurants here mean business, and keep customers coming back with delicious meals time and again. You’ll find American fare here as well as, of course, seafood! And for dessert—or a sinful snack—you can stop by the ice cream or candy shoppe. Enjoy a burger or an ice cream cone while watching the waves!
On the topic of waves, the wharf is a fine spot to watch the ocean. The sun glitters all day among the water, and Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara is a magnificent place to watch the sunset.
There’s plenty to see and do in Santa Barbara, and some of it is right here! The Museum of Natural History hosts its Sea Center here, and for a more hands-on approach to learning about the sea, sign up for a cruise with Celebration Cruises, or take the Santa Barbara Water Taxi to the harbor and add more fun to your trip!
With the sea spray stimulating you, Stearns Wharf is a great place to fit some light exercise into your vacation. The driving-and-standing combo that characterizes so many vacations could use some variation, right? Then save money on parking and park on the street for a salutary walk to the Wharf. With so many shops, restaurants, views, and diversions, you’ll be power-walking all day just to get to the next attraction!
Stay with Paradise Retreats When Visiting the Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara
Like many of the rich and famous, you too could have a home in Santa Barbara! Call us at 1-805-275-1851 to learn more about our offerings. Whether you’re on a vacation for the activities (such as museums, galleries, and shopping) or the relaxation (in our fabulous rentals), stay with Paradise Retreats: you won’t be disappointed!
Photo By Jllm06 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31153828