Santa Barbara is a diverse area that’s popular with tourists, so there’s sure to be something that appeals to your interests! Just look below for your particular niche and plan your perfect Santa Barbara day trip!
If you want to get out and marvel at the works of Mother Earth, then check out the two National Parks near Santa Barbara. One can head north to Los Padres National Forest, which is full of great trails for hiking. Alternatively, head south across the Santa Barbara Channel to visit the Channel Islands National Park, popular across the Western United States for sightseeing. Many other campgrounds, such as the Refugio and Gaviota State Parks, also make great day trips from Santa Barbara — head out and enjoy a day of boating, fishing, and surfing, and then head home to relax in your comfortable rental home.
For an international treat and unforgettable experience, head over to the city of Solvang. Settled by Danish immigrants, the city retains a strong sense of cultural heritage, making visitors feel like they just stepped in to Denmark! The architecture is wholly unique in the Western United States, and the mixture of local California food with Danish culinary traditions offer a taste unlike anything you’ve experienced.
Speaking of architecture, Santa Barbara is also within driving distance of Hearst Castle. For those who don’t mind a bit of a drive to see spectacular landmark, Hearst Castle offers an excellent way to spend the day. Meant to inspire memories of European palaces, the Hearst Castle offers tours the likes of which Americans almost never get to see at home. Many day trips in California include a visit to Hearst Castle.
Have you ever wondered why so many Californian names start with “San” or “Santa?” Take a trip to one of the historic missions and learn more about the influence of the Catholic Spaniards. As the first Europeans to settle along the Pacific Coast, their impact on the area’s flavor should not be underestimated. Take a trip to the San Luis Obispo, Santa Ines, or San Fernando missions to reveal more about how the Spanish missionaries lived and how we can see echoes of their lives in our world today.
California is known across the country and throughout the world for being part of iconic Wine County. Capitalizing on this, many wineries offer tours and tastings. These are great ways to sample the local products of California. Plus, you can get an inside glimpse of one of the state’s most important industries.Day trips in California aren’t complete until you visit Napa Valley!
Explore Santa Barbara
It’s also perfectly fine if you want to stay within the city limits — there’s no shortage of things to do on your Santa Barbara day trip. On the other hand, while you’re here you really ought to see many of the fantastic attractions nearby!
By John Wiley User:Jw4nvc – Santa Barbara, California – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5618491