Santa Barbara travel guide

The American Riviera

Santa Barbara Tourism | Santa Barbara Guide

You're Going to Love Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is all about the good life. That's why it attracts celebrity residents along with hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, and that's why you'll fall in love with this coastal Californian destination.

If all you want is a beach holiday, look no further. Pit your skills against the surf at Carpinteria, swim with the college crowd at Leadbetter Beach or find somewhere secluded to sunbathe at Arroyo Burro.

If you want to eat, drink and be merry - Santa Barbara is the place to be. Explore the incredible variety of the region's wine production, dine on Indonesian food at Sama Sama, burgers and beer at the Lark or Mexican delicacies at La Super Rica.

You can shop all day on State Street, enjoy a round of golf at Sandpiper, and even get to Los Angeles in under two hours. What more do you need to know? Santa Barbara is somewhere everyone should find time to visit.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Santa Barbara

What to do in Santa Barbara

When to Visit Santa Barbara

Estimated hotel price

Santa Barbara in {1}

1 night at 3-star hotel
Prices are not fixed and may vary with time

Santa Barbara has the kind of climate that is pleasant all year-round. However, you might want to avoid the city during the peak summer months (June through early September) as the beaches can be crowded and accommodation prices spike. Instead, plan a trip in May or October, when the temperatures are mild and everything is more relaxed.

Average temperatures
Celsius (°C)
When the weather is nice in Santa Barbara

How to Get to Santa Barbara

Airports near Santa Barbara

Airlines serving Santa Barbara

Good (68,765 reviews)
Good (46,770 reviews)
Good (30,129 reviews)
Good (28,057 reviews)
Good (3,706 reviews)
Good (4,251 reviews)
Good (23,137 reviews)
Good (23,400 reviews)
Show more

Where to Stay in Santa Barbara

Most of the best accommodation options in Santa Barbara are located right next to the beach, and it's worth paying extra for the sea views if you can afford it. The Harbor View Inn and Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort both back onto the seafront. For a more relaxed stay, try the Cheshire Cat Inn on West Valerio Street. A little way inland, it's more convenient for the shopping center and tucked away from the nightlife. Budget travelers should check out the Avania Inn, which provides affordable rooms a short walk from the beach.

Popular Neighborhoods in Santa Barbara

Where to stay in popular areas of Santa Barbara

Most booked hotels in Santa Barbara

How to Get Around Santa Barbara

The Cost of Living in Santa Barbara

Shopping Streets

Santa Barbara's major shopping center is clustered around State Street in the Downtown area. Designed to suit pedestrians, State Street Plaza is packed with independent apparel boutiques and jewelry stores. Check out the bikinis at A Tropical Affair, the latest fashions at Angl or visit chain stores like Nordstrom's and Old Navy. A short drive up 101, you'll also find La Cumbre Plaza, a huge shopping mall complete with a Sear's, J. Crew, Tiffany and Co., as well as many more major brands.

Groceries and Other

The cost of living in Santa Barbara tends to be relatively high. As you'd expect from a luxury retreat for the rich and famous, there are plenty of organic supermarkets and upscale vendors like Whole Foods, but you'll also find a Ralph's downtown and smaller delicatessens like Tino's. Expect to pay around $4.30 for a gallon of milk and $15 for a good bottle of wine.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
C$ 18.53
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
C$ 59.54
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
C$ 2.24
C$ 5.52

Where to Eat in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is full of fantastic places to eat, many of them with a strong Mexican influence. Head to Los Agaves and La Super Rica Tacqueria on N Milpas Street for the finest Mexican food in town. Or take a trip downtown to State Street, where you'll find gourmet American dishes at Finch & Fork Japanese delights at Arigato Sushi and fine Italian specialities at Olio e Limone. Downtown is also the place to be if you love craft beers, and all beer lovers should find time for a visit to the tasting room at Pure Order Brewing. Expect to pay around $20 for a mid-range meal and upwards of $40 for a gourmet dinner.