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Get out and enjoy all that Santa Barbara has to offer

Written By: Olivia Otsuki A Fun-Filled Guide to Santa Barbara

Whether you’re spending a day or a week in Santa Barbara, here is a guide of all the things to do from best places to eat, how to immerse yourself in the city rich with history, or to hike through the best forests by the sea.

Santa Barbara Tasting Tours

Jump right into the best eateries in downtown Santa Barbara. These tours feature six different walking and tasting tours: “Taste of Santa Barbara, ” “Funk Zone, ” “Farmers Market, ” “Downtown Ventura, ” “Eating Ojai, ” or private tours. Each of these tours takes you to a different part of Santa Barbara and most of them make six stops in six different shops and restaurants. Indulge in the gourmet cheeses, local wines, chocolates, pastries, and an endless list of acclaimed chef’s gourmet dishes. No tour is the same and locations vary, but each of the tours immerses you in both the Santa Barbara cuisine as well as the historical scenery. Some examples of the Taste of Santa Barbara tour include the Arlington Theater, the Granada Theater, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and the Presidio. All you need to do is bring yourself, casual walking attire, and an appetite to be wined and dined.



Casa del Herrero

Take a tour of this preserved House of the Blacksmith. This not-for-profit has preserved an eleven-acre estate as a tribute to the art and excellence in design. Now, it is a museum you can go to to explore the house filled with ornate tiling, furnishings, gardens and workshop that illustrate the Montecito estates of the 1920s. Reservations are required.

1387 E Valley Rd
Montecito, CA 93108


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Visit this luscious botanical garden located several miles off the California coastline. See the giant Blaksley Boulder, the Mission Dam and Aqueduct constructed in the early 1800s, the Campbell Bridge, the Clara Small Smith Steps, the cottage, and the Baksley Library built in a house. The garden is split up into sections, like “desert, ” “meadow, ” and “tea house garden, ” just to name a few of the sites to see. The Botanic Garden is perfect for a day getaway to get a breath of fresh air among some of the most beautiful native plants of Santa Barbara.

1212 Mission Canyon Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Salt Cave

Heal and recenter at these Himalayan Salt Caves. Participate in 45 minute Cave Sessions of breathing therapy that uses salt-particles in the air to improve your respiratory health. There are also several types of yoga, including Flow, Stretch and Gentle Yoga. Get one of their massages or scrubs to rejuvenate, invigorate, and exfoliate everyday stresses away. Some of the workshops feature sound healing, women’s empowerment groups, as well as dancing and movement sessions.  

740 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Float Luxury Spa

Need a day to reconnect with yourself? Let your worries float away at this day spa in Santa Barbara. They have massages, facials, acu-massages, rituals, and waxing so you can treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated.

18 E Canon Perdido St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Inspiration Point Hike

Enjoy this moderate hike, with perfect sunset scenery that looks over the city all the way to the ocean. If you pack snacks and sandwiches, about 1.25 miles up the hill, there is a picnic area for you and your loved ones to enjoy a meal outdoors. Bring your friends, family, and dogs, and enjoy a sunny day hiking in view of the coast.

Mission Canyon Rd & Tunnel Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93109


Knapp’s Castle

Knapp’s Castle is a ruined mansion in the Santa Ynez Mountains in the Los Padres National Forest. The hike to Knapp’s castle is good for hikers of all skill levels. If you start from the top, the walk down to the landmark is mild with a beautiful, view of the forest.  For more advanced hikers, you can start at the bottom at Snyder Trail, which is a moderate hike, and for an even longer route, you can add the Fremont Trail loop.

El Camino Cielo
Los Padres National Forest
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Scarlett Begonia Restaurant

Scarlett Begonia restaurant features modern American food created and served with the best and freshest organic ingredients. Enjoy a summer meal on their outside patio. They are always on the lookout to keep things new and exciting and update their menu on a weekly basis.  

11 W Victoria St 10
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Dawn Patrol Restaurant

Out since the crack of dawn catching the best waves Santa Barbara has to offer? Dawn Patrol will be waiting with a hot, delicious breakfast to get your morning started on the right foot. Dawn patrol works with local farmers to provide the tastiest, healthiest ingredients. They have pre-workout juices and smoothies, or post-work out revitalizers. If you’re looking for big, traditional breakfasts, they have Luau French Toast, Prisoner Egg Muffins, and Gluten Free Pancakes. If you’re in the mood for some afternoon drinks, what better way than to start your morning with sunshine, sur, and a tangy, bubbly mimosa?

324 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101