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Santa BarbaraUnited States of America

The American Riviera offers historic adobe architecture, plenty of art galleries, wineries and beautiful beaches. 

Santa Barbara is famous for its expensive hotels, large mansions and trendy boutiques, but it also has beautiful beaches and many museums and festivals dedicated to celebrating the city’s past.

Be sure to visit Santa Barbara’s picture-perfect beaches. Lie on the soft sand and read a book, or grab a board and hit the surf. Conditions are great for beginners, but on the right day there are some good breaks for those of all skill levels.

Marvel at the Franciscan–Spanish architecture of the old Santa Barbara Mission. You’ll find artifacts and documents from old missionaries, a still-operating chapel, and the mission’s impressive and well-kept grounds. For more old architecture, visit the adobe Rafael Gonzalez house or the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Head up the bell tower for great views of the surrounding area. History buffs will also want to check out the Presidio of Santa Barbara, a Spanish fortress from the 1780s.

Learn how modern-day Santa Barbara came about as you wander through the exhibits at the city’s Historical Museum. For a look at the evolution of plant and wildlife in the area and beyond, spend some time at the Museum of Natural History.

Art lovers will enjoy the city’s excellent institutions. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has an extensive collection of European, American and Asian art, and plays host to some world-class exhibitions. For a look at more recent works, wander over to the Contemporary Arts Forum. This gallery is artist-run and funded, and is dedicated to exhibiting the highest-quality work in the region.

To enjoy other local products, organize a tour of the region’s wineries.

Santa Barbara enjoys the sophisticated charm of a much larger city but maintains a quaint, friendly atmosphere. Throw in a fascinating history, loads of cultural activities and excellent beaches, and it’s not hard to see why it attracts visitors from around the world.

Top hotels in Santa Barbara

Chumash Casino Resort
Chumash Casino Resort
4 out of 5
The price is RM453 per night from 6 Oct to 7 Oct

Situated in Santa Ynez, this spa resort is within 1 mile (2 km) of Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Janeway-Parks Carriage House and Chumash Casino. Gainey ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,601 reviews)

"The rooms are clean and very comfortable. They only had the food court and steak house but food was good. Did not have much luck in the slots, but either than that had a good time."…"

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2020

Chumash Casino Resort
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
4 out of 5
The price is RM817 per night from 14 Oct to 15 Oct

Located in East Beach, this beach hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Santa Barbara Zoo, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Presidio Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County ...

4/5Very Good! (919 reviews)

"The hotel is in a great location! The staff was very nice. Our room was nice and fairly clean. The bathroom was a bit grimy - mold in the shower. I expected higher quality for paying $400/night for a King room. Overall I would definitely stay there again - the complimentary bike rentals were an added ..."…"

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2020

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Hotel Corque
Hotel Corque
4 out of 5
400 Alisal Rd., Solvang, CA
The price is RM449 per night from 5 Oct to 6 Oct

Situated in Solvang, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum and Solvang Festival Theater. Hans Christian Andersen Museum and ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (2,000 reviews)
A Great Location!

"We truly enjoyed our stay!"…"

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2020

Hotel Corque
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Santa Barbara

Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
3 out of 5
The price is RM661 per night from 1 Nov to 2 Nov

Situated in Buellton, this cottage is within a 15-minute walk of Mendenhall's Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Petroliana and Mosby Winery. OstrichLand USA and Hans ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (330 reviews)

"Had a great time with a group of friends for my 60th"…"

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2020

Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
2 out of 5
3750 Paradise Road, Santa Barbara, CA

Located in Santa Barbara, this family-friendly cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Los Padres National Forest, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Rancho San Marcos Golf Course ...

4.4/5Excellent! (57 reviews)

"It was perfect to spend time with my two boys some bonding time"…"

Reviewed on 21 Nov 2019

Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort
4BR 2 5BA Montecito Luxury Home Pool Sleeps 8 by RedAwning
4BR 2 5BA Montecito Luxury Home Pool Sleeps 8 by RedAwning
4 out of 5

Located in Montecito, this golf holiday home is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Casa Del Herrero and 1.8 mi (3 km) from Los Padres National Forest. Our Lady of Mount Carmel ...

5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Gorgeous house in a very nice neighborhood

"This is a beautiful house in a lovely neighborhood with a short walk to a market, hardware store, pack and ship and other shops plus a very nice Italian restaurant. The house is very comfortable and the pool is a plus. There is no AC but the house stayed comfortably cool for the most part. The yard ..."…"

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2018

4BR 2 5BA Montecito Luxury Home Pool Sleeps 8 by RedAwning
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top things to do in Santa Barbara

Original Downtown Food Tour
Image for Original Downtown Food Tour

Original Downtown Food Tour

RM457
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Join-In Social Wine Tour w/Lunch from Solvang or Santa Ynez.
Image for Join-In Social Wine Tour w/Lunch from Solvang or Santa Ynez.

Join-In Social Wine Tour w/Lunch from Solvang or Santa Ynez.

RM541
Per adult
Santa Barbara Wildlife & History Kayaking Tour
Image for Santa Barbara Wildlife & History Kayaking Tour

Santa Barbara Wildlife & History Kayaking Tour

RM251
Per adult
Electric Bike Tour of Santa Barbara
Image for Electric Bike Tour of Santa Barbara

Electric Bike Tour of Santa Barbara

RM403
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
E-Bike Self-Guided Tours through beautiful Ojai California
Image for E-Bike Self-Guided Tours through beautiful Ojai California

E-Bike Self-Guided Tours through beautiful Ojai California

RM278
Per adult
Play with Clay at Firestick Pottery
Image for Play with Clay at Firestick Pottery

Play with Clay at Firestick Pottery

RM236
Per adult

Reviews of Santa Barbara

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
49
5 - Excellent 63.63636363636363%
4 - Good
22
4 - Good 28.571428571428573%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 6.4935064935064934%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 1.2987012987012987%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

29 Nov 2019

Don’t expect Santa Barbara to be a cheap place to stay.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

21 Sep 2019

Very nice seaside city.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Sep 2019

A must place to go.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Sep 2019

Stunning area to visit, highly recommend

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

9 Sep 2019

Really nice area if you are looking to chill out and relax.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

27 Aug 2019

Very family friendly and lovely beach and restaurants