Fun things to do in Santa Barbara

  • Entrance to Neverland Ranch
    Entrance to Neverland Ranch
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  • Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
    Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
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  • Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
    Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
    by Jim_Eliason

Most Viewed Things to Do in Santa Barbara

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    Forget the promenade, hit the town

    by davesut Updated Mar 22, 2014

    A trip out form Santa Barbara we spent the day in Ventura. The sand is great, the sea tremendous if a tad too cool for my liking. We spent the best part of the day on the sea front, on the beach, pier and along the promenade. The beach is great but the backdrop is not what you'd call landscaped. Th promenade is a decidedly concrete affair which could do with a bit of flora around to soften it up. Still we had great fun. We walked to the fairground site but not open when we were there, looked like they were planning for a big event soon. We found the town centre very pleasing on the eye, a cool vibe and somewhere worth checking out. This was around 30 minutes drive from where we stayed at the Cliff House Inn

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    Head inland

    by davesut Written Feb 24, 2014

    After a 3 mornings of waking up to grey sea mist and the cool sea air we decided to head inland for a bit of morning warmth. We headed north along the 154, over the hills and you know, there it was, morning sun. Some great places to take some pics of the views along this route.

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    Gaviota State Park

    by davesut Written Feb 24, 2014

    This is 33 miles from Santa Barbara along highway 101. We dropped off here on our way back from Solvang for a late afternoon dip. The beach was very pleasant, parking nearby and because you are away from the main areas, not very crowded, at least not on the day we were there. You have to pay to get in, $10 a day I think, which is true of all state parks in California. Most people here were camping in the RV lot. The shop serving the camp site is open 9-5 and served snacks and hot drinks which were essential later on as it got a bit cooler.

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    Wine Tasting

    by HELEN Written Feb 22, 2013

    If you like wine, you should visit the Santa Barbara wine country. Only 45 minute drive from Santa Brabara, you are able to find a plethora of wineries in Santa Ynes, Los Olivos, Solvang and Buelton. Regardless of which way you choose to get there, either the 101N or the 154, you'll enjoy beautiful views. Some of my favorite wieries to visit are Sunstone, Firestone, Fess Parker and Gainey.

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    Sailing

    by HELEN Updated Feb 22, 2013

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    I would recommend chartering a sail boat, but I would not recommend taking the sailboat out to whale watch. We didn't realize how far from shore you have to go to hopefully see whales. The water is really rough, so if you are on a smaller boat, it gets really rocky and it gets really cold. If you get sea sick, you will be hating life. Sail around the harbor and not too far from shore, that way you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views that Santa Barbara has to offer. You'll also stay much warmer.

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    Santa Barbara Bowl

    by jagheter Written Oct 18, 2012

    If there is a show playing at the Santa Barbara Bowl, it's a great venue! About 1/4 the size of the Hollywood Bowl, it feels much more intimate feeling. If you're staying downtown, it is totally walkable to get to (less than ~2 miles) and a lovely walk. If you drive, you still have to walk about half that distance to get from the parking area to the venue anyway.

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    Beach at my scale

    by solopes Updated May 16, 2012

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    Santa Barbara was, for us, the most appealing beach in USA. A good stripe of sand, a calm sea, an organized and well maintained shore and lots of shops and restaurants at walking distance.

    The life seamed easy and calm, and good taste was present.

    Even the sun came to help our good appreciation. Definitively: Santa Barbara was "MY" beach in my first trip to California

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    Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 27, 2011

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    Located down in Santa Barbara's Harbor is the Maritime Museum. It was closed by the time we got to the harbor, but I am sure it is neat. I love places like this. Museums like these are a treasure to their commuities and the education of our young.

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    Santa Barbara Harbor

    by Yaqui Written Nov 27, 2011

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    There are a couple of restaurants here such as Brophy's Bros, Chucks Waterfront Grill and the Maritime Museum. Other than that it is mostly where the boats slips are, but it has a wonderful walking path you can stroll along to see the beautiful ocean all the wonderful boats or yachts. You can catch that water taxi from here and will take you to Stern's Wharf or back to here.

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    Cold Springs Canyon Arch Bridge ~Wells Fargo 30

    by Yaqui Written Nov 27, 2011

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    While on our little adventure from the tavern, we noticed these signs, so we followed one. It lead us to a spot where you can see the underbelly of the Cold Springs Canyon Arch Bridge and to a sign that explained a little bit of the history.

    It says: Old Stagecoach Route 1860-1901
    This old stagecoach road was used by all traffic until the Cold Springs Arches Bridge was built in 1963.

    Sponsored by
    Well Fargo Bank, Goleta Beautiful, Goleta Historial Society, City & County of Santa Barbara, De La Guerra y Pacheco Chapter 15 E Clampus Vitus and Other Friends.

    Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge is the 5th longest span arch bridge of a supporting deck in the world. It also is know for some fatal attraction, so hopfully they will find a way to fix that soon.

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    Ojai Jail 1873

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 27, 2011

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    Ojai jail was built by then Constable Andrew Van Curen in 1873. When the town replaced Van Curen, he wouldn't let them keep the wooden jail. So they replaced it with a concrete bunker built in 1920 that sits in Libby Park in Ojai still. This wooden jail is located at Cold Springs Tavern. Located towards the back off the patio of the restaurant building.

    Inside the Treasure N Trash building is some wonderful newpaper articles of the history of the building and the people who have owned it. Some neat photos too!

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    Cold Spring Tavern 1868

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 27, 2011

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    The plaque reads: In 1868 this tavern was known as "Cold Springs Relay Station". It was the half way stop between "Mattel's Tavern" to the north, and Patrick Kinevan's "Summit House" to the south. In those days sturdy stagecoaches know as "mudwagons" traveled the rugged San Marcos Pass. It was here horses were changed and passengers rested and enjoyed the noon day meal. In 1900 the Doulton family bought the old tavern with its adjoining 40 acres. In 1941 they sold it to the Ovington family whose daughter Audrey Ovington owns it to this day.
    Plaque dedicated August 4, 1993 by
    Santa Barbara Parlor No. 116. Native Sons of the Golden West
    Reina Del Mar Palor No. 126 Native Daughters of the Golden West
    Tierra De Oro Palor No. 204 Native Daughters of the Golden West

    It was also very dangerous road due to the fact that highway robbers frequent this pass. Let alone enduring the bump ride to get to point a and b. What is so unique they have maintained its rustic charm. It is nestle in the moutain and the road can be quite dangerous if your not paying attention.

    The other building on the property has its own history. The Road Gang house was where the Chinese laborers bunked at while the San Marcos turnpike was being built in 1868.

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    Arts & Craft Show

    by Yaqui Updated Nov 27, 2011

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    Arts and Craft Show happen to be going on that day and we took a stroll looking and admiring what the local talent created of many wonderful paintings and sculptures. It’s held every Sunday at Cabrillo Boulevard from East of Stearns Wharf to Calle Cesar Chavez and runs every Sunday and on designated holidays from 10am until dus.

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    Local Wineries

    by SONG Written Nov 13, 2011

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    There are numerous wineries nearby Santa Barbara. They are open to the public, with wine tasting opportunities at each one. In addition to the wine, the wineries also offer local specialities such as dips, sauces, chips, etc. The scenery surrounding the winery is beautiful, with the rolling hills, the vineyards, old oak trees, etc. Very pastoral and usually you will see
    cattle grazing.

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    Land and Sea Tour

    by cnango Updated Aug 30, 2011

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    Take a tour on board the "Land Shark" amphibious vehicle. Designed specifically for the tourist industry it can drive on both land and sea and does. The 90 minute narrated tour starts at Stearns Wharf and drives past scenic and historical landmarks in Santa Barbara. Then it cruises along the coastline on the water starting and ending at the harbor. You may be lucky and see whales, dolphins or seals.

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    • Beaches
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