A lovely walk around the heart and soul of downtown Santa Barbara is the walk up and down State Street. There are various shops, malls (Paseo Nuevo and La Arcada), restaurants, professional services as well as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art all along this tree-lined street.
If you get tired of walking there is the Santa Barbara Electric Trolley which traverses State Street on a regular basis. If you visit during the holidays you may see the trolley with a pilgrim's hat on for Thanksgiving or a Santa hat at Christmastime.
Stop in and have a coffee at Pierre La Fond or pastry at Andersen's restaurant or perhaps a plate of nachos at the State and A.
Window shopping is free and highly recommended.
In California we are lucky enough to have more than a few beach towns, but Santa Barbara stands out with the street of streets, State Street. Starting at Stern's Wharf and running North for about 1 1/2 miles is everything that makes a great street. There is plenty of shops of all venues, from the unique boutiques to the multi-shop malls. There are recreational rentals from Rollerblades to electric cars. Looking for something to eat? Well, there is every category of dining available from sidewalk vendors to gourmet dining.
The Old Town section of State Street, houses some of the historic sites and also unique restaurants and nightclubs. Going north, the Paseos (malls) beckon you to shop till you drop. This is the street to people watch, walk, or sit down and have a chat over a cup of coffee. Theaters and museums are also on the street of streets. Enjoy.
State Street is the heart of the Downtown and a stroll down its tree lined streets is a pleasure no visitor should miss. Even locals enjoy its serene small town flavor: it's smattering of historical sights, shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs is tough to beat especially considering it is only a few blocks to the beach. When we were there in June, it was lined with incredibly beautiful jacaranda trees in violet bloom.
State Street is in the heart of Santa Barbara. There's a lot of restaurants and shopping opportunities on this street. You can find restaurants of many styles here: Chinese, American, Italian, etc. The street is pretty festive and can become crowded. This street is pretty long (it extends all the way to near the coast), so do be prepared to walk a lot.
If you know anything about Santa Barbara, you know about State Street. Most visitors like it because it is really pretty and the shopping is good. Some dislike it because it may seem pretentious and too pretty in a planned, regulated manner. It depends on your point of view.
The city has tried very hard to maintain the look and feel of Santa Barbara with a mission era look, while creating a shopping and dining draw to keep the local economy strong. I think they have succeeded at this. You won't find ugly strip mall type buildings here, and while there are plenty of chain stores, there are several local and specialty shops that make the area seem unique.
If you are interested in architecture, you can appreciate block after block of white buildings and tile roofs, with period looking trim. The arcades provide variety from the singularity of the length of one street. For shopping, there are big dept. stores as well as little ones, and even an antique store that looks like it belongs somewhere besides this upscale area. You can spend hundreds $$ for designer wear or bargains on cheap touristy T-shirts. If you like to enjoy fine food, you have many choices here. If you like coffee, there are several coffee shops, not just Starbucks. There is a good brew pub and clubs for the younger set.
Enjoy State Street
There are many unusual & realistic sculptures along State Street. The gators remind me more of Florida than California.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art - Did not get to see the museum but it is a starred attraction. Displays include American, Asian, 19th century European, contemporary, Greek & Roman antiquities, & photography. Located at: 1130 State Street.
If Downtown Santa Barbara has a core then it would be State Street, bounded by Anapamu and De la Guerra streets. This tree-lined thoroughfare has many shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars housed in buildings with their distinctive architectural style. It is a good place to people-watch as it abounds with many fine-looking men and women; you can sip coffee while watching the world go by.
For those who are into art, there is the Santa Barbara Museum of Art located at State and Anapamu streets. At the southern end of State Street is Stearns Wharf, another Santa Barbara must-see.
The Downtown Shuttle bus which plies State Street from Sola Street to Stearns Wharf makes it easier for you to get around. Bus fare is only 25 cents.
Well, this log might be a little redundant, not only because I list it for the nightlife, but also because it is the one area that you are guaranteed to be hanging out while in Santa Barbara. The street starts at Stearn’s Warf, (at Cabrillo Blvd, where you might have seen the statue of dolphins), and runs all the way up directly through downtown SB. (State Street eventually turns into Hollister Ave, incase you get confused) this street and buildings are designed in Spanish-Moore motif lined with local shops, bars, movie theaters, restaurants, a nice outdoor mall (Paseo Nuevo Mall). The shopping and bar area starts a couple blocks up from the ocean, but you can walk it easily.
Enjoy a cup of coffee or an ice-cream when people watching after a hard day of window shopping.
No, it's not Chicago. It's State Street in Santa Barbara, the main shopping and nightlife drag. If you gotta shop, there's no better way to do it than outside on a sunny day. State Street has all the stores you'll ever need-and it's not a sterile indoor mall either.
After shopping's done (or, if you're like me, shopping never started), take the load off in one of State Street's numerous restaurants and bars. I had some REAL New York pizza there-sheer heaven! Make sure you check out the nightlife too...and let me know how it was-I was there in the daytime!
Downtown Santa Barbara along State Street is host to a plethora of eclectic shops, outdoor restaurants, and hotels. The architecture is magnificent to view while the tree lined streets keep you so cal cool. State street is always active-locals and tourists of all aages cruise the strip by auto, bike, or by foot.
There really is no place like home, and I am so fortunate to live in santa Barbara, of all places. Welcome, my name is Lew and I'll be showing you around! It all starts on State street. From upper state, to the beach and right out onto the pier, there is no other place that is better for a day of shopping, friendly faces, sunshine, food, a drink and authentic culture and art diversity. An extremely safe and clean place to hang out from early morning to late evening. The real tourist area starts at about Carrillo and goes down to the beach from there. There is just too many things to list, or I would go on and on for you.
Every Tuesday on State Street there is an amazing Farmers Market- the flowers are great the food is wonderful and the ambiance is amazing! All the stores are open and it is particularly enchanting on a sunny day though don't understimate the beauty of it on a misty day too. A great place for photo ops and a real collection of people (so many kinds).
State Street is located in the downtown area amongst the many specialty shops restaurants & some outdoor cafes. Get a walking map and explore the many historical buildings. Major department stores include Macy's, Nordstrom's and Sak's Fifth Avenue. Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center is an outside mall located off of State Street.
Historical Area is in purple and includes a walking map. Don't miss the old adobes and courthouse.
Take a walk or drive down State Street which is considered to be downtown Santa Barbara. This is where it's all happening day or night. This strip is full of shops, resturaunts and Paseo Nuevo shopping center and will keep you busy for the better part of the day and night if you like to eat, shop and people watch. Since the weather in Santa Barbara is always pretty mild, State street is usually full of people of all walks of life.
Great place to shop, eat, drink and people watch.
along State St. Touted the most beautiful downtown in America, State St offers an even offering of commercial and unique boutique shopping, fun nightlife spots, fantastic food options, quaint coffeehouses and pretty floral decoration.