Whether it’s surfing the perfect wave at Campus Point, browsing charming shopping arcades on State Street, or exploring the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara offers something for everyone. Your biggest challenge will be deciding what not to do.
Santa Barbara has long been world-famous for sunny beaches, dramatic peaks, and a Mediterranean climate, with activities for every taste, from scenic hikes in the Santa Ynez Mountains to botanical garden walks or whale-watching cruises.
Planning a teambuilding activity? Local companies organize a range of outdoor adventures for groups of all ages and skill levels.
From chic designer boutiques to local arts and crafts markets, Santa Barbara offers a refreshingly local and relaxed shopping experience.
Arts & Entertainment
Maximize your visit by attending a lecture, concert, or play at one of the city’s many historic venues. Art lovers will enjoy a visit to the city’s art museum and small galleries.
- UCSB Arts & Lectures
- Granada Theater
- Arlington Theater
- Center Stage Theater
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art
- Santa Barbara Bowl
Take a day off and explore Santa Barbara’s rustic wine country in the nearby Santa Ynez valley. Rent a car or join a group tour and enjoy wine tasting and a trip to the Danish village of Solvang.
History & Architecture
Learn more about California’s fascinating history by visiting the city’s most famous landmark, the Santa Barbara Mission, also known as the “Queen of Missions.” Then enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the city and sea from the top of the landmark county courthouse.
- Santa Barbara Mission
- Santa Barbara Presidio
- Santa Barbara Courthouse
- Red Tile Walking Tour Map
- Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
- Natural History Museum
Kid-friendly destinations, such as the Santa Barbara Zoo or the Ty Warner Sea Center, are easily accessible by car or public buses from the UCSB campus.
- Ty Warner Sea Center
- Santa Barbara Zoo
- UCSB Marine Science Touch Tanks (field trips by appointment)
- The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI)
Explore California & Nevada
Located on California’s central coast, Santa Barbara offers visitors convenient access to world-famous destinations in northern and southern California.
- Southern California
- Central Coast
- Bay Area/Sierra Nevada
- Las Vegas – 380 miles/ 6 hours