Attractions

Top Choice Church in Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara

California's ‘Queen of the Missions’ reigns above the city on a hilltop perch over a mile northwest of downtown. Its imposing Doric facade, an architectural homage to an ancient Roman chapel, is topped by an unusual…
Historic Building in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

Built in Spanish-Moorish Revival style in 1929, the courthouse features hand-painted ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers, and tiles from Tunisia and Spain. Step inside the hushed mural room depicting Spanish-colonial…
Museum in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Embracing a romantic cloistered adobe courtyard, this peaceful little museum has an endlessly fascinating collection of local memorabilia, ranging from the simply beautiful, such as Chumash woven baskets and Spanish…
Waterfront in Santa Barbara

Stearns Wharf

The southern end of State St gives way onto Stearns Wharf, a rough wooden pier lined with souvenir shops, snack stands and seafood shacks. Built in 1872, it’s the oldest continuously operating wharf on the West Coas…
Historic Site in Santa Barbara

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

Founded in 1782 to defend the mission, this adobe-walled fort built by Chumash laborers was Spain's last military stronghold in Alta California. But its purpose wasn’t solely to protect – the presidio also served as…
Museum in Santa Barbara

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Stuffed with a hodgepodge of historical written artifacts, this detour is for history nerds and book and literature lovers. One of a dozen Karpeles manuscript museums nationwide, the rotating exhibits at this museum…
Historic Building in Santa Barbara

Casa de la Guerra

This grand 19th-century colonial adobe home displays Spanish, Mexican and California heritage exhibits. Authentically restored, this whitewashed adobe with red-tiled roofs was an architectural model for rebuilding a…
Gardens in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Take a soul-satisfying jaunt around this 40-acre botanic garden, devoted to California’s native flora. More than 5 miles of partly wheelchair-accessible trails meander past cacti, redwoods and wildflowers and by the…
Museum in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

This thoughtfully curated, bite-sized art museum displays European and American masters – think Matisse and Diego Rivera – along with contemporary photography, classical antiquities and thought-provoking temporary e…
Museum in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

On the harborfront, this jam-packed, two-story exhibition hall celebrates the town’s briny history with nautical artifacts, memorabilia and hands-on exhibits, including a big-game fishing chair from which you can ‘r…