Top things to do

Top Choice Californian in Santa Barbara


The perfect, unhurried, follow-up to a day in the Wine Country is to feast on the bright, flavorful California cooking at pretty Bouchon (meaning ‘wine cork’). A seasonally changing menu spotlights locally grown far…
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…
Top Choice Seafood in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

‘From sea to skillet to plate’ sums up this end-of-the-wharf seafood shack that’s more of a buzzing counter joint than a sit-down restaurant. Chase away the seagulls as you chow down on garlic-baked clams, crab cake…
Top Choice Californian in Santa Barbara


There's no better place in Santa Barbara County to taste the bountiful farm and fishing goodness of this stretch of SoCal coast. Named after an antique Pullman railway car, this chef-run restaurant in the Funk Zone …
Top Choice Pizza in Santa Barbara

Lucky Penny

With shiny exterior walls covered in copper pennies, this pizzeria next to Lark restaurant is always jam-packed. It's worth the wait for a crispy pizza topped with smoked mozzarella and pork-and-fennel sausage or a …
Top Choice Culture in Santa Barbara

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

The entire city fills up during late July and early August for this long-running – if slightly overblown – festival celebrating Santa Barbara’s Spanish and Mexican colonial heritage. Festivities include outdoor baza…
Top Choice Bar in Santa Barbara

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co

Father and son brewers have brought their gold medal-winning hoppy IPA, Danish red lager, and double IPA from Santa Barbara's Wine Country to the Funk Zone. Clink pint glasses on the taproom's open-air patio while a…
Top Choice Festival in Santa Barbara

Summer Solstice Celebration

Kicking off summer in late June, this wildly popular and wacky float parade down State St feels like something out of Burning Man. Live music, kids' activities, food stands, a wine-and-beer garden and an arts-and-cr…
Bar in Santa Barbara

Municipal Winemakers