Santa Barbara Vacations

A seaside town noted for its laid-back atmosphere and availability of amenities usually only found in larger cities, Santa Barbara is a great place for vacationers looking to hit the beach, surf or enjoy high quality dining options and local wineries. As home of UC Santa Barbara, the town has a vibrant student culture, ensuring that a variety of ... Read more
local cultural events and acts make their way to the town, in addition to a plethora of trendy boutiques and larger chain stores. Families can enjoy their stay in attractions such as Santa Barbara’s zoo or botanical gardens, and later spend the evenings shopping and dining at Stearns Wharf, which has a breathtaking view of pristine California coastline. Architecture buffs should be sure to stop by the Santa Barbara Mission, known as the “Queen of all Missions," which features authentic Franciscan Spanish architecture. Hotels in Santa Barbara are plentiful and high quality (no dives here), and downtown is small enough to get around on foot.

Santa Barbara places to stay and top hotels

Santa Barbara things to do and experiences

  • Stearns Wharf
    9.194 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Shopping, Outdoors, Pier, Popular
    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorsy
  • Santa Barbara Zoo
    9.279 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Zoo or Aquarium
    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorsy
  • Mission Santa Barbara
    8.898 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Church, Landmark
    Popular withHistoryFamilies
  • State Street Shopping & Dining
    9.245 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Shopping, Outdoors, Landmark
    Popular withNightlifeFamilies


Santa Barbara


The stretch of California coastline from Big Sur to Santa Barbara has some of the most beautiful weather (and scenery) on the planet, with temperatures rarely getting too hot or too cold all year, and a ... Read more
refreshing breeze to keep things airy on days that the sun is out in full force. WIth that said, if you do head inland, be prepared for some very hot weather during the summer, and as with much of the state, it is necessary to bring a light jacket no matter when you travel because nights year round can get cool. If camping is part of your plans, make your reservations well in advance if you will be traveling from late spring to early fall as camp sites book up fast.

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Top Santa Barbara restaurants

Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 7.6
    Family Travelers
  • 7.2
    Adventure Travelers
  • 6.8
  • 6.5

Member Reviews(174)

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Los Angeles

I always take a yearly trip here. It is a great, and relaxing town. I enjoy being by the beach, so I always book an inn where I am in walking distance. Great seafood. Locals who live her are friendly, and the views from various hiking spots are amazing.

Menlo Park, California, USA

Santa Barbara is a quiet retreat for Angelinos - its Spanish mission style and unsoiled beaches are a sight to behold, and its main drag boasts a host of high end restaurants. But it's also a university town, infusing the city with energy and making sure there are plenty of cheap eats and dive bars to be found.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersFoodies
Dublin, California, USA

Santa Barbara is one the must visit city in California. Nice beaches, lots of shops and restaurants to go to.

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesArt & Design Lovers
Winnetka, Illinois

Met this throw-back to the 60's along the beachfront in Santa Barbara with his unique van. Great guy!

B v

Recommended for:Adventure Travelers
West Covina

Such a nice city to hang around. Downtown is small but nice and quiet. The bar scene is great too!


This is one of my favorite places to visit! If you're looking for a place to stay, away from the beaten path that has clean rooms and bicycles to cruise the area with, the Presidio is a breath of fresh air. Lots of things to see and do in Santa Barbara!

Recommended for:FoodiesLuxury TravelersNightlife LoversArt & Design Lovers
Edinburgh, UK

You'd have to really work hard to come up with something bad to say about Santa Barbara. The weather is great, the beach is beautiful, the community fun and vibrant. It's definitely pricey, but I guess paradise isn't free.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsFamily TravelersWellnessLuxury Travelers

Santa Barbara is a great weekend getaway just a little over an hour away from LA! There are tons of wineries in the area (many urban wineries, as well as more traditional ones), great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. Perfect weather for beach or pool time too!

Recommended for:FoodiesNightlife LoversArt & Design Lovers
Linkoping, Sweden

Wonderful to see the sunset by the pier! But my stay here in 2012 don't get full score, because of the distance to the beach from the hotel I stayed at. It is so tricky in USA with maps, because the distance does not look so far but you always need a car!

Recommended for:Outdoor Enthusiasts
Mountain View, California

Beautiful city with great architecture, beaches and seafood. Oh and be sure to check out some local brew!