- Fantastic Beaches
- Family attractions
- The Santa Ynez Mountains
- Museums and Galleries
- Excellent wine bars and restaurants
- Superb climate
Santa Barbara is one of California’s premier vacation destinations and offers plenty of options if you need to be near the beach. You can rent spacious coastal villas with swimming pools, large car holds, outdoor terraces, within walking distance of the vibrant downtown neighborhood or the Pacific shore.Vacation Villas Overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Alternatively, you can look up into the hills around Santa Barbara. You’ll find a huge number of attractive, secluded vacation rental options in the arroyos and on the hillsides near the town. Many have gorgeous views over the city and the coast, affording incredible views of the sunset. It’s hard to imagine a better place to share a glass of wine in the evening.
Santa Barbara is a town of 90,000 people that is located around 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Nestled between the glittering waters of the Pacific Ocean and the pine covered slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara has a stunning setting.Getting There
There are plenty of ways to reach a rental home in Santa Barbara. You can fly into the city’s Municipal Airport from a number of American cities. Route 101 passes through the city from Los Angeles as it snakes its way north, while the city’s Amtrak station is on the Pacific Surfliner route from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.Getting Around
Getting around the city is simple. Motorists can take advantage of 75 minutes of free parking, while trolley buses ply the promenade, putting every inch of sand within easy reach. There are even water taxis between Santa Barbara harbor and Stearns Wharf – a great way to see the city from the sea.
Santa Barbara is a fantastic destination if you have a crowd of teenagers or young children to entertain. Attractions like the city zoo, the stores on State Street, the outdoor concerts at the Santa Barbara Bowl and the beaches around town offer amusement and fun for all visitors.A Superb Cultural Destination
The city is a major magnet for culture lovers, with a prestigious International Film Festival, classical concert series at the Bowl and galleries like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, with its gorgeous ceramics collection and Asian art exhibits. It’s also a craft center, with the Arts and Crafts Show offering beautiful souvenirs every Sunday.An Unbeatable Destination for Ocean Lovers
Above all, Santa Barbara is a place for people who adore the sea. It’s the kind of city where you can join whale-watching cruises, rent fishing boats, kayak, try out your surfing skills or just laze on the beach under the scorching hot California sun.
The waters between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands host 20 species of whales and dolphins at certain times of the year.
The first priority of many visitors to South California is the beach, and in Santa Barbara there are plenty to choose from. Sunbathe until the sun dips below the horizon at Butterfly Beach, play volleyball with the locals at East Beach or find some solitude at El Capitan.2. Tee Up at a Local Golf Course
The climate is ideal for year-round golfing while local courses like La Purisima, Sandpiper and Rancho San Marcos offer an incredible combination of high-quality, great service and stunning views.3. See Historic Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara dates back to 1786, and you can still visit the original Spanish mission along with the Presidio, the 18th century fortress. After that, head to Stearns Wharf, once one of America’s busiest freight ports and now a wonderful place to dine.4. Take Part in the Solstice Parade
On the summer solstice every year, Santa Barbara becomes a riot of color, with hundreds of floats and over 100,000 party-goers in the streets. The party afterwards is the biggest celebration of year. If you’re in town, don’t miss it.5. Go Surfing!
When the breaks start to swell in early fall, beaches like Hammond Point and El Capitan attract hundreds of surfers. It’s a great time for an out of season escape, and could be the chance to finally ride the wave of your dreams.
Santa Barbara manages to escape some of the intense heat experienced by Los Angeles and other SoCaldestinations. Instead, between March and October, the city generally enjoys temperatures in the late 60sand 70s – plenty hot enough to swim and sunbathe, but not too hot.Seasonality
Expect big crowds at the city beaches, the stores of State Street and the galleries and museums if you visit between June and early September. Instead, vacations in the shoulder seasons are a great idea (or even in winter if you are taking your wetsuit and board).Hot Spots
Whenever you travel, there are some places to bear in mind. The “Funk Zone” near the Amtrak station is the epicenter of the town’s dining, wine bar and surf shop scenes and there are farmers markets downtown on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Check the schedules of the Santa Barbara Bowl as well, to avoid missing out on the season’s best shows.