Explore Santa Barbara while enjoying a stay at your Ventura lodging. A cornucopia of activities awaits visitors in this city-by-the-sea aptly named the American Riviera. From walking tours of historic sites to wine tasting and much more you'll want to come again so you don't miss anything.
One of the best ways to see all that Santa Barbara offers is on foot. Encompassing 12 easy to manage blocks, the Red Tile Walking Tour features 22 historic adobes dating from the late 1700s to 1800s. Along the way discover hidden passageways, museums and flower-bedecked courtyards amongst architectural gems otherwise missed. Your starting point is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse built in 1929. The ornate edifice includes a triumphal Roman arch framed by a grand sandstone entrance leading to beautiful sunken gardens. Continue on to explore El Paseo, completed in 1924. Noted as being one of California's first shopping plazas it's full of old-world charm. Quaint shops are connected by a maze of narrow corridors surrounded by a splendid courtyard. The journey concludes at Lobero Theatre, originally founded as an opera house in 1873 it remains the oldest continuously operating theater in the state. Visit Santa Barbara's website for a down-loadable guide.
Santa Barbara's Wine Country is an undiscovered Mecca of wineries and vintners. Although the vineyards are comparatively young they produce exceptional varietal wines.
Jaffurs Wine Cellars' 2007 Grenache offers aromas of spice blended with plum and dried flowers with a lingering finish. Located at 819 E. Montecito Street, tasting hours are Friday through Monday from 11 AM to 5 PM; $10 per person.
Santa Barbara Winery, founded in 1962, boasts being the first in the area. Their 2007 Pinot Gris is dominated by flavors of citrus and pear with ample weight to accompany delicate crab or hearty roast pork. Located at 202 Anacapa Street hours are daily from 10 AM to 5 PM with a $5 tasting fee that includes a souvenir glass.
For a unique experience take a guided tour with Wine Edventures to sample fine vintages from four wineries on their Daily Deluxe Excursion for $95 per person. For reservations call (805) 965-9463.
Free to See
Santa Barbara offers 101 things to do at no cost making it a great place for families; check out our recommendations.
Museums and Galleries
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art located at 1130 State Street and has free admission every Sunday
- Goleta Depot Railroad Museum at Stow House, located at 300 N. Los Carneros Road hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 PM
Parks and Gardens
- Stroll the trails of Franceschi Park at 1510 Mission Ridge Road
- Explore the Demonstration Gardens at Cabrillo Point on the Santa Barbara City College campus at 721 Cliff Drive
- Located at Chapala and Montecito Streets, the Moreton Bay Fig tree, planted in 1877, is the oldest in the nation providing 21,000 square feet of shade
- Visit a diverse array of birds at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge at 1400 E. Cabrillo Boulevard
Finding Ventura lodging is easy at Vacationhomes.com where you can sort by location, size and amenities to begin planning your trip.