Santa Barbara Highlights0
You can find everything in Santa Barbara including horseback riding, bike riding, boating, fishing, kayaking, tennis, golf, camping, movies, theatre, fun festivals throughout the year, beaches, parks, hiking and pools.
Parks you won’t want to miss: La Mesa Park, Kids World, Chase Palm Park, Alice Keck Park.
- Start at East Beach or the Harbor and walk or drive along Cabrillo Blvd. Great for biking, walking, rollerblading or running.
- Shop every Sunday at the Arts & Crafts Show near the Wharf.
- A fun place for kids to skateboard is Skaters Point, located at the beach, just east of Stearns Wharf.
- Take the kids across the street to Chase Palm Park so they can enjoy the amazing playground and a ride on the carousel. Great place to picnic during the summer. Home of fun evening concerts every Thursday during the summer. Pack a picnic dinner and take the kids for a night of dancing under the stars.
- Stearns Wharf and the Ty Warner Sea Center are fun to explore with family friendly restaurants, shopping and pelican watching.
- Ride the downtown shuttle from the wharf up State street for just 25 cents each way.
- You can also jump on the SB Trolley or the Lil Toot Water Taxi Excursion for a city tour.
- You can rent surrey bikes from Wheel Fun Rentals.
- The Harbor and Breakwater is home to both yachts and fishing boats. You can rent sail boats and jet skis. You also have the opportunity to go whale watching. Fun area to walk around and great places to eat with the kids.
- Stop by the Maritime Museum and let your kids view the special discovery section for children.
- The Andree Clark Bird Refuge near East Beach is a great starting point for rollerblading. This park is a safe-haven habitat for native and migratory waterfowl.
- Travel a few minutes up from the beach to the Santa Barbara Zoo. Amazing animals, a carousel, a train, great picnic areas or enjoy their snack bar.
- Historical Attractions: Casa de la Guerra is a wonderful museum with some fabulous vignettes located next to de la Guerra Plaza. El Presidio de Santa Barbara on Canon Perdido was the last of four military fortresses built by the Spanish along the wilderness frontier. Santa Barbara Historical Museum: collections of photos, maps, books and manuscripts. 136 E De la Guerra St. Free guided tours Wed., Sat. & Sun. 1:30pm, free admission. Hours: Tues.- Sun., closed Mondays. Go to the top of the SB Courthouse Tower for a great view of the city. Outside the Courthouse is the Sunken Gardens. Fun festivals and concerts are hosted here throughout the year. Santa Barbara Museum of Art open Tuesday through Sunday.
- Enjoy a huge Farmers Market every Tuesday afternoon located on lower State St. near Paseo Nuevo.
- Paseo Nuevo Mall includes Nordstrom, Macy’s, and more than 50 specialty shops. Selection of fine restaurants, art galleries and theaters. The kids can run around outside and have fun throwing coins into the fountain.
- If you don’t want to walk the whole length of State Street with the kids, then hop on the shuttle or one of the pedi-cabs. This is a blast for the kids.
- Farther up State St. is Victoria Court with some fun shops, kids haircuts, restaurants and more.
- You can head up to the Mesa for a visit to the Wilcox property/Douglas family preserve. Another beautiful area to explore.
- Lazy Acres Market has great take-out from their deli if you want to do a picnic.
- Hendrys Beach (Arroyo Burro Beach-Mesa area) is great for walking dogs and tide pooling.
- The Mission is a landmark you will not want to miss. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the steps of the Mission. You can start with a picnic at the Rose Gardens across the street.
- The SB Botanic Garden features 78 acres of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, cacti, in natural settings. Great walking trails for kids.
- The SB Museum of Natural History is a great indoor activity. Exhibits feature mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, plant life and geology of the Pacific Coast and Channel Islands as well as prehistoric Native American life. Great events, camps and kids classes.
- We have amazing hiking in Santa Barbara. There are moderate ones you can do with the kids or leave them with a sitter and really challenge yourself on the more extreme terrain. (You can find some really simple trails at Tucker’s Grove.)
- When planning an adult date night, don’t miss a chance to see a concert at the outdoor County Bowl during the summer.
- La Cumbre Plaza is a great shopping mall located on the 3800 block of upper State Street. It includes two department stores, Robinsons-Macy’s and Sears, Vons Grocery, and more than 60 shops, restaurants, services and easy parking.