The most popular things to do in Santa Barbara with kids according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Chaucer's Bookstore; Santa Barbara County Courthouse; Santa Barbara Sportfishing Charter; Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo; Condor Express Whale Watching; See all kid friendly things to do in … While a lot of native art was lost when European settlers took over the state and Santa Barbara, this cave still contains some relatively preserved symbols and drawings made by the Chumash Indians. Santa Barbara is a dream spot for kayaking, with scenic bays, beaches and the Channel Islands National Park. The types of marine mammals that you can spot depend largely on the season in Santa Barbara. It sits on the popular State Street, where it is home to more than 17 different businesses, an educational facility, and a market specifically for Santa Barbara shellfish. Unlike many other historical landmarks, Casa Del Herrero has not changed significantly in the past decades. I arrived in Santa Barbara on a Friday afternoon. It was first created in 1957, and today, it is managed and owned by a man named Paul Gripp as well as his two children. Explore the opulent mural room to discover more about the history of the area, or take a walk outside the courthouse to find a sunken garden full of plants from over 25 countries. Geneva's expert tip: Visit their website to check out the schedule for upcoming hockey … It is the largest tree of its kind not just in California, but also in all of America. It’s a great way to get a taste of the flair and personality of Madame Walska herself foot. Here are the 30 best and fun things to do in Santa Barbara, California, one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US. Address: 1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA. Address: Shoreline Dr & Santa Rosa Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA. This incredibly unique and fun museum was first opened in 2017, and it covers over 17,000 square feet. Address: Between Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. Due to the museum’s commitment to education, lots of informational activities are available to participate in. Santa Barbara is a quintessential California beach town, making it a perfect place to play in the sand and surf. While you’re at it, there are plenty of sights to see as you explore the wide-reaching vineyards. And all around is stunning natural beauty, with its perfectly manicured green lawn and backdrop of mountains. Thinking of a road trip around California? This building was founded by Susan Quinlan herself, a retired librarian who collected these teddy bears and dolls over the course of three decades. The Santa Barbara Zoo spans across 30 acres and is widely considered one of America’s greatest small zoo. It’s not that people here are against development or change — they just want to make sure that it’s done right, for the sake of the city & future generations. But even if you aren’t fortunate enough to spot any whales, you will still be able to see other forms of marine animals, such as sea lions, dolphins, and orcas. If you’d like, you can go on a tour which will give you some interesting tidbits about the building’s history before you begin to roam on your own. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History can be found near the old Santa Barbara Mission, where it sits in wait on Puesta Del Sol. Once the longest deep-water pier, not just in Santa Barbara, but between SF and LA, taking a stroll along this significant piece of the area’s history is a good option if you’re looking for what to do. Now, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art encompasses 60,000 square feet of land. Santa Barbara airport also offers daily flights from many locations in California and other West Coast cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.. The Mission was established in 1786 by Franciscan friars. You’ll be able to see fossils, a nature trail, and old books in the library. Stop in over a weekend and walk around to really take in all the amazing exhibits on display. Each cave is lit in a subtle and gentle manner, with pink Himalayan salt crystals enrobing the entire room. Once upon a time, this interesting location was an industrial spot, but artists began to move in and turned it into a lively, artistic, and exciting hipster area. Again, if you’re a bit of a Shopaholic and I looking for where to go in Santa Barbara, this is definitely a good bet. Definitely can spend hours here. Plenty of whale watching cruises are available to take you through the ocean, where you can potentially spot over 27 different species of dolphins, whales, and marine life. The zoo first opened in 1963, with a mission of researching, conserving, and enhancing natural life as well as recreating and educating. The seed was then planted, creating the gigantic and imposing wonder of nature that we know now. Year-Round Vacation Fun. The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, known also as MOXI, is one of the new additions to the Santa Barbara, California attraction list. One of the most popular beaches is Butterfly Beach in Montecito, which is a great spot to catch the sunset. Smeared over a sandstone wall, these colorful images are a bit of a Santa Barbara mystery. When you visit, you will be taken aback by just how whimsical and breathtaking this magical and traumatic botanical garden is. It might not be your typical Santa Barbara tourist spot, where else in California, or in the entire country, are you going to see such an eclectic collection? It’s also just across from Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. Somewhere based on fictional characters, summer holiday themed, and many look like they came straight out for the fantasy book. You can play water sports, have a barbecue, go for a walk, enjoy a picnic, and even gaze out into the ocean and hope to see some of the whales that Santa Barbara is so known for. Better yet, this Santa Barbara county beach is totally dog-friendly, so you can bring your canine companions along to roam with you! 7. East Beach—which extends from Stearns Wharf to the Andree Clark Bird Refuge—is Santa Barbara's most popular beach and a great place to people watch on weekends. There’s so much for the kids to do and yet they practically have to drag me away! It is dedicated to preserving the interesting and rich history of the Santa Barbara coast and does so through the use of a wide range of exhibits, artifacts, and even events. Fortunately for those of us on a budget, there are many things to do in Santa Barbara that won’t break the bank! The building’s design is breathtaking with a Spanish Colonial general architecture style, punctured with marine-themed accents. The Arroyo Burro Beach Park is an extremely popular location for a wide range of water activities. There are so many tourist attractions, points of interest, sights to see, and stuff to do in Santa Barbara. Due to its location, it is much less likely to be packed like sardines when you go to catch some sun. You can watch performances, attend lectures and seminars, and go on guided tours. It was originally built back in 1886, where it’s served as a stop for stagecoaches and was basically a way station connecting Santa Barbara, California to other regions, near and far. Near these many enticing spots in El presidio, you can also find an observation tower spanning two stories, a Heritage Garden packed with old era plants, the famous Whittaker Orchard, and what remains of the outer defense walls. You can even spot the Santa Ynez Mountains in the background. Every single toy displayed in the museum is interesting and individual, often made from different materials and crafted in different designs. A total of 130 members from this California region come together under this market’s name to sell their goods to the public. Address: 2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA. Shoreline Park gives you the best of both worlds. Known locally as Hendry’s Beach, this Santa Barbara location is a famous spot for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnics, horseback riding, and bird watching. Now, this beach park has plenty of picnic tables, lots of barbecue grills, and a big parking compound to allow for as many visitors as possible. Though it has changed over the years, you can still view a couple of its original structures mainly the Cañedo Adobe and El Cuartel. Run by Brian Hope and Scott Bull, these tours involve a personal experience were these two owners and sommeliers drive you in a luxury vehicle, bringing you to some of the finest wineries and vineyards that Santa Barbara has to offer. Address: 113 Harbor Way #190, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA. But it’s not just lavish green the visitors can enjoy in this California garden. Just like with any other Santa Barbara boat tour, if you’re lucky, you may be able to spot sea lions, seals, dolphins, and more. So if you’re in Santa Barbara, California this weekend, you should definitely check this place out. Stearns Wharf was finished in 1872 and is now the oldest of its kind in California, being the only wooden wharf that continues to be used in this modern day. Spanning across 37 acres, this exotic garden was once owned by Madame Ganna Walska, a famous opera singer from Poland. Discover 9 hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in Santa Barbara, California from Lotusland to The Mural Room. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful missions in all of California and is open daily for self-guided tours. The Susan Quinlan Doll & Teddy Bear Museum & Library is arguably one of the most distinct Santa Barbara attractions. Some of these crystals even date back over 200 million years. So, why exactly does the Lil’ Toot exist? #SeeSB. Image credit: Photo by Mark Weber/Courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara. It provides incredible views of the coastline of Santa Barbara, but also giving you a glimpse into the bustling city. Much of the Lobera is dedicated to presenting jazz performances, so if you’re a fan of the genre and are near the area, why not spend a night basking in the wonderful music and rich experiences of this theatre? The most opportune time to visit this location is probably on Tuesday or Saturday when you can find it on Anacapa Street. The gorgeous, rare, and often unusual plants that you can find in Lotusland are not local to Santa Barbara, or even to California. This is a great one-of-a-kind sight to see while you are in Santa Barbara. Originally built in 1782 by Spaniards, this structure is a fortified military settlement that holds a lot of rich history and it’s fascinating to explore. Shopping is one of the things Santa Barbara visitors do most often, according to surveys done by the visitor's bureau. This doesn’t just include art exhibits, but also a library, an auditorium, a cafe, and a store. It is currently the only mission in all of California that continues to be lived in by Franciscans, making it one of the best places to visit in California. But there is more than just that to explore. Santa Barbara County officials recommend parking downtown for the day (only $9 to park for the full day), as many travelers tend to enjoy the wine so much they end up buying bottles from the tasting rooms along the trail. What’s the Word: A recent review from Yelp says, “This place is awesome! Paying a visit to the historical and ornate Santa Barbara County Courthouse is among the top things to do in Santa Barbara, California. Plenty of whale watching cruises are available to take you through the ocean, where you can potentially spot over 27 different species of dolphins, whales, and marine life. Planning a trip to other areas of California soon? You can easily spot this large fig tree very close to the famed Amtrak station. Old Mission Santa Barbara is an incredibly elegant and graceful attraction that was completed back in 1786. Santa Barbara is a cool coastal city that’s all about life by the sea. 04 of 08. Madame Wolska herself collected these eclectic bits of fauna throughout the course of her life, and also received many as gifts from her fans and friends. You will be able to sample cheese, chocolate, deli offerings, desserts, and wine. Let us help you pick out the best things to do in San Jose & fun things to do in Santa Monica! Certain cruises will also provide you with a guarantee that determines that you’ll be able to see a whale while you’re here in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is chock-full of vivid art installations, historic landmarks and incredible architecture. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is a unique and fun must-see spot in this California region. With blue whales and humpback whales appearing between May and November, and gray whales appearing during the standard Southern and Northern immigration types. Moreton Bay fig trees, known scientifically as Ficus macrophylla trees, are not actually native to Santa Barbara, but to Australia. The Lobero Theatre of Santa Barbara, California puts on many interesting shows that are a must-see for any entertainment lover. Unfortunately, the original chapel was destroyed in an earthquake in 1812, and the new church that you see today was finished in 1820 by Chumash Indians. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Spread across nearly 80 acres just off Mission Canyon Road, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is home to hundreds of local plant, flower, and tree species. The house once belonged to a noble Santa Barbara industrialist, and it was constructed specially by a famous architect. Whether you are here for a full-on sightseeing excursion or just to have a good time, there are plenty of options available. You can rent a bike and ride your own way through, or you can go for a walk and sample some of their famous ice creams. It’s true that if you’re looking for the best things to do in Santa Barbara, you might not necessarily think of a beach or a park, but this 14.6 acre spot is more than worth a visit or two. Off the APS is Franceschi Park (pictured; 1510 Franceschi Rd. The Santa Barbara Farmers Market was first opened in 1983, where it has served as a non-profit organization that provides an easy and convenient selling spot for local farmers in the Santa Barbara area. Elaine Peterson / Shutterstock. Address: 2981 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, USA. It’s a gorgeous, clean beach with plenty of space for people to spread out. Whale watching is one of the top fun things to do in Santa Barbara, California. We spent a couple of days in the city, but what we needed was a week to soak it all in. The superb Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the top things to do in Santa Barbara with kids. If you’re a believer of healing crystals, then there’s, even more, to be gained from a stay in the Salt Cave of Santa Barbara. A healthy mix of the local community and professional performances are put on at the Lobera. For over a hundred years Santa Barbarians have understood how special this place is, and what it takes to keep it special. It is an official National Historic Landmark that was finished in 1929 after being constructed following a 1925 earthquake. Of course, there is also the centerpiece of this museum: a whale skeleton that spans 74 feet! Best things to do in Santa Barbara #1 Take a Boat Cruise Hands down, one of the best things to do in Santa Barbara is to experience the city by sea. Address: 1212 Mission Canyon Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA. Just remember to pace yourself, drink water and don’t overdo your tour. Address: 1400 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108-2880, USA. It offers many things to see, including drawings, books, records of horticultural activity, and other fascinating tidbits of history. Today, the ruins of Knapp’s Castle remain, and it is one of the most popular places to visit by hikers touring Santa Barbara. In fact, after the fire raged, all that remained was the home’s stone skeleton. El Presidio de Santa Barbara is one of the most popular historical points of interest in Santa Barbara, California. It is one of the best samples of interesting Colonial and Spanish Revival architecture that you can find across the whole region. 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