It’s easy to find perfection in Santa Barbara, but what if there was even more of your favorite finds, activities, events, shops, and restaurants that you had yet to discover?
We invite you to explore Santa Barbara and discover all the amazing experiences this destination has to offer.
Here you’ll find lots of helpful information to plan your next getaway.
To find things to do in Santa Barbara, take a look at suggested travel itineraries, which are packed with inspiration, local insight, and must-see and do experiences.
Make note of which Santa Barbara neighborhoods you want to wander through during your next visit—there are many and each nook has something fresh and fun to offer.
Or, find out what’s going on during your visit with the help of the events calendar.
Deciding to visit Santa Barbara is easy, but the true excitement exists in the many incredible opportunities that wait for you here.
19 Jan 22Partner News
What’s New in Santa Barbara for 2022Travel planning is bouncing back in 2022, and we’re here to share how the ...Read moreWhat’s New in Santa Barbara for 2022 - News & announcementsTravel planning is bouncing back in 2022, and we’re here to share how the Santa Barbara South Coast can make it to the top of your clients’ list for places to see in the new year. Santa Barbara is an unbeatable destination for all kinds of adventures, from enjoying beachside brunch and bubbles to kayaking alongside playful sea lions at sunset in the harbor. There’s always something new to share with first time visitors or to inspire a return visit from those who already know our coastal enclave well.
LODGING UPDATESIntroducing the newly rebranded Riviera Beach House, formerly known as Hotel Indigo. Riviera Beach House blends historic splendor with sophisticated design and offers artful lodging for style-minded clientele. As Santa Barbara’s closest hotel to the Amtrak train station, MOXI, and the Funk Zone, with public bus and trolley stops at the front door and an effortless walk to the beach and Stearns Wharf, Riviera Beach House is the perfect car-free choice.
150 YEARS OF STEARNS WHARFA cherished local landmark, Stearns Wharf is more than a scenic lunch spot or sightseeing photo op, it’s a structure that changed the face of Santa Barbara. 150 years ago, Santa Barbara was an isolated pueblo. Surrounded by mountains and ocean, there were no roads into town as there was no railroad. When John Peck Stearns built the wharf in 1872, he not only opened the door to large-scale commerce and trade; he introduced Santa Barbara to the rest of the world. In honor of this iconic structure’s 150th anniversary, Stearns Wharf merchants will hold Wharf Wednesdays on the first Wednesday of each month, now through October 2022. There will be anniversary specials, a bit of history and lots of family-friendly activities. The commemoration will culminate with a special celebration, complete with fireworks, in October.
ARTS & CULTUREThrough Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources will have its West Coast debut in Santa Barbara February 27 - May 22, 2022. Organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) and in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art, this experiential showcase seeks to immerse viewers in the visual imagination of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most idolized artists in the world. Later on, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival returns March 2 - 12, 2022 to roll out the red carpet for Oscar contenders and the industry’s best. Film lovers are invited to gather for 11 inimitable days of film screenings, celebrity tribute events, panel discussions and star-studded parties.
SIP AND SAVOR IN SANTA BARBARAThe culinary scene never sleeps in Santa Barbara, so check out these new must-try restaurants popping up this year, and also mark your calendar for Taste of Santa Barbara, May 15 - 22, 2022. This city-wide event, in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation and the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, will showcase the best of Santa Barbara’s hospitality and tourism community with special events that bring the best of the wider food world to Santa Barbara. Visitors will also enjoy curated offers from Santa Barbara area restaurants, hotels, bars, wineries, and retailers. Whether you’re making it a Dry January, steering clear of day drinking, or abstaining from alcohol altogether, you don’t have to miss out on tasty concoctions and local specialty drinks when visiting Santa Barbara cocktail bars and restaurants. Mocktails are the name of the game in 2022!
UPCOMING SHOWSDon’t miss out on our next trade show or event. Follow both Visit Santa Barbara and Senior Travel Trade Manger Jocilyn Schumacher on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on the latest destination happenings. Visit California Outlook Forum February 13-15, 2022 San Francisco, CA Select Traveler Conference March 28-30, 2022 Cheyenne, WY GTM West May 2-4, 2022 Tucson, AZ IPW June 4-8, 2022 Orlando, FL
TRAVEL ADVISOR TOOLKITUnderstanding the depth and breadth of every destination you sell can seem overwhelming. To make planning easier, we've built a comprehensive Travel Advisor Toolkit, where you’ll find downloadable resources such as destination overview one-sheets, links to photo and video assets, sample itineraries, and much more. We are proud to offer travel agents and advisors the Santa Barbara Travel PRO interactive training program. This newly developed program takes you through an introductory course on all things Santa Barbara. Once completed, not only will you become certified as a Santa Barbara Specialist, you’ll also gain exclusive access to images, videos, and sales collateral to help you better sell and promote the Santa Barbara South Coast to your clients.
HOW CAN I HELP?The Visit Santa Barbara sales team is a complimentary one-stop resource for support and inspiration. Our local expertise combined with marketing tools and services will help you maximize your communications and impact to your attendees throughout the planning and execution of your program. Please contact me for personal insight and assistance for creating a memorable event in The American Riviera®.
31 Aug 21NEWS
Santa Barbara extends cruise ship banThe city of Santa Barbara will continue blocking cruise ship visits until March 2022. Waterfront ...Read moreSanta Barbara extends cruise ship ban - News & announcementsThe city of Santa Barbara will continue blocking cruise ship visits until March 2022. Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire announced the 'tough decision' to continue the ban. Ships usually visit the Californian beach city during the shoulder season from September to May and generate millions for the local economy. Wiltshire said the port of Monterrey is also suspending cruise calls. Read full story
16 Mar 21Partner News
21 Ways to Move in Santa Barbara in 2021Wellness and adventure seekers alike are welcome in Santa Barbara, Calif., whether they’re driven by ...Read more21 Ways to Move in Santa Barbara in 2021 - News & announcementsWellness and adventure seekers alike are welcome in Santa Barbara, Calif., whether they’re driven by New Year’s resolutions to stay active or seeking a blissful outdoor escape to unwind and rejuvenate. With palm-lined beaches set against a sweeping mountain range, the Santa Barbara South Coast provides an idyllic landscape for boundless exploration, from the mountains to the sea. Santa Barbara-area hotels reopened to leisure travelers in January 2021. Seasonal hotel deals, new lodging and attractions, and new airlift on Southwest Airlines starting April 12 provide yet more reasons to travel. So, visitors, get moving. Here are 21 ways to move throughout Santa Barbara in 2021 to inspire your trip planning. All-Fitness Level Fun:
- Hiking and Climbing
- Architectural Walks
- Whale Watching
- Swimming and Snorkeling
- Exploring the Urban Wine Trail
- Tossing Bocce Balls
- Electric Biking
- Practicing Outdoor Yoga
- Traipsing the Botanic Garden
- Strolling the State Street Promenade
- Browsing the Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts Show
- Horseback Riding
- Riding ATVs in the Mountains
- Mountain Biking