Aside from Santa Barbara’s natural beauty, the city itself hosts a variety of tourist attractions that are of historical and cultural interest.
Early Spanish influence is evident in many buildings, most notably the County Courthouse and El Presidio State Historic Park.
Santa Barbara’s State Street and Stearn’s Wharf provide a glimpse of local happenings and tourist attractions, while the winery and museum offer a taste of the sophisticated side of Santa Barbara. Situated between the mountains and the ocean, Santa Barbara is an attractive and fascinating destination for both American and international tourists.
Families with children and people who like to live history should not miss the Santa Barbara Mission. Considered the “crown jewel” of the California Missions, this site is beautifully preserved and maintained. The low entrance fee should make it easy for any and all to visit this breathtaking piece of Western history.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the nation’s best small zoos, this is a visit for the entire family. The Zoo was developed like a park, with plenty of picnic and open areas. The animals are easily viewed and the setting is intimate. They say its a small zoo but there are 600 animals!
The Waterfront is at the Heart of Santa Barbara beauty and a great source of entertainment. You’ll find three beaches, several excellent restaurants, a wharf, a museum, a harbor and a skate park. If you are visiting Santa Barbara, this is an absolute must-see.
The Museum of Art boasts an excellent combination of permanent and special exhibits. Although it’s not an enormous museum (you can see it all in about 90 minutes), it has an impressive permanent collection of Asian art that is a must-see.
Built by a prominent ranching family in 1873, Stow House is a rambling two story house and is the oldest frame house in the Goleta Valley. The Railroad Museum offers antique railroad artifacts, photographs and hands-on exhibits are shown in the agency office and the passenger waiting room.
One of the most significant historical buildings in Santa Barbara, El Presidio has been reconstructed faithfully based on historic and archaeological evidence. It combines great beauty and real function, as it is the home for many events throughout the year.