Things to do in
Santa Barbara

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Our most recommended things to do in Santa Barbara

From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

1. From Santa Barbara: All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

Enjoy a memorable day exploring California's famous wine culture and take off on a fun-filled, cultural tour of some of California's finest wineries, each with a character as rich and individual as the wines they produce. Leave your Santa Barbara-area hotel at 10:00 AM aboard a spacious custom shuttle. Throughout the day, stop at 4 different wineries to get an insider's look into wine-making and wine-tasting while sampling a full selection of wines at each of the various wineries. Pause during the day for a delicious picnic lunch in a scenic winery setting catered by one of Santa Barbara's top lunch restaurants. Santa Barbara Wine Country offers more than 120 wineries, and this tour supplier is one of the few companies that does not limit tours to a small portion of these. Instead, your day is flexible and takes into account your preferences in wine and scenery, as well as any special events or offerings at the wineries. In addition to the exciting tour, you will receive your own Value Passport that will enable you to get great discounts on a variety of top-quality wines that you may wish to purchase.

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California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

2. California Highlights Express: 3-Day Tour from Los Angeles

This 3-day tour includes highlights of the Golden State, such as Santa Barbara, Solvang, the famous Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. Day 1: Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: Santa Clara – La Quinta Inn & Suites Day 2: Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. The tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn (In Winter: Monterey/Holiday Inn hotel) Day 3: Wednesday Today’s route goes through farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, and the Half Dome before walking to the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America, the 730-meter-high Yosemite Falls. In the winter, depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.

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From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

3. From San Francisco: Highway 1 Self-Drive Audio Tour

Hop in your car and enjoy this self-guided audio tour along the Pacific Coast Highway. Start in San Francisco or LA, and simply follow the GPS guide to explore one of the most beautiful stretches of coastal road in the world. Take your time driving through Monterey Bay, artsy Carmel and more. Your virtual audio guide will share interesting facts and insights as you drive. Admire views of rocky headlands, jewel-like coves, waterfalls and the famous bridges of Big Sur as you explore California’s coastal highlights. Your downloaded guide will give you plenty of opportunities to pull off the road and explore local beaches, wildlife and towns on foot. Wander through San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Malibu before wrapping up the tour in Los Angeles. You will receive an email with the audio tour app link and a unique password from the local supplier within 1 hour of booking. Once the app is downloaded, take the tour whenever you would like. Just head to stop number 1 and begin exploring.

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Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

4. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

After pickup from your hotel or another prearranged meeting point in the morning, depart by climate-controlled van to the Santa Ynez Valley. Get a preview of the day from your guide as you set off for your first winery, learning about the history of this famed wine region along the way. Discover unique vintages and blends at each establishment, and some wineries extend discounts on wine purchases. On arrival, the winery staff will take your group for a wine tasting to learn more about each winery. Enjoy a picnic style lunch in the shade at a favorite winery with cold beverages also provided. Groups often enjoy a barrel room tour and explore the small towns of Los Olivos or Solvang. The tour includes tastings at 3 unique and hand-picked wineries, before driving back to Santa Barbara with drop-off at your hotel included. Group rates are available.

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Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

5. Santa Barbara: Electric Bike City Tour

Discover the best bike routes, historical landmarks, and viewpoints of Santa Barbara on an electric bike with an expert guide. Choose between a customizable private tour or a shared group tour where a route is decided by your guide. Start with an easy stroll along the scenic Cabrillo bike path and quickly venture into the artsy area of Santa Barbara. Check out the delicious wine and dine culture of this area. Let your tour guide show you the must-see historic buildings in the heart of downtown. As you bike through downtown, enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down the energetic State Street Promenade allocated for bike and pedestrian traffic only. After downtown, your guide might have a few secret gems that he or she will show you before heading back along the waterfront. The finale of this tour will take you through the bike path that winds through the Santa Barbara Harbor and along the boardwalk back to the bike shop.

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From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

6. From Los Angeles: 7-Day Golden Experience Tour

Day 1: Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - 17 Mile Drive/Carmel or Solvang/San Francisco Depart north from Los Angeles up the spectacular California coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Summer:Head north to the world-famous 17 mile drive (part of route #1), where you will get to see the spectacular California coast line up-close. After your visit, head to the town of Carmel, home to the actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through the town before heading onto Silicon Valley for an overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport Winter:Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community to browse in the local shops. Enjoy the Danish-style architecture while browse in the local shops and restaurants. After our lunch break, we head north through Silicon Valley before departing to reach our hotel for overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport    Day 2: San Francisco - Bay Cruise - Golden Gate Bridge - Chinatown Today, understand why San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your tour at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise in the world-famous bay under the Golden Gate Bridge and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch before an afternoon tour that will take in all the city’s famous landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown and Nob Hill. Your tour will end with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Modesto – Best Western Palm Court Inn.   Day 3: Modesto - Yosemite Summer Route: Head east through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls and Half Dome to continue for a walk from the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach one of the highest waterfalls in North America (730 meters) Yosemite Falls. Winter Route: Start the day with a tour of Monterrey to include the wharf and Cannery Row. After your tour, depart to the south for a visit to the world-famous Hearst Castle. Built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th-century. In the evening, drive south towards Las Vegas. Overnight at the Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch. Day 4: Stevenson Ranch - Las Vegas Today’s route is east through the dessert and Death Valley to arrive at the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas. Stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow, which is filled with all the famous brand names like, Levi’s, Nike, Reebok, Timberland, Ralph Lauren and more. In the evening, take a tour of the strip to see some of the truly amazing hotels and fantasies that are built in the middle of the desert such as Caesar’s Palace, Luxor, Mirage, Paris, Venetian, Bellagio, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. Finish off the evening at one of the many shows or try your hand at one of the many casinos - who knows, maybe lady luck will be smiling on you tonight. Overnight: Linq Hotel. Day 5: Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell  Start the day traveling southeast through the desert and through the Navajo Indian Reservation before you come to the South Bank of one of the seven wonders of the world - the Grand Canyon. Tour along the south bank and learn how throughout the years the Colorado River carved its way down to the sea and created the wonderland for geologists. After lunch, continue along the canyon east stopping at some of the many Indian market places to browse the handmade arts and crafts. Overnight – Quality Inn View of Lake Powell.   Day 6: Antelope Canyon - Bryce Canyon After breakfast, depart for the Lower Antelope Canyon and visit the spectacular dunes created by the wind, water, and sand. Then head west to Bryce Canyon home to the most amazing natural sculptures of the world. This tour will take you to see amazing rock and sand sculptures honed to perfection over thousands of years of rain, wind, and sunshine. Experience the unique changing of the colors during the sunset from one of the vista points in the park (may change due to changing sunset times).  After the visit, head towards the town of Kanab. Overnight: Days Inn. On certain departures, the tour will continue to Cedar City for an overnight at the Comfort Inn, Cedar City.  Day 7: Zion Park - Las Vegas After breakfast, head into Zion Park. This park got its name from the Mormons that settled in the area. They gave it this name after claiming that visiting the park is like a religious experience, the majesty of the mountains and silence of the wilderness make you feel like you have been transported to another place. Tour the park and enjoy a short walking trail along the Virgin River that runs through the park, before leaving this amazing area for an early evening arrival in Las Vegas. Option for a late night return to Los Angeles.  

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Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

7. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Guests meet their guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, guests will paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will paddle through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach. There is an abundance of wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and of course seagulls. Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. People love this paddle because of the relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of the town from the water.

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Santa Barbara: City & Sand Electric Bike Tour

8. Santa Barbara: City & Sand Electric Bike Tour

Start with an easy ride along the scenic Cabrillo Bike Path, then explore the artsy funk zone of Santa Barbara. After learning a little bit about the wining and dining options of the funk zone, see some of the historic buildings in the heart of downtown. Enjoy a safe and spacious bike ride up and down lively State Street Promenade, which is reserved for bike and pedestrian traffic only. Get insider info and hear of some hidden gems from your expert guide, before heading to the beach. Ride onto the sand at Santa Barbara's Harbor and pass alongside the waves and palm trees as you glide from the beach to beach along the waterfront. Discover Butterfly Beach, Secret Beach, and Miramar Beach in the ritzy town of Montecito. End the tour with a final stop outside at the 5-star Rosewood Miramar Hotel, with a stunning view of the beaches directly on the sand.

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5-Day Wild West Tour From Los Angeles

9. 5-Day Wild West Tour From Los Angeles

Experience the Wild West at its best on your 5-day tour that includes visits to Santa Barbara, Solvang, and San Francisco in California. Your journey continues on to Fabulous Las Vegas before returning to Los Angeles. Day 1 Monday Departing north, travel along the spectacular and scenic California Coast to Santa Barbara. Spend some time in Santa Barbara and then visit a Spanish Mission. Learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, and browse in the local shops. Your trip continues along Highway 1 through Big Sur to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. Enjoy some free time to stroll through town before heading on to Silicon Valley for overnight. Overnight: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Oakland Airport Day 2 Tuesday See for yourself why San Francisco is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Wharf with a cruise on the world famous San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and around the notorious Alcatraz Island. Visit Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch and a peek at the sea lions before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, and the magnificent Nob Hill neighborhood, home to the rich and famous. Our tour ends with a night view of the city from the Bay Bridge. Overnight: Monterrey - Holiday Inn Hotel Day 3 Wednesday Today’s route goes through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes, and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stop at El Capitan, Bridal-Veil Falls, Half Dome, and continue for a walk from the Yosemite Visitor Center to reach the highest waterfalls in North America: the 730 meters Yosemite Falls. In the winter depart south to route no 1, for a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle, built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Tour the famous house filled with antiques and see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century. In the evening, drive south towards Las Vegas. Overnight: Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch Day 4 Thursday Today’s route is east through the desert and Death Valley to arrive in the "Entertainment Capital of the World", Las Vegas. On the way to Las Vegas, you will stop for lunch at the outlet mall in Barstow, which is filled with famous brand name stores like Levi’s, Nike, Reebok, Timberland, and more. In the evening, take a tour of the Las Vegas Strip to see some of the truly amazing hotels and fantasies that are built in the middle of the desert, such as Caesar’s Palace, Mirage, Luxor, Paris, Mandalay Bay, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. Finish off the evening at one of the many shows or try your hand at one of the many casinos. Overnight: Harrah's Hotel Day Day 5 Friday Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before leaving Las Vegas on your way to Hoover Dam, one of the great engineering marvels of the modern world. Learn how this man-made phenomenon was built and its impact on the area. After your visit head west, with a stop at the state line for one last chance to win big on the slot machines, before returning to Los Angeles.

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Santa Barbara: Craft Beer Walking Tour

10. Santa Barbara: Craft Beer Walking Tour

Head to three unique craft breweries and enjoy tastings at each one. Learn about the history of each brewery, and listen to fun cultural and historical facts about the beautiful city.See the brewmasters drawing their brew inspirations from Santa Barbara and beyond. Explore downtown hotspots, which will include a visit to the bustling Funk Zone and the excitement of the State Street scene. Enjoy plenty of beer tasting choices and get the option to purchase lunch featuring fresh local California cuisine as you sip along the way. Experience the liveliest and most interesting beer crawl in paradise. Come get your beer on and learn about Santa Barbara along the way!

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Frequently asked questions about Santa Barbara

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 56 reviews

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

Tour guide Melissa was great! My friend and I took a girls trip to Santa Barbara and had a great time walking around the city, drinking local wines, and tasting a few delicious local chocolates. We even got a bonus olive oil and vinegar tasting! Melissa told us some history about some notable places in downtown which was cool to learn about too. She’s very personable and gives a great tour. I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for a fun way to explore SB!

I really enjoyed this tour. Tour guide, Melissa, is very informative and has a friendly and fun demeanor. There was more informative historical information than had been mentioned on the description, which added to the overall satisfaction of this tour. The wine/chocolate venues were top notch. The olive oil visit was also an added treat. My friends and I had a great visit in Santa Barbara on this tour.

Great, the best wine tour I have been on, my wife and I were celebrating our three-year anniversary and this was a perfect activity for our celebration.

Jacob was very helpful as a tour guide and the hotel was excellent