Why You Need to See the Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara

No trip to Santa Barbara, California is complete without visiting the Sunken Gardens at the County Courthouse. Located on Anapamu Street downtown, the courthouse clock tower offers amazing views of the area’s tile roofs, mountains, and sea. It also features sprawling green lawns where you’ll find free concerts and events throughout the year. Whether you’re an area local or are just passing through, exploring the Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara should be in your plans! Here are some of the things you’ll see there.

Learn more about the Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara and other local attractions when you download our free vacation guide! It’s full of recommendations for great places to visit during your stay at the Cheshire Cat Inn.

Visit the Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara

The County Courthouse

Did you know that the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States? This historic Spanish-Moorish structure was designed by William Mooser III and completed in 1929. It’s been called the “grandest Spanish Colonial Revival structure ever built” and even features a large façade with two enthroned figures.

Surrounding the County Courthouse is the beautiful Sunken Gardens. Occupying an entire city block, the courthouse grounds boast a collection of palms and specimen trees from more than 25 countries. The meticulously maintained gardens provide a great spot for picnics and are popular sites for special events.

2017 Upcoming Events

The Sunken Gardens at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse host a free Summer Cinema series each year under the stars. Perfect for date night or an evening out with friends, guests can enjoy screenings of their favorite films every Friday night from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. This year’s theme is 007: Bond, James Bond. Below is the film lineup.

  • July 7 | Dr. No
  • July 14  | From Russia with Love
  • July 21 | Goldfinger
  • August 11 | The Spy Who Loved ME
  • August 18 | GoldenEye
  • August 25 | Skyfall

To make the most out of your Sunken Gardens cinema experience, we recommend going early (around 4:30 p.m.) to secure your spot on the lawn. It’s also a great idea to bring some snacks to munch on during the movie, or stop by a nearby restaurant like Arigato, Olio Pizzeria, State & Fig, and Cielito beforehand. Don’t forget to wear layers and pack a warm, cozy blanket – when the sun goes down, it gets cold!

Book Your Stay at the Cheshire Cat Inn

When it’s time to reserve your lodging in California, look no further than the Cheshire Cat Inn. Our bed and breakfast is just a 15-minute walk from the Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara and has everything you need to relax and unwind! Enjoy comfortable accommodations, top-notch amenities, and beautiful views right from our inn. We even offer a complimentary wine tasting hour each evening and a delicious homemade breakfast in the morning. What’s better than that? Check our availability or call us at (805) 569-1610 to book your stay today!

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Photo Credit: KazPhotography | Getty Images