Best Things to Do in Downtown Santa Barbara
When you visit Santa Barbara, you will experience the art and culture of a big city with the beauty and hospitality of a small beach town. Whether you’re planning a fun-filled family vacation, a romantic couple’s retreat, or girls-only weekend, this beautiful city is ideal for any getaway. Explore the historic museums and galleries, catch the latest show at the theatre, or sip your way through the wineries downtown. No matter how you spend your time, you won’t run out of fun things to do in Santa Barbara. Check out some of our top picks!
If you want a complete list of things to do in Santa Barbara, make sure to view our complimentary vacation guide. It’s full of all the best attractions, dining, activities, and shopping in the area.
Tucked between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities in Santa Barbara. It’s one of the best places to go surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. Take a trolley tour, bike through the city, or go whale watching with your friends and family. Whether you spend a day relaxing on the beach or exploring miles of scenic hiking trails, there is something for everyone!
- Santa Barbara Beach Walks
- Santa Barbara Whale Watching
- Fishing at Stearns Wharf
- Visit Arroyo Burro County Park
- Santa Barbara Trolley Tours
Museums, Galleries, and Historic Sites
From its incredible architecture to renowned historic sites, Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful destinations in California. The city has deep Spanish roots and a fascinating history that dates back centuries. You can spend days exploring the galleries and historic sites, so make sure to plan enough time to see them all!
- Santa Barbara Architecture Tours
- Stearns Wharf
- Sunken Gardens in Santa Barbara
- Coronado Butterfly Preserve
- Santa Barbara Orchid Estate
Theatres, Shows, and Tours
From Broadway shows and opera to music festivals and concerts, you will find plenty of great entertainment in Santa Barbara. Enjoy a performance at the theatre or grab dinner and drinks at one of our live music venues. Make sure to mark your calendar for these upcoming events and performances!
After you explore the city, head downtown for a dining experience you won’t forget. Santa Barbara is the gateway to wine country and home to some of the best restaurants in the country. From Mexican dishes to award-winning seafood restaurants, you don’t need to look far to find delicious cuisine. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:
Wineries & Breweries
With over 200 wineries throughout the county, there are plenty of ways to experience wine tasting in Santa Barbara, CA. A perfect afternoon is in store when you spend the day at one of our local vineyards. We also recommend the Urban Wine Trail. Sip on the city’s finest wines while you sightsee and do your shopping downtown. If craft beer is your preference, hop on the Santa Barbara Ale Trail. It will take you to some of the world’s best breweries right here in Santa Barbara. After a long day of exploring the city, we invite you to join us back at our bed and breakfast for a wine tasting hour.
From the top name brands to one-of-a-kind boutiques, Santa Barbara is one of the best places to go shopping. Find the perfect new addition to your wardrobe or take home a special antique that will always remind you of your vacation. Dress to impress and stop by a few of our favorite shops:
Stay at Cheshire Cat Inn
After a long day of sightseeing in Santa Barbara, we invite you to come relax in luxury at our Southern California bed and breakfast. Located in the heart of downtown, Cheshire Cat Inn is steps away from all of the best things to see and do in Santa Barbara. Make sure to view our complimentary vacation guide for a complete list of area attractions.
At Cheshire Cat Inn, you will have the ultimate Santa Barbara experience. Start off the morning with a gourmet breakfast and then join us for wine and hors-d’oeuvres each afternoon. Each of our rooms features a unique name, and many of them are inspired by Alice in Wonderland! During your stay, you can expect elegant accommodations, top-notch amenities, and just a touch of whimsey. Are you ready to start packing your bags? Check our availability and come explore our beautiful city. We can’t wait to welcome you!