Top 3 Santa Barbara Attractions
www.sbmission.org. The Mission is approximately 2.5 miles from Stearns Wharf. From anywhere downtown, it is a pretty walk or bike (uphill) through residential neighborhoods. 2201 Laguna Street at the corner of East Los Olivos Street. Open daily (except Easter, Thanksgiving …
www.sbcourthouse.org. 1100 Anacapa Street (one block from State Street). Walk, bike or take the 50-cent MTD Downtown Electric shuttle to the corner of State and Anapamu and walk east one block on Anapamu Street. A National historic landmark built in …
It’s Easy and Fun to be Car Free on an MTD Electric Shuttle!
Two MTD electric shuttle routes serve Downtown (State Street) and the Waterfront (Cabrillo Boulevard) daily for 50 cents per ride, children under 45 inches ride free. Plus, a free transfer is available between the Downtown Shuttle and the Waterfront Shuttle. As you board the first bus, ask the driver for a Shuttle Transfer.
Downtown and Waterfront Shuttles run frequently. For Summer and Winter schedules, see Downtown & Waterfront Shuttles on MTD’s website.
Santa Barbara Wine Country
A Car Free Day from LA
Arrive car free via Amtrak at the Santa Barbara Train Station at 209 State Street. Board the Pacific Surfliner #761 in Los Angeles at 7:35am, arriving in Santa Barbara at 10:19am.
Experience the beauty and bounty of Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley wine region from the comfort and safety of your guided tour jeep, van or limo. Private wine tour companies will pick you up at your hotel or the train station – see Excursions and Tours/Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country for a list. Return to Santa Barbara in time to board Pacific Surfliner #796 departing at 6:59pm and returning back to Los Angeles at 9:45pm.
OR just park your car at your hotel and have a Car Free Partner wine tour company pick you up and spend the day in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley!
Build Your Own Car Free Itinerary
It’s easy and fun to explore Santa Barbara without a car. Here is a list of attractions all accessible via walking, bicycling, or public MTD bus transportation.
Santa Barbara Waterfront | Downtown | Nearby Downtown
Santa Barbara Waterfront
Chase Palm Park is on Cabrillo Boulevard two blocks east of Stearns Wharf, opposite the ocean. This 10-acre, two-mile long $5 million oceanfront park is dedicated to children. Visit the Antique Carousel (fee), Shipwreck Playground, Great Meadow and prime Pacific view. Open daily.
The Santa Barbara Harbor and Waterfront is a destination for pleasure and commercial boats; here you can go whale watching, sailing, sport-fishing, rent kayaks, sailboats, or charter boats. The harbor houses restaurants, shops, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and over 1000 vessels. Check out the haul of fresh fish at the market every Saturday morning. Enjoy fine or casual dining, buy a yacht, groceries, and souvenirs or just stroll the ¼ mile breakwater marked by fluttering flags.
www.sbmm.org. The museum offers interactive nautical exhibits and displays, a theater, and wealth of information on boating, sailing, and waterfront history of Santa Barbara. Open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm (10:00am-6:00pm in summer), closed holidays. Admission fee. The museum is located at the Marina and is housed in the old Naval Reserve Building.
www.sbnature.org/seacenter. The Sea Center is a fun, engaging, interactive marine education facility with interactive exhibits, live tide pool animal encounters, and a theater showcasing the wonders of the Santa Barbara Channel. Open daily 10:00am-5:00pm. closed holidays. Admission fee. The Sea Center is located on Stearns Wharf.
Santa Barbara Skate Park is on Cabrillo Boulevard at Anacapa Street, ocean-side, one block from Stearns Wharf. Open daily to the public dawn to dusk for bring-your-own-skateboard and helmet, at-your-own-risk rides on the concrete bowls and obstacles.
www.sbzoo.com. A lovely zoo featuring 500 animals in 80 outstanding habitat areas in a stunning setting overlooking the Andrea Clark Bird Refuge and East Beach. Features changing exhibits, programs, and tours. Includes mini-train, gift shop, cafe, and carousel. Admission fee. Take the Waterfront electric shuttle, see Bus Around Town.
Located at the end State Street where it meets Cabrillo Boulevard. Stearns Wharf is just a few short blocks from the Amtrak station and many waterfront hotels. Walk, bike or take the 50-cent MTD Waterfront/Downtown electric shuttle – it stops right at the foot of the wharf near the Dolphin Fountain.
Stearns Wharf is the longest, oldest working wooden wharf in California since 1872. It is located at the end of State Street at the intersection of Cabrillo Boulevard, with a welcoming signature dolphin fountain. The Wharf is home to several fine restaurants, shops, and the Sea Center, a hands-on discovery center for learning about the marine environment. Walk out on the wooden planks and enjoy stops at the many restaurants, gift shops, ice-cream parlor, wine tasting room, and stunning views of the coastline and Pacific. Take a boat ride around the harbor; go parasailing or ocean-fishing.
Website. California’s first shopping center, built in the 1920s. Enter at the corner of State and De la Guerra Streets. El Paseo houses popular restaurants, specialty shops and art galleries.
www.sbthp.org/presidio.htm. Occupies the 100 and 200 blocks of East Canon Perdido Street. The Presidio was the last military outpost built by Spain in the New World, dedicated in 1782. You can visit authentically restored quarters, living history exhibits and take a docent guided tour. Open daily except major holidays. Free.
www.rain.org/~karpeles/. 21 West Anapamu Street, houses original manuscripts of great authors, scientists and leaders. Open daily except Christmas and New Years Day. Free.
www.laarcadasantabarbara.com. La Arcada has entrances at 1114 State St or 9 Figueroa St. Tile-lined walkways, fountains, sidewalk cafes and beautiful sculptures decorate the lush landscapes of this unique paseo and courtyard. La Arcada boasts some of Santa Barbara’s top restaurants and art galleries as well as hosting a number of retail boutiques and services.
www.paseonuevoshopping.com. Paseo Nuevo is a newer shopping center just off State Street between Ortega and Canon Perdido Streets and offers a variety of 50 upscale retail outlets, boutiques, movie theater and restaurants including Nordstrom. It is also the home to the upstairs Museum of Contemporary Art and the Center Stage Theater.
Visit the city’s spectacular architectural landmarks with an easy self-guided tour walking tour throughout downtown. Download and print the self-guided Red Tile Walking Tour (PDF) or view our custom interactive Red Tile Walking Tour on Google maps. Also view and request a copy of our Santa Barbara Car Free Map.
www.sbcourthouse.org. 1100 Anacapa Street (one block from State Street). Walk, bike or take the 50-cent MTD Downtown Electric shuttle to the corner of State and Anapamu and walk east one block on Anapamu Street.
A National historic landmark built in Spanish-Moorish design in 1929. The Courthouse is surrounded by beautiful sunken gardens and offers stunning panoramic views from the four-story clock tower. Open daily. Free.
www.sbhistorical.org. 136 East de la Guerra Street, holds documents, furniture, decorative and fine arts from all periods of the area’s history, plus rotating exhibits and artwork. Open daily except holidays. Donation appreciated.
www.sbma.net. 1130 State Street. The Museum features important works by American, European and Asian artists and rotates an impressive collection of exhibits and events. Admission fee.
sbpublicmarket.com. Located at 38 West Victoria St (at Chapala St). A modern addition to Santa Barbara, featuring handcrafted, regionally sourced and sustainably made food and wine. Stop by for a full meal, a drink at the bar and lounge, ice cream or specialty beverages, or even fresh groceries! The LEED-certified Market also offers a commissary kitchen, featuring a menu of programming, including cooking classes and winemakers dinners.
funkzone.net. The Funk Zone neighborhood in Santa Barbara (bounded by State St. to Garden St., and Montecito St. to Cabrillo Blvd.) has exploded into a contemporary sub-culture of wine tasting rooms, artisan shops, art galleries, hip eateries, award-winning microbreweries, and a craft distillery. It is very easy to access by bike from downtown, via the waterfront shuttle, pedicab, or walking. The Santa Barbara Amtrak station is also located in the heart of the Funk Zone. See a map of the Funk Zone.
www.sbmission.org. The Mission is approximately 2.5 miles from Stearns Wharf. From anywhere downtown, it is a pretty walk or bike (uphill) through residential neighborhoods.
2201 Laguna Street at the corner of East Los Olivos Street. Open daily (except Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 9:00am-4:30pm. There is an admission fee for the tour & museum. The “Queen of the Missions” offers docent and self-led tours of this famous landmark including the chapel, cemetery and gardens.
www.sbbg.org. 1212 Mission Canyon Road. Sixty-five acres and over 5 miles of paths meander through an unrivaled collection of California flora and offer panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. Eight different habitats represent various regions throughout California, including redwood forests, oak and canyon woodlands, meadows and deserts. Admission fee.
www.sbnature.org. 2259 Puesta del Sol Road. The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is one of the most beautiful small museums in the United States by virtue of its natural creekside setting and gracious Spanish-style architecture. The Museum offers a close look at the story of the region’s birth, geology and paleontology, native wildlife, rich marine life, and the culture of the Chumash Indians. Marked with a giant whale skeleton at the entrance, this museum is an excellent stop for families. Open daily except holidays. Admission fee.