Walking Walking

Santa Barbara has been designated a Gold-Level Community by Walk Friendly Communities.

With its many paseos, Santa Barbara’s shopping district is made for pedestrians. It’s just a short walk from the waterfront up State Street under Highway 101 to the vibrant center of town, with its irresistible shops, casual sidewalk cafes, and superb restaurants. If you get tired of walking, hop on the electric shuttle or, in the evening, flag down a bike cab. Or you can rent a bike or segway (see this page). See how to be car free for some suggestions and itineraries.

Listed here are a few locations exceptionally well-suited for exploring on foot.

 View self-guided walking tours (PDF files*)

*You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open these files, you can download it (free) here.

See below for an interactive version of the Red Tile Walking Tour. Click on the top right symbol with the four corners to view full-screen map.

Santa Barbara on Foot

The Funk Zone

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. New in Summer 2019, the Downtown Shuttle now servies the Funk Zone, stopping every 10 minutes in front of Oreana Winery. For shuttle details, visit sbmtd.gov/funkzone.

Download a map of the Funk Zone.

Sunday Arts and Craft Fair

Sunday mornings along the beach side of Cabrillo Boulevard from State Street to Chase Palm Park. The Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show is a piece of living history highlighting the creative talents of local artisans. The show is located on Cabrillo Boulevard from State Street at Stearns Wharf to Calle Cesar Chavez at Chase Palm Park. The show takes place every Sunday year-round and on Saturdays of major holiday weekends. Sunday show hours are from 10am until dusk, see official schedule.

Stearns Wharf

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 Downtown and Waterfront electric shuttles – 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.

For more information, download the Walk the Wharf pdf or see Stearns Wharf at Visit Santa Barbara.

State Street

State Street is the heart of downtown. See the Conference and Visitor Bureau’s web site for shopping and food & drink. Don’t miss Paseo Nuevo between Ortega and Canon Perdido Streets, and El Paseo, between De La Guerra and Canon Perdido Street.

Santa Barbara Harbor and Waterfront

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.

Farmers Markets

www.sbfarmersmarket.org. Certified farmers markets at different locations almost every day of the week:

  • Downtown – Sat mornings + Tues evenings
  • Goleta – Thurs evenings + Sun mornings
  • Carpinteria – Thurs evenings
  • Montecito – Fri mornings
  • Solvang – Weds evenings
Chase Palm Park

Chase Palm Park is on Cabrillo Boulevard two blocks east of Stearns Wharf, opposite the ocean. This 10-acre, two-mile long oceanfront park is dedicated to children. Visit the Shipwreck Playground, Great Meadow and prime Pacific view. Open daily, free.

Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden

Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden (805) 564-5433. A series of gardens situated within a 4 1/2- acre city block, home to over 100 species of unusual flowering and shade trees, plus a number of palms adapted to the coastal climate. The Park is bordered by Alameda, Garden, Santa Barbara and Micheltorena Streets. Open daily, no  fee.

Walking Resources

Guided Walking Tours

Free Historical Walking Tour

Free historical walking tour along the Santa Barbara Waterfront. It is a 1.5-mile easy walk taking about 2 hours with 12 stops of interest along the way. Starts at the Harbor and ends at the Visitor Center. Offered 2-3 times a week. For more information and reservations, visit: http://freewalkingtoursb.com/ 

Eat This Shoot That

(805) 699-6719. www.eatthisshootthat.com. Two-hour walking food and photo tours that are a great way to discover some of the locals’ favorite eateries while learning about photography from a pro.

Architectural Foundation Walking Tour

(805) 965-6307 afsb.org/santa-barbara-architecture-walking-tours Experience Santa Barbara—its architecture and its past—in a unique and personal way. Join a guided, small group walking tour of the downtown area focusing on architectural styles, significant and historic buildings, aesthetics, past and present building usage, and landscape history. Tours offered weekends, weather permitting. $10.00 donation per person, duration approximately two hours.

Other Great Places to Walk

Santa Barbara Zoo

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.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

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.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

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.

Trail Hiking