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Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara

Most visitors come to Santa Barbara to relax along the beach. But when they don't have their feet in the sand, you'll find them trying on the latest fashions on State Street, gazing at watercolors in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and getting in touch with nature at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Families are most likely picnicking in the Santa Barbara Zoo. After a grueling day of "relaxing," retire to the luxury resort of your choice -- San Ysidro Ranch and the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara are two indulgent options.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
State Street Free attraction
Cafes, Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Santa Barbara's most famous avenue, State Street cuts through downtown and leads right onto Stearns Wharf. It's nearly ... read more»

#2
Santa Barbara County Courthouse Free attraction
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Most travelers scoff at the idea of visiting a courthouse while on vacation. Really dry and boring, right? Wrong. The ... read more»

#3
East Beach Free attraction
Beaches, Recreation, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: There are three major beaches in Santa Barbara; Leadbetter Beach has the harbor and West Beach has a large beachfront ... read more»

#4
Santa Barbara Mission
Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: In the northwest part of town just four blocks from State Street, the Santa Barbara Mission offers visitors a glimpse ... read more»

#5
Art Walks Free attraction
Recreation, Shopping | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: While taking a quick stroll on State Street you'll notice Santa Barbara's prominent love of art. And every ... read more»

#6
Santa Barbara Zoo
Parks and Gardens, Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Neighboring the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in the east part of downtown, the Santa Barbara Zoo gives visitors a taste ... read more»

#7
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: In the heart of downtown on bustling State Street, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art infuses some high culture into ... read more»

#8
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Parks and Gardens, Recreation | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: North of downtown, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a refuge for bored beachgoers and nature enthusiasts alike. Visitors walk ... read more»

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