Price & Hours
- Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
Take a step back in time with a visit to the El Presidio de Santa Barbara. The nearly 6-acre state historic park consists of restored buildings that make up the last Spanish military settlement built in northern California.
Originally built in 1782, the park is home to 17 buildings and sites built around a quadrangle known as the Plaza de Armas.
Visitors can learn about the Chumash Native Americans who settled the land more than 13,500 years ago and the Spanish colonization of the land. The park also includes an exhibit on the history of Asian immigration to the Santa Barbara region.
The grounds include two of the original sections of the presidio, Mexican-period and American-period adobes, and other reconstructed buildings like the chapel and bell tower, as well as the findings from archaeological excavations of the sight.
Recent visitors say the park is a little piece of history right in the middle of the busy downtown area, which sometimes gets overlooked by travelers. Travelers also note their appreciation for the way the park works to preserve the history of California and show how the early Spanish settlers lived hundreds of years ago.
Located just two blocks east of State Street, the park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors, children younger than 16 are admitted for free.
- Thing to Do