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Free Things To Do in Santa Barbara

If you have extra time, East Beach is worthwhile.

#1

#1 in Santa Barbara

Free
Santa Barbara's most famous avenue, State Street cuts through downtown and leads right onto Stearns Wharf. It's nearly impossible to miss with its shops, art galleries, theaters and museums like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. You can grab a ride on the electric shuttle for 50 cents, but most travelers and locals recommend you walk to truly appreciate the ambiance.
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Cafes Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
State Street
Santa Barbara's most famous avenue, State Street cuts through downtown and leads right onto Stearns Wharf. It's nearly impossible to miss with its shops, art galleries, theaters and museums like the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. You can grab a ride on the electric shuttle for 50 cents, but most travelers and locals recommend you walk to truly appreciate the ambiance.
... more

#2

#2 in Santa Barbara

Free
Most travelers scoff at the idea of visiting a courthouse while on vacation. Really dry and boring, right? Wrong. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse epitomizes the Spanish-Moorish architecture that is found across the city. Completed in 1929, the complex impresses visitors with its intricate tile mosaics, colorful gardens and jaw-dropping view of the city and ocean below.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Most travelers scoff at the idea of visiting a courthouse while on vacation. Really dry and boring, right? Wrong. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse epitomizes the Spanish-Moorish architecture that is found across the city. Completed in 1929, the complex impresses visitors with its intricate tile mosaics, colorful gardens and jaw-dropping view of the city and ocean below.
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#3

#3 in Santa Barbara

Free
There are three major beaches in Santa Barbara: Leadbetter, West and East. While Leadbetter has the harbor and West Beach is home to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, East Beach is the best stretch to catch some rays without being mobbed by crowds. 
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
East Beach
There are three major beaches in Santa Barbara: Leadbetter, West and East. While Leadbetter has the harbor and West Beach is home to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, East Beach is the best stretch to catch some rays without being mobbed by crowds. 
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#5

#5 in Santa Barbara

Free
While taking a stroll on State Street, you'll notice Santa Barbara's prominent love of art. And every Sunday — as well as some Saturdays — local artists partake in the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show. 
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Recreation Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Art Walks
While taking a stroll on State Street, you'll notice Santa Barbara's prominent love of art. And every Sunday — as well as some Saturdays — local artists partake in the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show. 
... more
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