Santa Barbara Museum of Art#7 in Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara
In the heart of downtown on bustling State Street, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art infuses some high culture into this laid-back Californian community. It is home to more than 27,000 works of art, including "Portrait of Mexico Today, 1932," the only intact mural in the United States by David Alfaro Siqueiros.
The museum, which was founded in 1941, houses permanent collections of American, European and Asian art, including sculptures, paintings, prints and ceramics, and prides itself on the diversity of its exhibits. The museum also offers docent-led tours select days of the week.
Recent visitors say that although gallery space is small, the variety of artwork and special temporary collections make up for it.
The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 6 to 17, seniors and students with ID. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, admission is free. For more information, pay a visit to the museum's official website.
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#1 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.
The shoreline may still fill up more on the weekends, but East Beach is a bit more removed from State Street and the downtown area than the other beaches, offering more space to stretch out or take a walk along the sandy shores. You may have to protect yourself from the occasional rogue volleyball though, as there are more than a dozen sandy courts here.
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