State Street picture
Juan Carlos!/Flickr

Key Info

State Street

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Cafes, Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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 attractions, including 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.

After a few hours of shopping, visitors usually slide into a chair at one of the dozens of local restaurants to refuel.

Travelers say State Street is the heart of Santa Barbara, and the experience exploring the shops and dining outdoors reminds them of European open-air markets. However, some do caution that while most of the street features upscale stores, you should be mindful of the growing homeless population that is known to panhandle on parts of the street.  

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More Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara

East Beach1 of 14
Old Mission Santa Barbara2 of 14
Type
Time to Spend
#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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Geri Lavrov/Getty Images
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