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
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 5.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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 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.

After a few hours of shopping — with more than 300 shops and stores — visitors usually slide into a chair at one of the 160 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

Santa Barbara County Courthouse1 of 8
East Beach2 of 8
Type
Time to Spend
#2 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.

After climbing the stairs or taking the elevator to the top of the 85-foot "El Mirador" clock tower for a few photos, some visitors suggest you take a docent-led tour to learn more about the courthouse and Santa Barbara history.

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BackyardProduction/Getty Images
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