Santa Barbara Travel Guide

USA  #13 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the U.S.
Credit

Courtesy of Gary Weathers/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Best Times to Visit Santa Barbara

The best time to visit Santa Barbara is from March to May or from September to November. Temperatures are fairly mild year-round, hovering in the 60s and 70s, but traveling in early spring or fall ensures you won't be fighting crowds and rates will be less expensive. Summer welcomes most of the city's annual events and it's also peak season if you're looking for a beach vacation, but you'll have to contend with more crowds. If you're traveling during the winter months, make sure to pack an umbrella because Santa Barbara sees most of its rainfall between December and February. No matter when you decide to visit, pack layers as the as morning and late evening temperatures tend to be much cooler than the daytime highs. 

Weather in Santa Barbara

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
65
46
65
48
66
50
69
52
70
55
71
58
75
60
76
60
75
60
73
56
69
50
65
47
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
4.37
4.57
2.91
1.22
0.31
0.08
0.04
0.04
0.16
0.91
1.77
3.03
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

December-February

Winter means daytime temperatures range from highs in the mid-60s and drop to lows in the mid-40s at night, which is freezing by Santa Barbara standards. This season is also when the city sees most of its precipitation, which means it's not ideal for sightseeing or lounging on the beach. But, this also means prices are likely the lowest. 

March-May

Spring is one of the best times to see Santa Barbara, before  the crowds of summer descend on the city. Temperatures are still mild with highs in the upper 60s and the city will see plenty of sun, making it ideal for seeing sights like the Santa Barbara Zoo or the botanical gardens

Key Events:

June-August

With pleasant temperatures averaging in the 70s and hardly any rainfall, summer is peak season in Santa Barbara. This is the time of year when most of the annual events occur in the city, bringing with them more crowds and elevated hotel prices. This is also the time of year locals call "June Gloom" — the foggy season.

Key Events:

September-November

Crowds have thinned out by early September but high temperatures still hover in the upper 60s to mid-70s, making fall a great time to visit the city. Room rates will also have dropped from their summer highs. Just watch out for the Santa Ana winds, which can be strong this time of year.

Key Events:

Popular Times to Visit Santa Barbara

Average Tourist Volumes
Average Hotel Prices   Search Hotels
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec

Tourism volume is estimated based on in-market destination search query interest from Google and on travel.usnews.com in 2015-2016. Hotel prices are sourced from a sample of U.S. News Best Hotels rates through 2015-2016.

Find Flight and Hotel Deals

FLIGHTS
HOTELS

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Explore More of Santa Barbara

Recommended

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

The 15 Best Chicago Tours

Foodies, boat enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate any one of these tours of the Windy City.

John RodwanMay 8, 2019

16 Incredible Midwest Vacations

See which outstanding escapes showcase some of Middle America's top destinations.

Lyn MettlerApril 29, 2019

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019