For a truly relaxing journey, skip the hassle of traffic altogether and hop on the train. Amtrak drops you off right downtown (with additional stops in nearby Goleta). The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner offers six trains per day into Santa Barbara from the south with a large portion of the route running along the peaceful Pacific.
Step onboard, put your feet up, and relax as you watch California’s coast pass you by. Step off and find yourself mere steps from State Street, Stearns Wharf, and the Waterfront, not to mention a handful of easy lodging options.