Downtown Santa Barbara


The focal point of any trip to Santa Barbara is the downtown area, characterized by unique shopping, great food and distinctive architecture. Whether it’s your first visit or your fifth, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.


Along this palm-lined thoroughfare you’ll be surrounded on all sides by shops, boutiques, tantalizing eateries and beautiful buildings. It’s easy to explore by foot or on the electric shuttle that runs the length of downtown. For those who are returning, you may have hit the highlights, but have you truly discovered the hidden gems just off the beaten path?


There’s plenty to see and do downtown. From historic cultural venues like Granada Theatre to interesting museums and luxurious spas, you’ll find plenty of activities within a short walk of each other. And, strolling through Downtown will give you a chance to admire the city’s unique architecture. Designed in the Spanish Colonial style, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is a great example of the predominant architecture that bloomed in the area following the 1925 earthquake. Climb the steps or take a quick elevator ride to the top of the courthouse’s watchtower, where you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and the quintessential red-tile rooftops that surround it.


Along the streets of downtown you’ll find some of the most distinct and diverse shopping around, from consignment stores to gift and souvenir shops, open-air markets to galleries. With the beautiful landscape and architecture as a backdrop, a short trip to downtown can easily become an all-day, marathon shopping trip. You’ll find locally owned boutiques and trusted, name-brand stores, as well as one of the city’s most unique jewels, La Arcada Court. With entrances on State Street and Figueroa, La Arcada is a quaint and charming substitute for the larger malls, boasting some of Santa Barbara’s top restaurants and art galleries as well as a number of retail boutiques. Tile-lined walkways, fountains, sidewalk cafes and beautiful sculptures decorate the lush landscapes of this outdoor courtyard.


After all that shopping and sightseeing you’ll definitely want to get a bite at one of the dozens of restaurants that pepper downtown Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara’s eclectic dining options are the perfect compliment to the gorgeous weather and scenery. World-renowned chefs source fresh ingredients from daily farmers’ markets and fish markets near the harbor to create incredible dishes that make for an unforgettable dining experience. With so many options you can have a different culinary experience for every meal.

If you want to dive deeper into local food experiences, enjoy a self-guided tour of the Santa Barbara Public Market for tastes of seafood, flavorful organic meals, and Asian fare. Or, go on a proper foodie excursion with Santa Barbara Tasting Tours and savor the local cuisine with an expert guide.


With so much to do in downtown your schedule will be packed. Luckily, getting from one thing to the next isn’t a chore and there are transportation options for every kind of visitor. Make the most of the sunny weather and fresh air by walking through downtown or riding the miles upon miles of bike paths that run throughout the city. Tour the town on two wheels by renting a bike or bringing your own, and don’t forget to grab a Santa Barbara County Bike Map, available at local bike shops, the Downtown Santa Barbara Visitor Center or as a downloadable app.

If you need a lift but want to stay car free, downtown has a number of choices. Public transportation options are as varied as the places they can take you and include busses, open-air trollies and pedicabs. For those who want to drive, the city has nine parking lots and five parking structures with more than 3,000 parking stalls. You can also track real-time parking availability.

Popular in Downtown Santa Barbara

Arnoldi’s Cafe

Santa Barbara's oldest Italian restaurant...a true local's secret...we have 2 bocce ball courts, a large patio with outdoor dining....we are very family friendly...we accommodate large groups and specialize in rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions,…


Barbareno is a California-style bistro centrally located in downtown Santa Barbara. Drawing our inspiration from all that is around us, we celebrate California’s Central Coast through our cuisine, our space, and our spirit.

Bibi Ji

Bibi Ji is not your typical Indian joint. Bibi Ji of downtown Santa Barbara, is the latest of the collection of acclaimed restaruants, Babu Ji of NYC, Horn Please and Babu Ji of Melbourne, Australia and Dhaba of Kyneton, Australia who are all…

The Chase Restaurant and Lounge

The Chase Restaurant and Lounge is a Santa Barbara landmark for over 37 years serving the best authentic New York style Italian food in the most romantic atmosphere in the city. The Chase is perfect for all occasions. This restaurant is a MUST SEE…

Granada Theatre

A local landmark for almost a century, The Granada Theatre is the central coast’s premier performing arts venue.  Located in the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara, The Granada is home to Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street…

Float Luxury Spa

Our beautifully designed space will inspire renewal. Featuring a coastal modern design, Float is light & airy, modern but comfortable, simple yet luxurious Santa Barbara spa. Come in for a quick fix or stay for the day and enjoy all the…

Jaffurs Wine Cellars

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, just minutes from the beach, Jaffurs Wine Cellars produces world class hand-crafted wines. Since 1994 our family owned winery has focused on producing limited quantities of top quality Rhône…

Jane Restaurant

Jane is a dining establishment that brings a bit of one family's exuberate past deliciously into the present. Located in Santa Barbara & Goleta, California. 

Olio e Limone Ristorante

Olio e Limone (“Oil and Lemon” in Italian) RistoranteInnovative Italian CuisineHusband-wife team Alberto and Elaine Morello rely on the integrity of ingredients and the quality of the preparation to offer Santa Barbara creative,…

Opal Restaurant and Bar

A local's favorite, opal restaurant and bar infuses an Eclectic California Cuisine with creative influences from around the World. Our chefs use the freshest of ingredients to create dishes inspired by the colorful multi-cultural heritage of…

The Palace Grill

Located in Santa Barbara's charming Old Town district, The Palace Grill features authentic Louisiana specialties such as Crawfish étouffée, New Orleans Bar-Be-Que Shrimp, Blackened Filet Mignon, and daily "Menu Additions". Fresh…

Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center

Paseo Nuevo is open 11am-7pm daily! View our website for current Hours.  It's recommended that vulnerable guests visit from 11am to 12pm daily. Call ahead as hours may vary for restaurants and eateries. Please bring a face covering to…

Opera Santa Barbara

Founded in 1994 by Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett, Opera Santa Barbara is committed to presenting productions and educational programs of the highest quality. Over more than two decades the company has staged some 50 operas and devoted…

The Painted Cabernet

The Painted Cabernet is a locally-owned paint and sip studio. If you aren’t an artist or haven’t painted before, step into The Painted Cabernet and your inner artist will be found! Our instructional artist will guide you through the…

Santa Barbara Bowl

Nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara, The Santa Barbara Bowl was built in 1936 and has served as one of Santa Barbara’s most iconic outdoor music venues since. The outdoor concert venue seats up to 4,562, so you’re guaranteed a…

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Celebrate 5,000 years of human history and creativity on a visit to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. First opened in 1941, the Museum is located in the heart of downtown in a stately building that was once the Santa Barbara Post Office.…

Santa Barbara Public Market

Taste an amazing array of handcrafted culinary delights at the Santa Barbara Public Market. Located in a bright and modern LEED-certified space in the heart of downtown, this bustling food hall showcases the incomparable bounty of California’s…



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